China wants to launch a fake moon in 2020 that is definitely not a Death Star
The country’s government has announced plans to send a fake moon–or even a few fake moons–into the sky over Chengdu, in the southwestern Sichuan province. They hope to launch the artificial moon in 2020 so its fake light can brighten the shadows.
They are not planning to replace the moon. Instead, the satellites will be designed to complement the light of the real moon, although it’s hard to imagine they won’t outshine the real thing, as their light is expected to be eight times brighter.
The ‘moon’ will only illuminate a 50-square-kilometer area, as it’s much closer to Earth than our real moon. It will sit about 500km (310 miles) away, compared to the moon’s 380,000km (236,000 miles). If the project proves successful, China plans to launch three more moons around the country by 2022.