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On Demand Meteor Showers Are About to Be a Thing

On Demand Meteor Showers Are About to Be a Thing

Very little is more frustrating than planning on watching a meteor shower and finding that the night is too overcast, or accidentally falling asleep before the sky’s big show starts. But if one Japanese start-up has its way, you’ll never miss a meteor shower again. Even better, you’ll be able to catch one whenever the mood strikes you. Lena Okajima, an astronomer and founder of the company ALE, is working tirelessly to allow people to watch an epic shooting star light show whenever they want. Even cooler, if all goes as planned, ALE will be ready to dazzle audiences with a planned meteor shower during the opening ceremonies for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

So how does it work? Well, the formula is being kept intentionally enigmatic, but essentially a satellite will orbit the earth carrying a large number of ambiguously named “source particles”. While the actual makeup of the source particles is top secret, they would be the catalyst for the shooting stars that could, in theory, generate anything from a single shooting star to an entire meteor shower. Not only would the sky show appear at a specified time and location, but in theory you’d be able to pick the color of the shooting stars. How crazy is that?

Unsurprisingly, you’ll have to do some serious saving to afford your own personal shooting star. How much to be exact? Looks like you’ll have to shell out one million Yen–about $9,000–per star. So you’d better be super positive you’re scheduling your shooting star on a clear night, or that will be the most frustrating cloudy evening ever.

While your own meteor shower might be a bit of an expensive gesture, as the technology develops it stands to reason it may get a bit cheaper for you and I to schedule our own falling star or meteor shower. Until then, we’ll just have to watch and see how ALE continues to develop this technology, and hope we get to see something truly amazing at the 2020 Olympics.

If you had the possibility to schedule your own falling star, would you? Where would you like to have your own, personal meteor shower? Tell me about it in the comments!

Image credit: Perry McKenna/Flickr.com

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