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China Plans to Illuminate the Sky with Moon-like Satellites

China Plans to Illuminate the Sky with Moon-like Satellites

China is planning to launch its own "artificial moon" by 2020 to replace streetlamps and lower electricity costs in urban areas, state media reported on Friday.

This "fake moon," which is really a sophisticated "solar mirror", will be placed in a geosynchronous orbit so that it will hover only over Chengdu. He reportedly has already started testing the satellites and hopes to have them lighting up the night sky in just a few years.

According to reports, the artificial moon could be eight times more luminous than the real moon and will orbit 320 miles away from the earth. Not satisfied with the meager light the Moon reflects back down to Earth at night, scientists in the region plan to launch a satellite that will actually reflect sunlight back down to Earth and turn night into day... sort of. Other details, such as cost and exact launch date, were not released.

The illumination time and light intensity, Wu added, can be adjusted and exact illumination areas can be controlled within a matter of meters.

Chinese City Wants to Launch Artificial Moon
China to end electricity costs with a fake moon

The artificial moon, if launched in China, is raising concerns of its impact on nocturnal wildlife. "Artificial Moon" would have the same drawback as the real, the light from it is hard to reach the Earth's surface in cloudy weather. The new moon will be capable of illuminating an area of up to 50 miles (80 kilometers) in diameter, according to PDO.

In 2013, the Norwegian town of Rjukan installed a sun mirror to shine light onto the town square during the dark, winter months.

Wu said several notable universities and institutes, including Harbin Institute of Technology and China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp, have evaluated the man-made moon project and given it their approval for trial and demonstration.

"We have been developing technology for an artificial moon for many years", Wu said. In the 1990s, Russian researchers supposedly utilized monster mirrors to reflect light from space in an exploratory undertaking called Znamya or Banner. The People's Daily sought to reassure readers by citing a Communist Party official who "explained that the light of the satellite is similar to a dusk-like glow, so it should not affect animals' routines".

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