Satellite Moons to Replace Streetlamps?!

"China is planning to launch its own 'artificial moon' by 2020 to replace streetlamps and lower electricity costs in urban areas, state media reported Friday." How cool is that??

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/china-to-launch-artificial-moon-to-replace-streetlamps-by-2020/318646

"By reflecting light from the sun, the satellites could replace streetlamps in urban areas, saving an estimated 1.2 billion yuan ($170 million) a year in electricity costs for Chengdu, if the man-made moons illuminate an area of 50 square kilometers... The extraterrestrial source of light could also help rescue efforts in disaster zones during blackouts..."

 

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2 minutes ago, Rodent said:

"By reflecting light from the sun, the satellites could replace streetlamps in urban areas, saving an estimated 1.2 billion yuan ($170 million) a year in electricity costs for Chengdu, if the man-made moons illuminate an area of 50 square kilometers... The extraterrestrial source of light could also help rescue efforts in disaster zones during blackouts..."

I lived in Chengdu for a number of years and the smog there is phenomenal.  We're talking the kind of smog that closes the local airport for days at a time in the winter and turns everything grey all year round.  You blow your nose and....yuck!  People used to leave work on days when there was clear sunshine, because those days were so few. 

Makes me wonder how this moon satellite is going to penetrate the smog well enough to provide sufficient illumination.  If by some miracle it can penetrate, then the saving of pollution from the local electric generation plants alone would be significant, I would think.  Could be a winner, but it might take time to show its true worth.

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An old idea, was even suggested in the Vietnam war. Not very popular with astronomers or environmentalists. But I should think very popular with criminals breaking into houses. Russia keeps coming up with these ideas but nothing happens, if I remember correctly a Russian scientist suggested this quite some time ago but really he was interested in testing this as a solar sail to propel spacecraft.      

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It's cool that it's possible but the effects on plants and animals should be investigated. I wonder how bright that light will be though.

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16 minutes ago, JunoTen said:

It's cool that it's possible but the effects on plants and animals should be investigated. I wonder how bright that light will be though.

Well I would think it can't be much more disruptive than street lamps (which I can't abide). They conducted some study a while back that showed that laboratory rats subjected to blue light (yes, of the variety in computer/phone screens) 24 hours a day , even at low levels (like as bright as a night light), saw increased rats of cancer. 

And my neurologist always drills into my head how important it is (proper sleep hygiene you know) to have complete darkness for sleeping so your mind is not confused about what it's supposed to do when. Throws off the circadian rhythm. 

Still, the artificial moon idea is still cool, since it only replaces another light, and doesn't disturb sleep by creating new light.

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Ops my bad read Russia but is China now looking at it, happened to see it in Popular Mechanics.

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1 hour ago, Rodent said:

Well I would think it can't be much more disruptive than street lamps (which I can't abide). They conducted some study a while back that showed that laboratory rats subjected to blue light (yes, of the variety in computer/phone screens) 24 hours a day , even at low levels (like as bright as a night light), saw increased rats of cancer. 

And my neurologist always drills into my head how important it is (proper sleep hygiene you know) to have complete darkness for sleeping so your mind is not confused about what it's supposed to do when. Throws off the circadian rhythm. 

Still, the artificial moon idea is still cool, since it only replaces another light, and doesn't disturb sleep by creating new light.

The only free animals in Chengdu are the rats.  Birds are even a rarity, ever since the Cultural Revolution.  Housepets are more common now, but I don't see a faux moon having much affect on them.

Also, with relation to street lamps:  You're talking about bathing the entire city and surrounding areas in light from above.  And if they are talking about it taking the place of street lamps, then I would expect it to be pretty bright.  Chengdu, like any city today, has a lot of high rise apartment buildings.  Imagine your surprise when you live on the 24th floor and all of a sudden there is no night.  😎🌛

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9 hours ago, Dan Warnick said:

I lived in Chengdu for a number of years and the smog there is phenomenal.  We're talking the kind of smog that closes the local airport for days at a time in the winter and turns everything grey all year round.  You blow your nose and....yuck!  People used to leave work on days when there was clear sunshine, because those days were so few. 

Makes me wonder how this moon satellite is going to penetrate the smog well enough to provide sufficient illumination.  If by some miracle it can penetrate, then the saving of pollution from the local electric generation plants alone would be significant, I would think.  Could be a winner, but it might take time to show its true worth.

