Have you ever wanted to impress someone, and have not been sure how to do it? Well, I may have the answer for you.
There is a Japanese startup company that wants to create their own shooting star display on demand.
What better way to say I love you!
A company called ALE is planning to launch what it calls a micro satellite that will drop the shooting stars where and when you want that celestial show, said CEO Lena Okajima, who also has a Ph.D. in astronomy.
Okajima told AFP in an interview: “I’m thinking of streams of meteors that are rare in nature. It is artificial, but I want to make really beautiful ones that can impress viewers.”
Working on this venture also includes other scientists and engineers from different universities in Japan. The researchers are still designing the satellite that will be a 20-inch cube and will orbit the Earth at an altitude of 250-310 miles. It will only orbit for a few months before it burns up it the atmosphere.
The shooting stars are made up of a secret compound. The balls are one inch in diameter and the satellite would carry dozens of them. The balls would be traveling up to 5 miles/second, the friction that is created with the air is what will make them glow.
This may sound fast to some, but it must be remembered that a meteorite can travel up to 50 miles/second as it enters Earth’s atmosphere. Okajima said that, with small changes to the compound, they should be able to make it possible for each ball to be a different color. The balls are only expended to glow for several seconds before being completely burned out.
“People may eventually become tired of seeing shooting stars if they come alone. But they could be coupled with events on the ground,” Okajima said. “Making the sky a screen is this project’s biggest attraction as entertainment. It’s a space display.”
According to Phys Org, tests on the secret formula space pellets being carried out with Shinsuke Abe, aerospace engineering associate professor at Nihon University, show they would even burn brightly enough to be seen over the light-polluted metropolis of Tokyo.
But there is an aspect of science to all this. It could offer a rare chance for scientists to study the atmosphere 37 miles up. This area of space is too high for hot air balloons, but too low for satellites, so some suggest that if we knew exactly where and when these objects will burn up, researchers could train their telescopes on them, and get an idea of the temperature and densities of this region of the atmosphere, wrote Ifl Science.
ALE said it has been talking with “individual investors” to fund the project. Okajima commented: “We believe there are people who would be ready to put up money for supporting ‘a world first’ event that is also meaningful scientifically.”
Before you get too excited, the show doesn’t come cheap, with a price tag of $8,100 per meteor. So if you have the money let me know, as I would love to see it. Perhaps we could start a crowd funding project for it?