Chinese city wants to replace street lights with artificial Moon

The largest and brightest object in the night sky, the Moon has long inspired curiosity and wonder. And landing a man on the Moon is still considered one of humanity’s greatest achievements.

Soon, however, there may be a second Moon appearing in the night sky. According to reports, a Chinese city has hatched a plan to launch an artificial Moon into space within the next two years. Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan province, has announced its plans to launch an illumination satellite into space in lieu of putting up street lights.

Satellite illumination technology

The artificial Moon is said to have eight times the brightness of Earth’s Moon, and is able to illuminate an area within a diameter between 10km and 80km. The concept will produce enough light at night to supplement or even replace street lamps, and thus reduce installation and electricity costs.The artificial moon will be coated with a highly reflective layer to reflect the sun’s light. And once launched, the exact diameters for how much light would bounce onto earth can be controlled by officials on land.

Chengdu has been evaluating the technology behind an artificial Moon for years and has tested it enough to feel it’s ready for launch.

The city also believes that tourists would be more likely to visit and see how the Moon works during the night. However, you won’t necessarily need to travel to Chengdu to see it. According to the reports, astronomers with telescopes should be able to see it anywhere on the globe.

Of course, not everyone is excited about the idea of a second Moon. Some have already voiced concern that blanketing such a large swath of land with artificial light at night could seriously disrupt local wildlife.

What are your thoughts on the concept of a second Moon? Share them in the comments below or on social media.