• never heard of that type of nnoon
  • You're overthinking it. It's hardly going to be large or bright enough to cause the sort of disruptions you're envisioning. It's basically going to reflect sunlight in the same way the moon does, but in a more localised location. It will of course be useless on cloudy nights. But the hope is that it will save the city millions a year on street lighting and maintenance.
    • Linda Joy
      Its supposed to be 8 times brighter than the natural moon. I'm hoping everything works out well and that this is a viable way to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
    • Charin Cross
      I pray you're right bostjan64. that's all we need is for China to control moonshine! It wouldn't be long before they'd weaponize the tech somehow.
  • From the data in the article, this is fundamentally misinformed. Geostationary orbit requires altitudes of over 22000 miles. At 300 miles, the satellite's rockets would be firing constantly to keep up with gravity, not to mention that that elevation is still within the Earth's atmosphere, so there would be literally tons of force in air drag with that large of a solar reflector. And since China is not on the equator, it'd burn even more fuel to keep from drifting south. We'd be talking hundred of pounds of fuel per minute just to keep the thing in orbit as described by the article. This would be costly, even if rocket fuel is cheap, you have to keep launching refueling missions to keep the artificial moon burning. And if the nozzles ever clog of fuel line ever plugs up, you'll have a giant fake moon crashing into a Chinese city from 300 km up. Even though I'm pretty sure most of it would probably self-destruct, it'd certainly freak people out. TL;DR - it'll never work.
    • Linda Joy
      So you can't answer the question or after all your rambling you forgot the questions? Hint: The question was not 'Is it possible or feasable?'
    • bostjan the adequate 🥉
      I mean, if it isn't possible, it's assumed that it won't do any of those things: it won't be visible in China, it won't affect circadian rhythms, it won't affect nocturnal animals, and it isn't a good idea. And the the adverse effects will be the money wasted by the Chinese government taking this thing seriously.
  • *** Point #1 *** - Well...obviously they did not manage to do this by 2020. *** Point #2 *** - Given the reason - lighting a particular city or province - it's practically certain that the intention was to put the "moon(s)" into geosynchronous orbit. I.e. it would provide light only to a very specific area of the Earth. *** Point #3 *** Continuing with that reasoning (the purpose of the "moon"), most likely the light from the "moon" would be intentionally focused (by the curvature of the mirror and placement in orbit) on the city itself. This would increase the brightness on the city itself while eliminating side effects outside the city. *** Conclusion *** Yes, it's a reasonable idea for lighting a city. I doubt it would have any effect DIFFERENT from lighting a city by more traditional means, other than being less expensive in the long term. One would have to make certain that the "moon"light did not extend beyond the city any more than current lighting schemes do, so as to avoid unwanted side-effects outside of the city. *** Potential problem *** The Earth's atmosphere changes enough (due to weather) that it might "bend" a focused "moonlight" beam to point elsewhere (i.e. other than on the city). Not only would this have a deleterious side effect on neighboring areas, it would also mean that the city would be relying on traditional lighting systems at such times. Similarly: cloud cover would require the city to continue relying on traditional systems. *** Although the idea is an interesting one, it has potential problems that probably caused the originators to ditch the idea several years ago.

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