It’s time for artificial meteor showers

But is it fun if they're fake?

You go up to your roof to check out a meteor shower –the Geminids or the Leonids or maybe the Perseids. You get to see around fourteen or two or maybe zero meteors and you return back after an hour of straining your neck.

Has it ever occurred to you that it’d be great if we had artificial meteor showers? Me neither.

In 2001, Lena Okajima came up with that idea while watching the Leonids during her time as an UG student in Japan in 2001 and she worked on it for several years. That’s how Astro Live Experiences (ALE) was found by her, ten years later.

The startup’s first test satellite was on board Japan’s Epsilon-4 rocket launched today.

Meteors, while falling through Earth’s atmosphere, get heated and create dazzling streaks of light. ALE’s satellite works similarly. The satellite contains around 500 small specially designed metal pellets which are ejected at high speeds into the atmosphere over a particular place.

If today’s launch goes according to plan, people in Hiroshima will get to witness an artificial meteor shower in 2020. The shower will be visible in action within a radius of 124 miles to around 6 million people.

ALE claims that their artificial meteors are brighter, last longer and can burn up in different colours too.

The startup is aiming to provide spectacular light shows over events. The cost per shower hasn’t been announced yet. In this era of entertainment, artificial meteor showers just might be the future of fireworks.

But did the startup just put the Geminids out of business? Haha, no.

Meteors are hard to spot and boy are they quick even if you manage to spot them, but that’s where the fun is.


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