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posted by chromas on Friday October 19 2018, @01:28AM   Printer-friendly
from the Checkmate,-moon-believers! dept.

Who needs street lights? Chinese city plans fake moon

In Chengdu, there is reportedly an ambitious plan afoot for replacing the city's street lights: boosting the glow of the real moon with that of a more powerful fake one.

The capital of the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan plans to launch an illumination satellite in 2020. According to an article in People's Daily, the artificial moon is "designed to complement the moon at night", though it would be eight times as bright. The "dusk-like glow" of the satellite would be able to light an area with a diameter of between 10 and 80km (six to 50 miles), while the precise illumination range could be controlled within tens of metres – enabling it to replace street lights.

The vision was shared by Wu Chunfeng, the chairman of the private space contractor Chengdu Aerospace Science and Technology Microelectronics System Research Institute Co (Casc), at a national mass innovation and entrepreneurship event held in Chengdu last week. Wu reportedly said testing had begun on the satellite years ago and the technology had now evolved enough to allow for launch in 2020. 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.

Also at The Guardian and Inverse.


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  • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Friday October 19 2018, @02:01AM (2 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 19 2018, @02:01AM (#750760) Journal

    Even on a cloudy night, the thing should work reasonably well. The moonshine is evident on cloudy nights, most of the time. Daylight hours are only interrupted by the severest of stormy weather, after all. At a guess, five nights out of the year, this new super-streetlight will be worthless. Another fifteen or twenty nights, it will only do some good. Most cloudy nights, it's still going to shine, just not as well as on cloudless nights. So, you get roughly eight times the light that you would get from a full moon, except, it shines reliably, every night, except really really bad stormy nights. On these nights, even criminals and cops are taking shelter from the storm, so who is going to notice?

    I'll have to give it a thumbs up. It should serve the purpose intended.

    --
    ‘Never trust a man whose uncle was eaten by cannibals’
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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 19 2018, @02:58PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 19 2018, @02:58PM (#750940)

    The moonshine is evident on cloudy nights, most of the time.

    I guess you don't know clouds?

    I'll have to give it a thumbs up. It should serve the purpose intended.

    Thanks for your "opinion", but only works in clear skies. Anyway, I'll leave this here about the past.

    https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/how-russian-space-mirror-briefly-lit-night-180957894/ [smithsonianmag.com]

    • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Friday October 19 2018, @03:17PM

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 19 2018, @03:17PM (#750952) Journal

      No, dude. I've never seen clouds. And I've never seen clouds at night. Never in all my life. /sarcasm

      As I stated, pretty clearly, on most overcast nights, you still get some light on the ground, when the moon is full. On very stormy and overcast nights, you'll get none, or none that a human can see. On less stormy nights, you'll get more light. If there's just a little overcast - "partly cloudy" - that big nightlight in the sky works pretty well.

      They're talking about a light that is 8 times brighter than the full moon here. So, it's 8 times more likely that light will penetrate whatever overcast there might be.

      Full fledged tornado breeding storms won't be penetrated, at all. Normal thunderstorms will probably be brightened up a little bit, but not much. Normal, everyday overcast should be lightened up appreciably.

      --
      ‘Never trust a man whose uncle was eaten by cannibals’