China is reportedly planning to launch a so-called artificial moon over one of their provinces so as to help with urban illumination at night.
"The Chengdu "artificial moon" would have the effect of significantly increasing the nighttime brightness of an already light-polluted city, creating problems for both Chengdu's residents, who are unable to screen out the unwanted light, as well as for the urban wildlife population that can't simply go inside and close the shutters", Barentine told Forbes in an October 18 report.
It is hoped that the artificial moon will replace streetlights in the urban area.
Astronomers and environmentalists are horrified by the plans.
Kang Weimin, director of the Institute of Optics at the Harbin Institute of Technology in Heilongjiang, China, said that the light of the satellite is more of a "dusk-like glow", said Fox News, so it should not affect the welfare of animals.
Chengdu officials expect the city to reel in more tourists when the artificial moon is up and shining.
The man-made moon has a highly reflective coating to reflect light from the sun with solar panel-like wings whose angles can be adjusted to realize "precise lighting".
The idea of an "artificial moon" came from a French artist, who imagined hanging a necklace made of mirrors above the earth, which could reflect sunshine through the streets of Paris all year round. It would orbit 500Km above our planet, it would reflect sunlight across an area of 10km to 80km and would be eight times brighter than the real Moon with the ability to control that intensity as well.
"We will only conduct our tests in an uninhabited desert, so our light beams will not interfere with any people or Earth-based space observation equipment", Wu said.
The company SpaceX Elon musk will orbit the satellite, which is seen from Earth is its only objective.
Furthermore, the satellites will be expensive and challenging to assemble in orbit and is unlikely to last for longer than ten years, he added.
The mirror was supposed to work like an artificial moon, according to a CNN report back then, reflecting sunlight onto several regions in Russian Federation and other former Soviet republics before reaching Germany and the Czech Republic.
The moon is tidally locked, so only one side of the moon is ever seen from Earth.
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