A Chinese city plans to replace street lights with its own moon

Katie Ramirez
October 19, 2018

In the latest completely bonkers idea to come out of China, the city of Chengdu is apparently planning to launch an "artificial moon" which would effectively make street lights obsolete.

In fact, light from the artificial moon is expected to save the city money by doing away with the need for streetlights, Chunfeng added. According to The Asia Times, Chengdu's artificial moon will feature a highly reflective coating that reflects the sun's rays via solar panel-like wings.

While it might sound implausible, Wu says the technology has been in the works for years and has now "matured" toward readiness.

Controls on the satellite will allow light levels to be configured and controlled, Wu told a conference of entrepreneurs, and the final object would be able to reflect light on a 10 to 80 mile area, well within the city's area. When a man-made moon is orbiting, people can only see a bright star in the sky.

Though skeptics have expressed doubt over whether the company will ever actually launch such a device, it does again raise questions over whether it is wise to fill the night sky with artificial lights.

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Officials said it could be controlled to light up an area up to 50 miles wide and said the idea was the brainchild of a French artist.

The moon just doesn't cut it anymore for one Chinese city.

Kang Weimin, director of a public research university in China, claimed the "illumination satellite" isn't bright enough to disrupt wildlife, instead being akin to "a dusk-like glow". The Telegraph's Joseph Archer reports that Russian scientists launched a mirror-equipped spacecraft created to brighten Siberia's sun-deprived streets back in 1999.

The Znamya experiment was to "test the feasibility of illuminating points on Earth with light equivalent to that of several full moons", The New York Times said.

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