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China to launch artificial moon by 2020. Here's what it will do

China to launch artificial moon by 2020. Here's what it will do

Think about walking down the streets on a full moon night.

The artificial moon will be capable of lighting up an area as large as 50 miles in diameter, which is a total area of more than 1,960 square miles, but with an illumination range that is so precise it can be controlled within a few feet.

The satellite, named Znamya, "was created to light up the northern region of the country where sunlight is scant during the winter months", noted The Daily Wire.

The space craft will have a mirror reflector to catch the sun's rays from space when the city is in darkness and will bounce them down to Earth.

In Chengdu, there is talk of launching an artificial moon "designed to complement the moon at night", according to People's Daily The newspaper said that the artificial moon would appear up to eight times brighter in the sky than the real one and bathe the city of Chengdu in a "dusk-like glow". If the first one is successful, there are plans to launch three more by 2022.

"By then, the three huge mirrors will divide the 360-degree orbital plane ... illuminating an area for 24 hours continuously", Wu Chunfeng, head of Tian Fu New Area Science Society in Chengdu, said Thursday in an interview with China Daily.

The idea is not new.

More news: Why Kate Middleton wore a gold badge at the state banquet

In 1993, Russian Federation carried out an experiment called "Banner", launching a 65-foot-diameter satellite called Znamya. This, state officials claimed, could save up to $170 million a year in electricity costs for Chengdu.

The mirrors will launch from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan province before the end of the year. Night lighting will help to look for victims and to rebuild the infrastructure.

Lights can draw and disorient hatchling turtles, night flying moths, frogs and amphibians. China reports that the testing will not harm the environment in any way, nor will it interfere with any plant or animal circadian rhythm cycles - the light-dark cycles that humans, animals and plants take queues from.

How does the moon affect us here on Earth?

The aim is to have the moon in orbit by 2020. If it succeeds, it will be the first rover to explore the "dark side" of the moon.

The mirror was supposed to work like an artificial moon, according to a CNN report back then, reflecting sunlight onto several regions in Russian Federation and other former Soviet republics before reaching Germany and the Czech Republic. However, it is predicted to be eight times brighter than the real moon because of its closer proximity to the planet.

The moon has much weaker gravity than Earth due to its smaller mass. Any light from the moon is just reflected sunlight.


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