China Will Launch an ’Artificial Moon’ Above Chengdu
China intends to launch an “artificial moon” in 2020 to supplement street lighting in the city of Chengdu in China’s Sichuan province. The “moon” is actually a satellite about 310 miles above the Earth covered in a reflective coating that will capture and re-direct sunlight. While scientists forecast that the artificial moon could be eight times brighter than our actual moon, they warned that streetlights aren’t disappearing just yet. “Its expected brightness, in the eyes of humans, is around one-fifth of normal streetlights,” Wu Chunfeng, chief of the Tian Fu New Area Science Society, told China Daily. Wu estimated that it would save Chengdu about 1.2 billion yuan, or $173 million, in electricity costs every year. If successful, China’s artificial moon might be joined by three more artificial moons by 2022.