That’s no moon, it’s a Chinese space light

That’s no moon, it’s a Chinese space light

That’s no moon, it’s a Chinese space light

China is preparing to launch three artificial moons in space in 2022, the state-run Science and Technology Daily reported.

A Chinese city, Chengdu, has perfected plans to replace the city's streetlights with an "artificial moon" by 2020.

IFLScience reports that "the moon would be a satellite with a special coating that would reflect the light of the Sun onto Chengdu during the night". The new moon will be capable of illuminating an area of up to 50 miles (80 kilometers) in diameter, according to PDO.

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The People's Daily report credited the idea to "a French artist, who imagined hanging a necklace made of mirrors above the Earth which could reflect sunshine through the streets of Paris all year round". But little is known about the height, size and true brightness of the proposed artificial moon - all of which are factors that could affect its visibility to distant observers.

Kang Weimin, director of a public research university in China, claimed the "illumination satellite" isn't bright enough to disrupt wildlife, instead being akin to "a dusk-like glow".

About concerns that the manmade moonlight will interrupt the normal day-night cycle of animals and plants, Wu said the light intensity and illumination time can be adjusted and the accuracy of illumination can be controlled within scores of meters.

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The likelihood that the moon will ever rise in the skies above Chengdu has already been dismissed by some skeptics - but the Chinese are not the first to come up with the ambitious idea.

The Znamya experiment was to "test the feasibility of illuminating points on Earth with light equivalent to that of several full moons", The New York Times said.

Another Russian attempt to launch a space mirror in 1999 fizzled before it got off the ground, according to The Guardian.

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