Many people enjoy watching shooting stars painting the night sky, but not everybody gets the chance to witness one. Therefore, a Japanese startup has decided to create an artificial meteor shower, which is the first man-made phenomenon of the kind. This project will already undergo testing, and its final show has been scheduled for 2019.
Ale is the startup which has decided that people don’t have time to wait for natural meteor showers to occur. It wants to bring people the breathtaking view of one of the most impressive events of the kind. The first tests will be performed around Tokyo, while the final artificial meteor shower will fall over Hiroshima and Setouchi, the entire region that surrounds the city.
What people will get to see won’t be merely a visual illusion. The artificial meteor shower will consist of real material which will fall down from Earth’s orbit and, once it enters the atmosphere, it will catch fire. The company will control some satellites which will release small bits of material from a height of 400 km.
The artificial meteor shower will be more spectacular than a real one
These materials are pellets, which will also start burning once they get into the atmosphere. From Earth, they will appear like real falling stars, but they will burn in different colors, and should appear brighter than real meteors. This brightness is favorized by the chemical composition of the pellets, which should also prolong the burning time to 10 seconds.
During the first trial, only two satellites will release the pellet cargo. Scientists will control them so that the cargo should fall separately from each of them. This way, the falling pieces of cargo will create an artificial meteor shower over the area between the two satellites, and will offer a more spectacular show than a natural event.
Ale has been working on this technology since 2015. Their main purpose is to be able to create such exquisite light displays on special occasions or for entertainment purposes. If this technology continues developing, we might soon replace the antiquated fireworks with shooting star displays.
Image Source: National Park Service