Sky Canvas man-made meteor shower rains glowing pellets from space

Everyone loves fireworks, it's beautiful to see explosions of light and sound in the air for a festive occasion. A company called Star-ALE wants to take fireworks to the next level. Rather than shooting fireworks into the sky from ground based launching systems, the company wants to rain a light display into the sky from space in an idea called Sky Canvas.

Essentially Sky Canvas is a man-made meteor shower created by shooting little pellets from a series of microsatellites orbiting the Earth. Each of those satellites would carry 500-1000 special pellets that are able to glow intensely in different colors as they enter the Earth's atmosphere. The combustible pellets would be made from different elements or metals that would glow in different colors.

The company has already conducted tests on the pellets on the ground to ensure that the idea works by putting the pellets in vacuum champers and blasting them with supersonic hot gasses. This simulates the friction the pellets would encounter as they enter the Earth's atmosphere. The pellets would ignite 35 to 50 miles above the surface of the Earth and would be viewable from the ground in an area 120 miles across.

The Sky Canvas light show would be incredibly expensive to pull off. Not only is there the cost to build and launch the satellites but each of the pellets cost over $8,000 to make. The company wants to show off its Sky Canvas show over the city of Tokyo for the 2020 Olympic opening ceremony. It's unclear if this will happen at this point, but boy would it be something to see. As densely populated as Tokyo is and with a viewable area of at least 120 miles, there would be a massive audience to watch the light show.

SOURCE: Gizmodo