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.
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 19 2018, @02:50PM (1 child)
On a cloudy day you just shine lights up at the clouds, and it will reflect down.
My first year near a big city it was unnerving for me to see how bright it actually was at night on a cloudy day. I had a fenced in back yard and it was usually very dark back there, but on a cloudy night I could walk around without any need or desire for a flashlight.
(Score: 2) by toddestan on Friday October 19 2018, @10:32PM
Agreed. While some of the light could shine through clouds, it will be dominated by city lights reflected back down by the clouds.
If you really want to see nighttime lit up, come up north some night when it's snowing. Between the clouds and the fresh coat of white snow covering everything in the city, you can very easily read a newspaper outside.