Rainbow Meteors Could Color the Sky

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When thinking about shooting stars, “colorful” or “rainbow” are generally not words that come to mind. That all may change soon, though, thanks to a Japanese startup company. They plan to make artificial meteors which, after being sent into outer space, will burn in the Earth’s atmosphere and release different colors. This is done by crafting man-made meteors out of different metals which burn all sorts of colors. Copper, for example, would make a green flame, while potassium and rubidium would be different shades of purple.

Shooting stars are created when small rocks—usually less than an inch in length—are pulled into the atmosphere and burned up. The company aims to replicate this process by firing a satellite carrying between 500 and 1,000 particles into orbit. Once there, scientists will be able to tell it to release the pieces of metal, which will then travel approximately one-third of the distance around Earth before burning brightly in the sky. The satellite will then slowly move closer and closer towards the atmosphere until it eventually becomes a shooting star itself.

The company currently has a launch scheduled for mid-2017 and plans to discharge the particles from it in 2018. A satellite will go up every year after that. The startup hopes that the project will allow researchers to learn more about meteors while also providing a stunning display. For this reason, big events could possibly sponsor the colorful shooting stars in the future. It was rumored that the company would create a special show for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and while the startup has admitted it has not made an official proposal to the committee yet, a representative has stated he would love to make a rainbow meteor shower for the games.

Konica Minolta Sensing offers a variety of light & display products that are capable of measuring the color of light, including meteor showers. The CS-150 and CS-160 Chroma Meters are accurate, precise, and perfect for measuring colors whether in the sky or in the display in front of you.

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