Night Sky Gaze

Artificial Meteor Showers are About to Be a Real Thing

Did you ever dream that an artificial meteor shower could be a thing? Because this could be a very real possibility very soon.

People in Hiroshima could be treated to a planned celestial light show in 2020, thanks to a Japanese company that is aiming to create the world’s first ever artificial meteor shower.

ALE Has Been Developing Man-Made Celestial Light Shows

ALE, which stands for Astro Live Experiences, is a Tokyo-based company that has spent the last several years developing technology that will (hopefully) mimic shooting stars in the night sky, achieved by releasing tiny balls from satellites.

These centimeter-sized balls enter the Earth’s atmosphere, emitting a bright glow in a variety of colors as they heat up and disintegrate. After the simulated meteor shower, the balls should burn up entirely so that they do not pose a risk to people on the ground.

ALE claims to be the first in the “space entertainment” sector. So far, they have been developing the artificial meteor shower for about seven years now. The satellite that will produce this celestial light show was launched into space earlier this year.

ALE was Conceived by a Student Watching a Meteor Shower

The startup company, ALE, was conceived by Japanese entrepreneur Lena Okajima. She came up with the idea while watching a meteor shower during her time as an undergrad student in Astronomy at the University of Tokyo. She then went on to earn her Ph.D. before starting work on this project.

First Artificial Meteor Shower Slated for 2020

There isn’t an exact date yet. But, according to ALE, the first artificial meteor shower is set to occur in 2020 over Hiroshima, and it will be observable within a 124-mile radius. While it is meant to mimic real ones, ALE claims that its artificial version will be even better than real ones because it should last longer, and will be bright enough that even people living in areas with lots of light pollution should be able to see it.

They will use this first artificial meteor shower to gather data and improve technology for future launches. If everything goes as planned, we could start seeing artificial meteor showers as a regular form of entertainment in the future.

Kat Sweet