Quadrantid meteor shower
Photo of the Quadrantid meteor showerReuters

Here is some good news for stargazers who wait for meteor showers to catch a glimpse of shooting stars.

In a world's first, a Japanese company will create artificial shooting stars on demand. The start-up, Ale, is gearing up for the first artificial meteor shower that will be held over the Setouchi (Seto Inland Sea) area of Hiroshima Prefecture in 2019.

ALE founder and CEO Lena Okajima, who has a PhD in astronomy, announced the Shooting Star Challenge, where they will create artificial shooting stars.

Shooting stars are nothing but leftover debris from a particular comet that flies into Earth's atmosphere and the company is planning to recreate the same phenomenon by releasing special "pellets."

The company claims that the pellets will burn up in a designated section of sky and display the shooting stars anytime and in any colour. According to the company, each shooting star will be visible for at least 62 miles (100 km).

In 2015, the details of the project were first revealed and now, Okajima aims for the first trial run in 2019.

Meteor in China
Meteor as bright as full moon streaked across the sky in ChinaYoutube/screenshot

"I'm thinking of streams of meteors that are rare in nature," Okajima told AFP in an interview in 2015. "It is artificial but I want to make really beautiful ones that can impress viewers," she added.

By the end of 2018, the company is planning to place a satellite holding around 300 and 400-meteor pellet into orbit. The plan is to place this satellite about 310 miles above Australia that will release those pellets towards Japan, making it look like shooting stars or meteor shower.

Setouchi (Seto Inland Sea) in Hiroshima was selected as the first venue for the artificial shooting stars because of its popularity and clear skies, according to Japan Today.

Interestingly, the company is getting support from Tohoku University and Tokyo Metropolitan University and financing from FamilyMart and JAL for the mega project.

"These days people are usually looking down at their smartphones. I want to make people look upwards again," Japan Today quoted Okajima as saying.

But this artificial shooting stars will not come cheap. The cost of one shooting star will come up to around one million yen ($8,000, £5,000 and over Rs 500,000), according to reports.