Saturday, 10 Jun 2023

First man-made artificial meteor shower ready for take-off five years late

Man-made shooting stars are about to become a reality, as a company prepares to fabricate a meteor shower.

Now Tokyo-based firm ALE is finally gearing up for launch five years after it was initially meant to take place.

Plans had been laid for the light show to take place in 2020 but delays have meant that we will now have to wait until more like 2025.

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Once launched, the pioneering tech will give “Brits and others all over the world the opportunity to view the world’s first live human-made meteor shower.”

Given the snazzy name Sky Canvas, the project aims to create art on the edge of Earth atmosphere – but it also has a scientific role to play.

Data will be gathered from the mesosphere – which is too high to be monitored by weather balloons and telescopes and too low to be measured by satellites.

The data being gathered will cover everything from wind speed to atmospheric composition and the collection will help with the development of new weather models.

Dr Lena Okajima, founder and chief executive of ALE, said: “Our aim is to contribute to the sustainable development of humankind and to bring space closer to all of us, by expanding the area of human activity beyond Earth to discover, collect and apply essential data from space.

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“As a first step, I founded ALE to create the world’s first human-made shooting star, to inspire wonder and to spark scientific curiosity.

“In the future, by combining critical climate research with a new form of space entertainment we believe we can further our scientific understanding of climate change while also inspiring curiosity and interest in people all over the world about space and the universe.”

The technology will employ metal-based “shooting star” particles to burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere and create an artificial take on the miraculous natural phenomenon.

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The particles will be released from 400km above the Eatrth’s surface and, like dust particles trailing behind rocks, will heat up with friction with the Earth’s atmosphere creating light energy.

“We will also take all possible precautions in the release of meteor sources so that meteor sources do not hit other man-made objects and increase space debris,” ALE said.


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