They'll fix the pollution problem by the time artificial moons are viable.

On that note, China deserves respect for the long-term nature of their planning.  They don't think in terms of quarterly earnings, and I believe even their 5-year plans are considered short-term.  China thinks in terms of generations.  Of course, in a dynamic world, predicting that far into the future is a fool's errand, and such long-term planners must bear in mind that they don't know what will happen.  Still, thinking in terms of children and grandchildren focuses the mind on the right outcomes - and allows them to see where something like an artificial moon could work. 

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4 hours ago, mthebold said:

They'll fix the pollution problem by the time artificial moons are viable.

On that note, China deserves respect for the long-term nature of their planning.  They don't think in terms of quarterly earnings, and I believe even their 5-year plans are considered short-term.  China thinks in terms of generations.  Of course, in a dynamic world, predicting that far into the future is a fool's errand, and such long-term planners must bear in mind that they don't know what will happen.  Still, thinking in terms of children and grandchildren focuses the mind on the right outcomes - and allows them to see where something like an artificial moon could work. 

I used to buy into this "China the long term planners" bit, but after more thought on it I find that it was really only true at two times for them: 1. In the old days when things moved slowly, only a few were educated at all, and the only successful leaders were the ones that could understand cause and effect, and 2. After China opened to the outside world, which coincided with the end of the Cultural Revolution (more or less), they were able to make long term plans to build from scratch.  Building from scratch begs for long term planning, but once it all starts going you have to become dynamic planners or else you will fail.

At this point in time I am seeing signs of disbelief amongst my Chinese friends when their long term plans don't come out as they thought they would.  AS you said, in a dynamic world you have to adapt.  My opinion, for what it's worth.

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8 minutes ago, Dan Warnick said:

I used to buy into this "China the long term planners" bit, but after more thought on it I find that it was really only true at two times for them: 1. In the old days when things moved slowly, only a few were educated at all, and the only successful leaders were the ones that could understand cause and effect, and 2. After China opened to the outside world, which coincided with the end of the Cultural Revolution (more or less), they were able to make long term plans to build from scratch.  Building from scratch begs for long term planning, but once it all starts going you have to become dynamic planners or else you will fail.

At this point in time I am seeing signs of disbelief amongst my Chinese friends when their long term plans don't come out as they thought they would.  AS you said, in a dynamic world you have to adapt.  My opinion, for what it's worth. 

Agreed.  Beyond that, I would argue that keeping one's eye on the long-term goal can inform dynamic planning.  China could stand to be more dynamic; the US could stand to adjust its goals. 

Nothing is "good" or "bad"; it's all tools to be wielded effectively. 

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9 hours ago, Dan Warnick said:

The only free animals in Chengdu are the rats.  Birds are even a rarity, ever since the Cultural Revolution.  Housepets are more common now, but I don't see a faux moon having much affect on them.

Also, with relation to street lamps:  You're talking about bathing the entire city and surrounding areas in light from above.  And if they are talking about it taking the place of street lamps, then I would expect it to be pretty bright.  Chengdu, like any city today, has a lot of high rise apartment buildings.  Imagine your surprise when you live on the 24th floor and all of a sudden there is no night.  😎🌛

I don't have to imagine it.  Already had to deal with light pollution here in Malaysia.

I live in a high rise apartment (above the 24th floor).  The new ultra-bright LED billboards that have popped up around the city are worse than being blinded by those horrid halogen lights on high beams on some cars.  Just obscenely bright.

So a few months ago, I covered all of our bedroom windows with tinted film which is meant to add a dark tint to car windows.  Even with curtains closed in the bedroom, the ultra-bright lights from these huge billboards would penetrate and keep the bedroom from getting dark.  The "sunglasses" of the heavy dark window film finally let me fall asleep better at night.

My camera doesn't do the blinding white lights justice...  view of lights from my apartment at night:

 

20181020_130212.jpg

20181020_130321.jpg

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In case anyone thinks I'm exaggerating about the air "quality" in Chengdu, take a look for yourselves:

Chengdu Fog/Smog

If the sun can't get through, I don't think these faux moons are going to have much success.

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14 minutes ago, Tom Kirkman said:

I live in a high rise apartment (above the 24th floor).  The new ultra-bright LED billboards that have popped up around the city are worse than being blinded by those horrid halogen lights on high beams on some cars.  Just obscenely bright.

