“Artificial Moon” for human lighting

In the long history of human beings not yet mastering electric technology, the only thing that can bring light when night falls, is the moon.

Because the range of fire exposure is limited, and fuel consumption is not mentioned, there is also the danger of flammability, so the moon is the main source of light for the ancients at night. Nowadays, we all know that the moonlight is not emitted by the moon itself, but is emitted by reflecting sunlight. Therefore, when the sun “gets off work”, the moon assumes the responsibility of “night duty” and continues to bring light to the earth.

Although the moon illuminates the side of the earth against the sun, it is only a “mirror” or a “mirror” with a rough surface. The demand for light source when humans go out at night is far beyond the moon. Given, so night city towns, have to rely on street lights to provide enough light, but each street lamp for 10 to 12 hours of continuous lighting, but also brings great energy consumption. We might as well imagine that one night, the sky suddenly appeared two moons of different sizes, illuminating every corner of the earth, the street lights on both sides of the original road have been removed, because they do not seem to exist.

Russia has implemented a series of programs code-named “Banner”, trying to reflect the sun from space through a special mirror. The picture shows the banner number 2 after the expansion.

Such a scene currently exists only in the fantasy of the family, but after a few years, it will no longer be a fantasy, and the sky is likely to have more than one moon, but two or even three! The extra “moon” is the “artificial moon” of the future.

New night lighting
Since the moon’s “lighting” principle is to reflect sunlight, in order to save energy, scientists have opened their brains and tried to use this principle to create an “artificial moon” that reflects brighter sunlight and send it to space instead of street lights. To provide new ways of lighting for human beings.

The countries that put forward this hypothesis include Russia, the United States, Norway, etc., and the most practical action for this is undoubtedly Russia, which also stems from the particularity of the country’s geographical location.

Russia is located in the high latitudes of the northern hemisphere. Some of the land is even in the Arctic Circle. Therefore, many areas are not exposed to sunlight for many times throughout the year and are covered by dark nights. In order to let people in those areas bid farewell to the long night, Russian scientists have tried to send high-reflection materials into space through spacecraft, in order to reflect the sun’s rays into the Arctic Circle in the night. According to the plan, after the spacecraft reaches the predetermined height, it will start to rotate and open the space umbrella. The space umbrella is responsible for reflecting the sunlight back to the ground. However, during the experiment, the reflective film was wrapped around the antenna that the spacecraft accidentally extended, and the reflector could not be opened, which ended the experiment.

“Artificial Moon” new technology

“Two moons” or “no night city” may affect the normal work and environment of animals and plants.

Nowadays, scientists are already focusing on exploring new technologies of “artificial moon”, which is actually an artificial lighting satellite capable of carrying large space mirrors.

Because the sun, the moon and the earth are just in the right position, the moon can reflect the sun on the side of the earth facing the sun. It is precisely because the artificial lighting satellite works in the same way as the moon as a natural celestial body, it is called the “artificial moon.”

An artificial lighting satellite equipped with a large space mirror can be used to simulate the moon in a natural environment, thereby projecting the sun to a specific earth’s range. Of course, the size of the “artificial moon” is much smaller than the real moon, but compared to the moon with a diameter of 3,746.28 kilometers and a height of 384,000 kilometers from the earth, the artificial moon with a predetermined height of only 500 kilometers or less. “It has already been regarded as “low-altitude operation”. The intensity loss of sunlight reflected by this distance will be much smaller than that of the moon.

In addition, we all know that “there is a lack of moon and clearness in the moon”. The positional relationship between the sun, the moon and the earth in nature is changing every day. The new moon, half moon and full moon are alternately staged, so that the moonlight received by the earth is Not uniform. However, this situation will not appear on the “artificial moon”. When the “artificial moon” is running, people will look at the starry sky and see it, it will be a constant, always shining “star.”

The reflectors on the “artificial moon” are not simple. They not only need to meet the characteristics of “thin”, “long” and “sturdy” at the same time, but also need to be able to open smoothly in space and make sunlight as needed. Reflected to the specified area. This also places higher demands on the accuracy of the “artificial moon” reflected light technology.

In the near future, after a series of technical verifications, the “artificial moon” can formally embark on a new journey in space. At that time, if three “artificial moons” are launched at the same time, the large space mirror that is opened can equally divide the 360-degree running orbital plane and achieve full coverage illumination in the same area.

The pros and cons of “artificial moon”
According to scientists, the maximum light intensity that the “artificial moon” technology can achieve in the future will be about eight times the intensity of natural moonlight. It not only provides enough night lighting for human society, but also saves a lot of infrastructure energy consumption.

So the role of “artificial moon” is just a supplement to traditional earth street lights? In fact, its utility is far more than just lighting.

The purpose of “artificial moon” lighting is not to turn the earth into a “no-night city.” In the winter when the sunshine time is relatively short, people can use it.

The “light of the artificial moon” technology reflects the dawn in advance and extends the evening at the appropriate time.

If some areas are affected by natural disasters such as earthquakes, typhoons, tsunamis, etc., the power infrastructure in the area is likely to be directly destroyed. The emergence of “artificial moon” technology can not only provide temporary lighting for people in the disaster area, but also achieve rescue under light conditions to minimize the anxiety and fear of the affected people in the dark.

However, there are nights in the daytime, and darkness in the light. Alternating day and night is a natural law that has not changed for thousands of years. Will the emergence of “artificial moon” technology affect the objective laws of nature? Many people are worried about this. These voices of doubt suggest that any organism in nature has its own pattern of reproduction. If there are two or more “moons” in the sky at the same time, it will inevitably bring about problems of light pollution and even circadian clock disorder, which will interfere with the normal reproductive and reproductive laws of animals and plants in nature, and have a negative impact on their survival. Compared with animals and plants, human beings have a more “strong” adaptability, so the “artificial moon” has a relatively small impact on the human population.

Scientists who support the “artificial moon” technology say that the brightness of the reflected sunlight set by the technology is eight times that of natural moonlight, but the light is affected by many factors such as atmospheric motion, and the actual illumination of the illuminated area is usually only close to the summer dusk. The brightness of the time, so the brightness of the “artificial moon” that people can intuitively feel on the earth is basically equivalent to about 20% of the illumination of ordinary street lamps. In addition, the reason for adding control technology to the “artificial moon” is to make the reflection of sunlight reach “precise illumination” and “brightness adjustable”, and the illumination can be precisely controlled within a certain range. Therefore, the actual illumination of the “artificial moon” is not strong, and the animals and plants that adapt to the nighttime activities are not subject to excessive interference.

When will the “artificial moon” illuminate our night sky? With it, do we still need to rely too much on streetlights when walking in the countryside?