China is in the process of creating an artificial moon that would be bright enough to replace the streetlights in the south-western city of Chengdu by 2020.
The artificial moon is a satellite put into a planet orbit to reflect sunlight back to that planet.
Chinese scientists plan to install three artificial moons by 2020.The illuminated satellite is designed to complement the moon at night, the artificial moon could also save hundreds of million dollars a year in electricity cost.
The illuminated satellite is said to be eight times brighter than the real moon, according to state media People’s Daily, and forms part of the country’s growing ambitions in space.
Wu Chunfeng, chairman of Chengdu Aerospace Science and Technology Microelectronics System Research Institute Corporation which developed the project, said the illuminating satellite would provide a “dusk-like glow”.
“The satellites’ brightness and service time are both adjustable, and the accuracy of the lighting can be controlled within tens of metres,” Mr Wu told the state media.
Wu Chunfeng said that the three artificial moons would operate alternately in order to reduce infrastructural electricity consumption, especially during winter.