That’s no moon, it’s a Chinese space light

Federico Mansilla
Octubre 18, 2018

Officials in the city hope the artificial moon will bring in more tourists once it is in the sky.

Video A Chinese businessman has announced plans to light Chengdu at night by launching an artificial "moon" to direct the out-of-sight Sun's rays down onto the city's streets. He explained that their artificial moon will be eight times brighter than Earth's natural moon and be "bright enough to replace street lights in the city".

The idea was launched at a press conference earlier this month by Chengdu Aerospace Science and Technology Microelectronics System Research Institute.

The artificial moon would be able to light an area of up to 10 to 80 kilometers in diameter, giving a dusk-like hue to complement the real moon in the sky.

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It is not clear whether the plan has the backing of the city of Chengdu or the Chinese government, though Casc is the main contractor for the Chinese space programme.

He added that the testing of the illumination started years ago and is now ready. In other words, one would think Casc would know whether a plan to launch a new satellite has Beijing's approval or not.

The People's Daily report credited the idea to "a French artist, who imagined hanging a necklace made of mirrors above the Earth which could reflect sunshine through the streets of Paris all year round".

Concerns were expressed that having no proper night might affect animal life around the city, however, Kang Weimin, director of the Institute of Optics in the School of Aerospace at Harbin Institute of Technology in China, said the light levels shouldn't be enough to change the behavior of fauna.

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