Japanese company develops artificial meteor showers on demand / Boing Boeing


A Japanese start-up built a microsatellite that was launched into orbit today. The satellite contains 400 tiny balls that can be released on demand and will burn brightly enough to see on Earth as they burn into the atmosphere.

From Channel News Asia:

All Co. Ltd (Astro Life Experiences) says it is targeting "the whole world" with its products and plans to build a stockpile of shooting stars in space that can be delivered in the world.

When these two satellites are in orbit, they can be used separately or in tandem, and will be programmed to challenge the balls in the right place, speed and direction to put on a show for viewers on the ground.

Tinkering with the ingredients in the balls should mean that it is possible to change the colors they shine, offering the possibility of a multi-colored flotilla of shooting stars.

Each star is known to shine for several seconds before it is completely burned up – well before they fall low enough to put no danger to anything on earth.

They would have glowed enough to be seen even over the light-polluted metropolis of Tokyo alone.

From ALE:

ALE is a Japanese-based site entertainment startup that creates shooting stars on demand using Microsatellites. Its mission is to contribute to scientific research through entertainment. It was founded in September 2011 by Lena Okajima, a serial entrepreneur with a Ph.D. University of Tokyo Astronomy.

Natural shooting stars occur when dust particles of several millimeters in size enter the Earth's atmosphere and burn due to plasma emission. All this reproduces this artificially by inventing shooting stars and using specially designed microsatellites. The process is as follows: – We launch a microsatellite with shooting star particles in outer space; Once released, we release particles of microsatellit particles into the orbit around the Earth; These particles travel approximately 1/3 of the way around the earth and burn in on the atmosphere, beautiful shooting stars visible in an area of ​​200 km in the earth.

Picture: ALE

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mark frauenfelder

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