Japan will be the first country to have an artificial meteor shower and now we know when it will happen. The Japanese start-up, Astro Live Experiences, is looking at a 2019 event which will be held over the Setouchi area of Hiroshima Prefecture.
ALE founder and CEO, Lena Okajima, announced the company’s first trial run for the artificial meteor shower will commence in a couple of years. Shooting stars are leftover debris from comets that create a bright trail of light once they enter Earth’s atmosphere. The company aims to recreate the natural event by releasing specially designed “pellets” into the atmosphere.
The feat will be accomplished by loading stacks of these pellets into ALE’s 23-inch satellite, located about 500 kilometers (310 miles) above Australia. ALE hopes the satellite will hold 300 to 400 pellets for a one year orbit around Earth.
Once the satellite releases the pellets, they will begin to burn at the moment they fall to a height of 60 kilometers (37 miles). The company claims the pellets will burn up in specific sections of the sky and can display them at any time of the day and in any color. Because the pellets are artificial, ALE can tinker with them to burn brighter and last longer. They also said each shooting star will be visible for at least 62 miles (100 km).
The first trial will be conducted at Setouchi in Hiroshima due to its clear skies and popularity. Okajima added she wants to reignite interest in the cosmos for young people.
“These days people are usually looking down at their smartphone. I want to make people look up again,” she said.
When they’re not providing the world artificial meteor showers, ALE is using the satellite to study physics in the upper atmosphere.
The company has yet to confirm if they will use their flashy spectacle during the 2020 Olympics.
Image Source: WikipediaCommons
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