Japanese company plans impressive display for 2020 Summer games.
A Japanese company is planning an Olympic-style fireworks show in preparation for the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo, by hoping to create the first ever artificial meteor shower, according to an article on csmonitor.com.
The firm, Star-ALE, is the developer of the Sky Canvas light show and it is looking to present the artificial shooting stars as a part of the opening ceremonies and the company thinks the project will also support ongoing astronomical projects in the country.
Shooting stars are visible due to space debris falling through the Earth’s atmosphere and burning, briefly leaving a bright trail across the night sky. Star-ALE wants to recreate that heavenly display by launching particles from a satellite, sending them shooting through the sky in the same fashion.
Calling the objects “source particles,” the firm said they also planned to coat them with various materials that will react with the heat produced to create a colorful display as they fall towards the Earth. They also note these objects will travel at a slower rate than the objects in a normal meteor shower, and hopefully, will make a longer-lasting trail in the sky for the viewers.
The particles will be launched around the world and should begin to burn at about a height of 40 to 50 miles above the surface of the planet. Star-ALE said initially the particles will appear slightly dimmer that Sirius, the brightest star visible from Earth, and would even be visible from an urban setting on a clear night.
It won’t be cheap, however. Each of the source particles will cost Japan about $8,100, and that doesn’t include the construction and launching of the satellite to carry the particles into space.
Lena Okajima, Star-ALE founder and chief executive officer, said that despite the expense, she hoped the spectacle will lead to further developments for astronomers and scientists from Japan.
“These shooting stars that are born through science function as a high-profit entertainment business, and the resulting funds will serve to further advance fundamental scientific research,” added Okajima.
Star-ALE said it hoped to begin testing in preparation for the project in a laboratory by the end of 2017, and expects the display will be ready in time for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.