World's first artificial shooting stars gearing up for debut over Hiroshima
rocketnews24.com -- Nov 19
Despite their magical reputation, shooting stars are just pieces of space debris from millimeters to a few centimeters thick that fly into Earth’s atmosphere and brightly burn up into nothing.

ALE simply recreates that phenomenon by firing their own specially made pellets through the atmosphere in such a way that they burn up in a designated section of sky.

However, since ALE's pellets are artificial they can also be designed to burn brighter and longer than natural meteors in a color of the customer's choosing, lasting for about five to ten seconds each, and being visible within a 100 kilometer (62 mile) radius.

In the Shooting Star Challenge, a satellite will be placed in orbit about 500 kilometers (310 miles) above Australia. From there it will release pellets toward Japan which will take about 15 minutes to fall to a height of 60 kilometers (37 miles) above Setouchi and begin to burn. This part of Hiroshima was chosen as the test site for its popularity, nice scenery, and high rate of clear skies.

A single 60-centimeter (23-inch) satellite is expected to hold from 300 to 400 meteor pellets which is hoped to last until the end of the craft's one year life in orbit. In addition to providing a pyrotechnic display like no other, the project will also gather valuable data on physics in the upper atmosphere.

News source: rocketnews24.com
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