Artificial Moon ? Not a Great Idea

artificial moonArtificial Moon: In 2018, Chinese scientist Wu Chunfeng  has shared his vision of replacing the street lights in the city of Chengdu by boosting the glow of Moon with that of a fake one, which will be eight times brighter.

The city plans to launch an illumination satellite in 2020, followed by three more in 2022. Not much is known about how this will come about in China. Lets see how it will likely be done.

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Why is it not practical

Size Matters | ISS, as long as a football field, was assembled in pieces in several launches. It will be difficult to launch an artificial moon that is much bigger.

Biggest Flaw| Satellite flying low enough to light up a city wouldn’t be able to stay in one place. It could be made to stay put with rocket thrusters but that would eat up fuel, adding to cost.

Constellation of satellites circling Earth would be necessary to keep lights on all night. And even then, fuel is necessary to counteract atmospheric drag.

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Cost of launching and refuelling multiple satellites would likely far outpace the savings on electricity.

Light Pollution

All night light will disrupt activities of nocturnal animals, block out stars and could even interfere with our circadian rhythms, impacting our health.

Source: Times of India

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