City plans fake moon to replace street lights

Mindy Sparks
October 18, 2018

However, the exact details of the spacecraft, the launch date and how the artificial moon would be maintained were not revealed.

In the latest completely bonkers idea to come out of China, the city of Chengdu is apparently planning to launch an "artificial moon" which would effectively make street lights obsolete.

An "illumination satellite" could be in place by 2020 and is said to be eight times as bright as the real moon.

The idea is the brainchild of Wu Chunfeng, chairman of Chengdu Aerospace Science and Technology Microelectronics System Research Institute.


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.

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. 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.

A more ambitious attempt - Znamya 2.5 - was made in 1999, prompting concerns about light pollution disrupting nocturnal animals and astronomical observation. However, an expert told the People's Daily that the artificial moon's light shouldn't be so bright that it would impact them. The People's Daily also clarified that the satellite created to complement the natural moonlight, describing it as "similar to a dusk-like glow". The artist imagined a mirrored necklace around the Earth to reflect sunlight onto Paris year-round.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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