STATES CHRONICLE – Japan plans an artificial meteor shower for the opening ceremonies of the Tokyo Olympics games in 2020.
A Japanese company wants to combine entertainment with an atmospheric study and generate a man-made meteor shower with a satellite.
The company called Star-ALE hopes that its light show project, Sky Canvas, developed for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, will inspire future astronomical Japanese projects.
Real shooting stars are the result of objects entering Earth’s atmosphere; these objects heat up and produce bright lines in the sky visible from Earth’s ground. While these phenomena are occasionally spotted, and meteor showers like the Perseids occur pretty often, no one has ever tried an intentional meteor shower show before.
Lena Okajima, Star-ALE founder, and CEO has written in her corporate profile that Sky Canvas is a project that “mixes” astronomy with the entertainment business.
It is a project of shooting stars that are “born through science function as a high-profit entertainment business,” but the funds resulted will go into “further advance fundamental scientific research.”
The developers want to create the Olympic artificial shower show in the same manner natural shooting stars occur. A satellite filled with “source particles” will launch these “ingredients” around the world. At a height of approximately 40 to 50 miles these particles will burn while entering our atmosphere.
The Sky Canvas particles would look like Sirius, the brightest star we see from Earth, only a bit dimmer.
The company’s experts will cover the meteor particles with materials that will react with the heat and display for us a palette of colors as the artificial meteors burn through the protective layers of our planet.
The pyrotechnics shooting stars, announced Star-ALE, will travel farther and much slower than a naturally occurring meteor shower, creating a longer-lasting show.
Each meteor “pellet” will cost the Japan officials over $8000, without the additional costs of constructing and launching the satellite. But the Japanese government is already investing large amounts of funds into astronomy and plans to increase space programs.
This particular artificial meteor shower could provide insight into meteor composition and environmental changes for the Japanese researchers.
Star-Ale will hopefully proceed on testing the satellite’s capabilities for the fake meteor shower by the end of 2017, to have it ready for the Tokyo Summer Olympics Games in 2020.
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