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The Chinese City Of Chengdu May Soon Be Home To Multiple "Moons"

    • 1320 posts
    February 22, 2019 1:57 AM EST
    Always wished the Earth had a second moon? Then you will be pleased
    to hear that the Chengdu Aerospace Science and Technology
    Microelectronics System Research Institute has plans to launch multiple
    mini moons, the first one of which will appear in the skies as early as
    2020.To get more Chengdu City news, you can visit shine news official website.

    The
    exciting announcement was made by the Institute’s Chairman, Wu
    Chunfeng, at the National Mass Innovation and Entrepreneurship
    Conference held in Chengdu from October 9 to 15, 2018. Similar to our
    natural satellite, the artificial orb’s light will be obtained from the
    sun and reflected to Earth by its mirror-like coating. However, since
    the mini moon will be situated a mere 300 miles above the city of
    Chengdu, it will appear eight-times brighter than the real moon.
    According to Chunfeng, the amount of light being reflected can be
    controlled from Earth and even switched off, if necessary.

    While
    the multiple mini moons will certainly appear picturesque, the purpose
    of this challenging endeavor is to conserve resources. The Chengdu
    Aerospace experts assert the mini moon’s dusk-like glow will allow them
    to eliminate costly streetlights in China’s bustling cities. They
    estimate that using the artificial satellite to light up just 31 square
    miles (50 square kilometers) of Chengdu’s night sky will save the city
    an estimated 1.2 billion yuan ($174 million) annually. Since the orb’s
    location can be easily moved, it could also be used to shine light over
    disaster-struck areas that have lost power.

    Once the first mini
    moon is working successfully, the experts plan to launch three
    additional ones, hopefully by 2022. Together, the satellites, which will
    take turns depending on their position relative to the sun, are
    expected to light up an area of 2,000 to 4,000 square miles (3,600 to
    6,400 square kilometers). While the orbs will be visible through a
    telescope from anywhere on the globe, their real beauty will only be
    seen by visiting the city. The officials, therefore, believe they will
    be a huge tourist draw, helping boost Chengdu’s economy.

    As is
    often the case with radical breakthroughs, the artificial moons are
    causing apprehension among some experts. They are concerned about the
    moons’ impact on the sleep patterns of both humans and animals. However,
    Chengdu Aerospace officials believe the satellites will cause minimal,
    if any, disruption.

    “We will only conduct our tests in an
    uninhabited desert, so our light beams will not interfere with any
    people or Earth-based space observation equipment,” Chunfeng told China
    Daily. “When the satellite is in operation, people will see only a
    bright star above, and not a giant moon as imagined.”The idea of
    creating artificial moons to save energy is not new. In the 1990s,
    Russia attempted to launch a solar-reflecting system of mirrors called
    the Znamya 2 into space. However, the project was scrapped after one of
    the satellites was destroyed during deployment. If the Chinese
    scientists are successful, it could herald a new wave in harnessing the
    sun’s energy and result in mini moons popping up over busy cities across
    the world. Watch out Jupiter: your 67 satellites may soon pale in
    comparison to the ones on Earth!