Sky Canvas Project

Sky Canvas Project

News Analysis   /   Sky Canvas Project

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Published on: April 03, 2023

Source: The Indian Express

Why in News?

Recently, a Japanese company, ALE, plans to launch satellites that will trigger an artificial meteor shower, called Sky Canvas in 2025.

What is the Sky Canvas Project?

  • The Sky Canvas project aims to give people all over the world “the opportunity to view the world’s first live human-made meteor shower.”
  • ALE plans to use a pressure-driven system of gas tanks that will shoot pellets at a speed of 8 kilometers per second to trigger the artificial meteor shower.
  • The metal “shooting star” particles will be taken to a low-Earth orbit by small satellites.
  • Once the orbit stabilises, the particles will be released, and they will travel around part of the planet before entering the atmosphere at an altitude of 60 to 80 kilometres.
  • The company also hopes to collect atmospheric data in the mesosphere (the third layer of the atmosphere) to further scientific understanding of climate change.
  • The Mesosphere is too low to be observed by satellites and too high for weather balloons or aircraft.

How Does a Natural Meteor Shower Occurs?

  1. A natural meteor shower occurs when the Earth passes through a stream of debris left behind by a comet or asteroid.
  2. As the Earth travels in its orbit around the Sun, it encounters these streams of debris, which are composed of tiny particles of dust and rock.
  3. As the Earth passes through this debris, the particles enter the Earth's atmosphere at high speeds, typically around 40 kilometres per second.
  4. The friction between the particles and the atmosphere causes them to heat up and vaporise, creating the streaks of light that we see as meteors or "shooting stars."
  5. The name of the meteor shower is typically derived from the constellation from which the meteors appear to radiate.
  6. For example, the Perseid meteor shower appears to originate from the constellation Perseus.
  7. Around 30 meteor showers that are visible to observers on Earth occur every year and some of them have been observed for centuries.
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