Tokyo-based startup is working on a 2020 meteor shower

Christopher Davidson
July 24, 2018

ALE Co., is reportedly in the final stages of developing two satellites. We imagine that the release of several of these glowing balls will recreate that effect, minus any worries about potential debris.

The company points out that while it's an artificial meteor shower, they took inspiration from how shooting stars happen in real life. ALE, short for Astro Live Experiences, is developing artificial shooting stars and will be ready to showcase its first meteor shower spectacle over Hiroshima in early 2020.

Tinkering with the ingredients in the balls should mean that it is possible to change the colors they glow, offering the possibility of a multi-colored flotilla of shooting stars. Each star is expected to last at least a few seconds before burning up, making the synthetic shower a bit longer lasting than most meteor showers. Which would contain some tiny balls? These balls will emit a bright glow as they reach the planet's atmosphere, providing a show for those on land.

The company are keeping tight-lipped on what the spheres are actually made from, but have stated that they can colour coordinate the showers on request. And it's said to be sent in the area by March 2019.

The second will be launched in mid-2019 on a private-sector rocket.

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The satellites will stay in space for around 2 years, with each satellite housing 400 of these balls that according to the company, will be good for about 20-30 events.

Although ALE is billed as a "space-related entertainment business" that calls the world its canvas and can shower some stars anywhere you like (at a hefty price, we reckon), the company hopes to contribute to scientific research, too.

Its website reads: "By studying the path of artificial shooting stars where the angle of incidence, velocity and materials are known, we hope to be able to better understand the mechanics of naturally occurring shooting stars and meteorites".

Apart from this, the company has plans for the satellite that is in space but are of no use anymore.

"The upper atmosphere where our shooting star particles will burn has few means of observation now and remains one of the least understood portions of the atmosphere". The satellite would start orbiting Earth by February 2020.

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