That's bad, man.  One of the many reasons I don't like cities is light pollution.  I can live in a city for work, but I'd much rather live and work rural and only go into the cities for business or other specific reasons, and then retreat.

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And I was about to suggest thick curtains, you know, Victorian style. Would that work?

1 hour ago, Dan Warnick said:

That's bad, man.  One of the many reasons I don't like cities is light pollution.  I can live in a city for work, but I'd much rather live and work rural and only go into the cities for business or other specific reasons, and then retreat.

Same here. I'll take crying jackals over streetlamps any day, that is, night.

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19 minutes ago, Marina Schwarz said:

And I was about to suggest thick curtains, you know, Victorian style. Would that work?

I already have all the bedroom windows 100% covered with dark film.  Windows are open during the day (tropical weather) and closed at night (air conditioning for comfy sleeping).

The way the curtain rods were installed, light comes through above the top of the curtains and the window cubicle.  So heavy curtains were not an option.

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Well that sucks. Good thing there are options.

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I think we should have a new thread about curtains.  See there, folks, that there's progress.  There was a time when i would not have dared type such a thing.  Ha-ha!  But, since Tom brought it up, how about pink, ceiling to floor, blackout curtains?  Too much?  Tsk.  Well, there's always starry night blackout curtains.  With fluorescent stars and moons, like we had made for our son's room.  I suggested pink, same as I always do when my wife takes him shopping for new clothes, but he declined as usual. 

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8 minutes ago, Dan Warnick said:

I think we should have a new thread about curtains.  See there, folks, that there's progress.  There was a time when i would not have dared type such a thing.  Ha-ha!  But, since Tom brought it up, how about pink, ceiling to floor, blackout curtains?  Too much?  Tsk.  Well, there's always starry night blackout curtains.  With fluorescent stars and moons, like we had made for our son's room.  I suggested pink, same as I always do when my wife takes him shopping for new clothes, but he declined as usual. 

Heh heh, as a moderator, Rodent can always split off the curtain derail into its own thread.  Pink curtains may trigger certain activists.  Orange certainly does.

fd4beacd204813e799dc998534d8761f88cb377f631c9b01387a40bd671a5da8.jpg

 

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Orange is the New Black was a popular series for a while.  My wife and I watched a couple of season's worth on Netflix (thank you Netflix, for giving us great content in Thailand, for about $10/month).  I do worry about what they are using my $10 for, though.  Are there curtains for that?  Because, you know, it keeps me up at night wondering what a corporation is doing with my $10.

What does Orange is the New Black even mean?  I never got that.

image.png.09945d976d246c6ad450f68a85cf106e.png

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2 hours ago, Tom Kirkman said:

I already have all the bedroom windows 100% covered with dark film.  Windows are open during the day (tropical weather) and closed at night (air conditioning for comfy sleeping).

The way the curtain rods were installed, light comes through above the top of the curtains and the window cubicle.  So heavy curtains were not an option.

I have blackout roller blinds infront of the curtains works well.

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1 hour ago, jaycee said:

I have blackout roller blinds infront of the curtains works well.

I used blackput roller blinds in New York City when I worked the graveyard shift and slept during the day.  They work great.

Here's a photo from my apartment tonight.  The little lines of lights are cars on a highway.  The huge bright billboards are like a damn spotlight.

20181020_195306.jpg

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2 minutes ago, Tom Kirkman said:

I used blackput roller blinds in New York City when I worked the graveyard shift and slept during the day.  They work great.

Here's a photo from my apartment tonight.  The little lines of lights are cars on a highway.  The huge bright billboards are like a damn spotlight.

20181020_195306.jpg

I think they are spotlights, Tom.  👀

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17 hours ago, Tom Kirkman said:

 

20181020_195306.jpg

Similar view, this afternoon.  The giant LED screen billboard is bright even in broad daylight (its near the center of this picture).

20181021_132345.jpg

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23 hours ago, Tom Kirkman said:

 

20181020_195306.jpg

And same general view at dusk this evening.  Even with the sun still up, this huge LED billboard on the highway is pretty darn bright.

20181021_190718.jpg

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Anyway... an artificial moon to shine lights on cities is a bad idea, in my opinion.  Already too much light pollution as it is.

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