China plans to replace streetlights with ‘artificial moon’ by 2020

China plans to replace streetlights with ‘artificial moon’ by 2020

The Chinese city of Chengdu could put an 'artificial moon' in the sky to make nights brighter.

The likelihood that the moon will ever rise in the skies above Chengdu has already been dismissed by some skeptics - but the Chinese are not the first to come up with the ambitious idea. (Casc). He spoke about the plan at an event last week. The fake moon will supposedly be able to light up an area up to about 50 miles in diameter, and also be remotely controllable for light precision.

The illumination satellite, which is due to be launched within the next two years, will have a reflective coating on its surface to reflect light from the sun, according to Asia Times.

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The newspaper credited a French artist for the idea of putting a manmade moon into orbit. In 2013, the town set up three computer-controlled mirrors to shine sunlight into the main square; you can see it in action below. If the effort is successful, it would likely mean the city would have the equivalent of a full moon every night rather than just at certain times of the month. "Several" proved an overstatement, but the design was shown to be sound.

A spokesman for the German technology ministry was less concerned, telling The Guardian, "It's a bit early for April Fool jokes but this sounds like one". However, an expert told the People's Daily that the artificial moon's light shouldn't be so bright that it would impact them.

It cited Kang Weimin, director of the institute of optics at Harbin Institute of Technology, 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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