A Japanese company is preparing to create the world’s first artificial meteor shower by sending hundreds of satellites into space to create a meteor shower.
This celestial spectacle was scheduled to be shown in 2020, but due to a satellite malfunction, the cosmic fireworks display was delayed.
Now, Tokyo-based space startup ALE has revealed that the launch is scheduled for 2025, when it will give the world’s population “the opportunity to witness the world’s first live artificial meteor shower.”
Called Sky Canvas, the aim of the project is to collect data on the atmosphere in the mesosphere, the third layer of the atmosphere that is too low to be observed by satellites and too high to be observed by weather balloons or aircraft.
It is hoped that studying the trajectory and light emission of these falling meteors will allow ALE to collect data such as wind speed and atmospheric composition that can help scientists and researchers develop new weather models.
“Our goal is to contribute to the sustainable development of humanity and bring space closer to all of us by expanding the scope of human activity beyond Earth to discover, collect and apply important data from space,” said Dr. Lena Okajima, Founder and CEO ALE director: “As a first step, I founded ALE to create the world’s first downstream artificial meteor showers to generate greater interest in space and science in general.”
“In the future, by combining critical climate research with a new form of space entertainment, we believe we can improve our scientific understanding of climate change, sparking people around the world’s curiosity and interest in space and the universe.”
A meteor shower occurs when the Earth passes through a cloud of debris left in its orbit by comets and asteroids.
The particles emit light because they quickly heat up as they pass through the atmosphere at high speeds.
ALE plans to artificially replicate this effect in the SKY CANVAS project by placing repeating metal-based meteorite particles in balls about 1 centimeter in size into a satellite at an altitude of 250 miles (400 km) and then firing them over a specific area. so that they burn up when they enter the atmosphere at an altitude of 60-80 km.
The pea-sized pellets contain a secret chemical formula that causes them to ignite by friction as they enter the atmosphere at speeds of up to 8 kilometers per second.
ALE says they will move slower and shine longer than regular meteors, up to ten seconds each. It will be visible to stargazers within 125 miles (200 km).
The ingredients in the globules can be modified to change the color of each bright streak, meaning you can create a colorful fleet of shooting stars.
The company said its ground-based experiments produced multiple colors, but it is not yet known if multi-colored meteors can be created in orbit.
When satellites reach the end of their lives, they sink into the atmosphere and burn up.
After about two years in orbit, the backpack-sized satellite will re-enter Earth’s atmosphere and disintegrate completely, preventing it from becoming space junk, ALE says.