How man-made shooting stars are created
Shooting stars mechanisms
Natural shooting stars emit light due to the aerodynamic heating of small dust particles when they travel through Earth's atmosphere at very high speed. At ALE, we recreate this phenomenon by accurately releasing particles that become shooting stars from our satellites when they enter Earth's atmosphere.
*Aerodynamic heating: This is the process of converting kinetic energy into heat. The phenomenon only occurs when an object travels through the atmosphere at high speed.
Difference between natural shooting stars (meteors) and man-made shooting stars
Compared to natural meteors, the particles, which ALE releases to create shooting stars, are rather larger and enter Earth's atmosphere at slower speed. This enables ALE's shooting stars to emit light longer compared to natural meteors.
Technological solutions to ensure mission safety and mitigate environmental impact
ALE's operation system and procedures ensure the shooting stars trajectory crosses Earth's atmosphere. Our meteor particles are released after confirming that there are no other spacecraft on the designated path, which prevents space debris generation.
When entering Earth's atmosphere from an altitude of about 80km, the particles will completely decelerate and disappear due to air resistance and aerodynamic heating. Therefore, they will not fall on the ground.
The shooting star particles are 1cm spheres and their non-toxic materials are inspired from the same materials that fall on Earth from space every day.