- According to a report, Tokyo-based ALE is set to launch the satellite in 2025 and it hopes to give people all over the world “the opportunity to view the world’s first live human-made meteor shower.”
- The project is called Sky Canvas and it is designed to collect atmospheric data in the mesosphere, which is the third layer of the atmosphere.
- The Mesosphere is too low to be observed by satellites and too high for weather balloons or aircraft.
- The mesosphere lies between the thermosphere and the stratosphere.
- ALE hopes to reproduce the effect of natural meteor showers by using metal “shooting star” particles that are around 1 centimetre in size.
- A natural meteor shower happens when our planet passes through the trail of debris left by a comet or an asteroid.
- Meteors are chunks of rocks and ice that are ejected from comets as they orbit the Sun.
- Around 30 meteor showers that are visible to observers on Earth occur every year and some of them have been observed for centuries.
- For example, the Perseids meteor shower, which usually happens every year in August, was first observed about 2,000 years ago and was recorded in Chinese annals.