The first-ever artificial meteor shower in the history of mankind will take place in 2019.
Japanese startup Ale, which is planning to create a beautiful display of artificial "shooting stars", detailed its concept and the timeline for initial tests in Tokyo. The manmade meteors would fly over Hiroshima and the surrounding Setouchi region, tech website BGR reports.
The artificial meteor shower is not a visual illusion. The tech involves real material coming down from orbit and burning in the atmosphere.
The whole exercise revolves around cubic micro-satellites, which, according to the company, will release small pellets towards Earth from an estimated altitude of 400km.
The pellets will burn after coming in contact with Earth's atmosphere and appear like real shooting stars, only with more brightness and different colours. The pellets will contain a unique chemical mixture which not only increases the brightness but also the duration of the light show, with each pellet lasting up to 10 seconds.
As part of the initial trial run, two satellites – measuring 50cm on each side – would release around 300 single colour pellets. The satellites would be controlled remotely from Earth to release the payload at different angles and times.
This would create a blazing display of shooting stars over the targeted area. The pellets would start burning at an altitude of 100km above Earth and continue till 60-70km, which is way above the standard flying zone of planes.
Each burning pellet would be visible up to 100km in all directions and would completely disintegrate before coming anywhere near the surface.
The ultimate goal of the Japanese company, which has been working on this technology since 2015, is to create and maintain the system to light up night skies on demand for entertainment purposes, particularly during major events or other occasions.