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
Dec 17
A ski resort opened in western Japan's Hyogo Prefecture on Saturday, with its operator and the local government saying it is the country's first new facility to be opened to skiers and snowboarders in 14 years. (Japan Today)
Dec 17
A 27-year-old man was arrested Saturday on suspicion of kidnapping a 14-year-old girl in Fukui Prefecture and taking her to his home in Aichi Prefecture, police said. (Japan Today)
Dec 17
The operator of Japan’s only “baby hatch” said Saturday that the nation should allow women to give birth anonymously at hospitals in cases of unwanted pregnancy, while ensuring the children’s right to learn their mother’s identity after they grow up. (Japan Times)
Dec 16
A funeral home set to open soon in Japan plans to provide the country's first-ever drive-through service. (NHK)
Dec 16
Japan's Coast Guard has released video footage of North Korean boats illegally fishing in Japan's exclusive economic zone. (NHK)
Dec 16
The Japanese government is planning to revise steps that local governments should take to protect residents in case of armed attack. The move is in response to North Korea's continued development of ballistic missiles. (NHK)
Dec 16
At the opening of his trial on Friday, an 18-year-old boy admitted to stabbing a woman to death before dumping her body in Ryugasaki City last year, reports Jiji Press (tokyoreporter.com)
Dec 16
Police said Friday that two glass windows and a glass door on train cars on the JR Musashino Line were shattered by stones thrown through them on Wednesday and Thursday nights. (Japan Today)
Dec 16
The latest Tankan survey by the Bank of Japan shows the country's labor shortage is the worst that it has been in over a quarter of a century. (NHK)
Dec 16
The Japanese government has decided to add more entities to its sanctions list for North Korea, which is continuing its nuclear and missile development. (NHK)