- The purpose of this project is to give scientific support to the theory that a small transformation of lunar soil on a limited surface area of the moon will increase its albedo rate, reflecting a small amount of total energy that would not affect environmental or biological processes on Earth. The expected outcome would be to gain up to 4 extra nights of what our eyes would perceive to be a full moon, reducing energy needed for street lighting as well as the associated CO₂ emissions.
- THE GLOBAL ENERGY CRISIS
- Countless attempts have been made across the globe to address the energy crisis, and yet billions are still spent every year on electricity costs and global warming from CO₂ emissions is still a major threat to the environment.
Entire nations are spending up to 40% of their energy bills on electricity for street lights. In the UK there are 7.5 million street lights costing 840 million USD annually and Europe as a whole spends 13 billion USD on street lights per year.
In terms of CO₂ emissions, 1 street light produces 120kg of CO₂ per year. There are 30 million street lights in the US, producing 3.6 million tons of CO₂ emissions annually. Additionally, Europe releases over 40 million tons of CO₂ from powering street lights every year or about the equivalent to powering 20 million cars.
- PROJECT BACKERS
- INVESTMENT FUNDS
- DAYS TO GO
- THE SOLUTION
The FOREO Institute has found an extremely smart and feasible solution that can deliver enormous results to address the global energy crisis. Nobody has ever considered that a small transformation of the moon face is possible by increasing the reflectivity of sunlight (albedo rate). This can bring the equivalent of 4 extra nights of having a full moon. Combined with smart street lighting (sensors are used to dim or completely power off lights when not needed) implementation, this will dramatically cut the world’s energy consumption.
- ADVANTAGES OF THE SOLUTION
Maximum Results from a Minor Change
- Human eyes are exceptionally sophisticated and adding a little more light during the night will be perceived as a significant increase in visibility, and will add to feelings of comfort and safety. Sunlight is almost 400,000 times more powerful than light reflecting from a full moon, so this small increase in moonlight would not affect global warming, natural biological processes, vegetation or the environment.
- Simple and Feasible
- As the same side of the moon always faces the Earth, it would only be necessary to treat just 0.1% of the total surface area to produce over 80% of the desired effect. In other words, only a small amount of terrain (approximately the size of Switzerland) needs to be transformed for the Earth to receive extraordinary benefits.
- The execution of brightening the moon will be a one-time investment that will produce long-term results. Unlike on Earth, there is no erosion by wind or water on the moon because it has no atmosphere. Today, there is no volcanic activity on the moon to change the lunar surface features. However, the moon is exposed to bombardment by meteorites, solar wind, and a stream of charged particles which change the surface, but the process is very, very slow. In fact, the first footprint from the Apollo 11 astronaut still stands intact from 45 years ago.
- Truly Global Solution
- This project delivers results on a genuinely worldwide scale. The solution does not discriminate against location or wealth – every person in every country will experience the benefits, whether it comes from saving electricity expenses or experiencing the benefits of reducing CO₂ emissions.
- Minimal Impact on Environment
- Choosing the moon to facilitate our solution allows us to potentially cause minimal impact to the natural order of the Earth in a way that is non-disruptive to our ecosystems. Other solutions such as solar panels and wind turbines which, in order to meet demand, would need to cover an extensive amount of the Earth’s surface and would majorly disturb natural habitats. Furthermore, execution of this project would not increase CO₂ emissions.
- Gradual Changes for Easy Adaption
- Due to the estimated duration of treating the surface of the moon over the course of 30 years, the change and benefits received will be very gradual, feeling like a natural process. This will allow nature and humans to adapt and self-regulate to the 4 extra nights of there being the equivalent of a full moon being present.
- Dramatic Energy & Economic Savings
- By improving the reflective properties of the moon, the world can experience up to 4 extra nights that are brighter, which will mean far less electricity for lighting will be used at night for that duration. Combined with LED lights and smart street lighting systems, we estimate total savings of up to the incredible 85% to 90% of today’s lighting costs during the 6 out of 29 days of the lunar phase cycle. However, exact estimates are impossible to make as results are dependent on the efficiencies of other technologies, as well as cloudy skies and other weather conditions.
- Significant Decrease in Greenhouse Gases
- The reduction in electricity usage can save the world significant costs and reduce substantial amounts of CO₂ emissions. The US is responsible for 27% of total global emissions of CO₂, with street lighting in the US releasing 3.6 million tons of CO₂ emission each year. Less energy consumption from street lighting could mean a dramatic reduction in CO₂ emissions, one of the main sources of global warming.
- Positive Improvements in Mental Health
- Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland, which is influenced by the hypothalamus, which receives information from the retinas about daily patterns of light and darkness. It is principally blue light of 460 to 480 nm that suppresses melatonin production, proportional to the light intensity and length of exposure. An increase in moonlight means a wide range of spectra and natural colors during the additional equivalent full moon nights, which is in fact better for melatonin production than exposure to artificial light.
- Increased Street and Neighborhood Safety
- Additional brighter nights mean fewer traffic accidents, less costs incurred because of those accidents and fewer fatalities on those nights. In fact, the risk of fatal accidents is three times higher at night than during the day – transportation at night is far more dangerous due to the impaired visibility darkness causes. Only a quarter of all travel by car drivers is undertaken between the hours of 7pm and 8am, but it is in this period that 40 percent of fatal and serious injuries are sustained by drivers. By making nights brighter, the conditions for nighttime driving can be improved to decrease the number of fatal accidents.
- POSSIBLE CHALLENGES
- During our initial research some questions were raised. These are the issues that require further analysis.
- Technological Dependencies
- To be able to fully utilize the benefits of this project, the implementation of smart street lighting technology, sensors that dim or completely power off their lights when not needed, is required. Currently there are several projects running, soon to start trials. We are confident that during the next 30 years needed for the completion of this project, smart street lighting will be fully implemented worldwide.
- It is reasonable that people will be concerned about the health consequences of being subjected to extra nights of full moon light. This extra light will be visible to our eyes, but the amount of extra energy is so little that it should not affect our biological processes. However, it may affect our behavioral habits and patterns. This should not be an issue because the process is so gradual that people will have a period of over 30 years to adjust. Additional scientific studies are required.
- There is a concern that the heat generated by from stronger moonlight may increase the Earth’s temperatures, thereby negatively impacting global warming. However, because moonlight is 400,000 times less potent than sunlight, the effect will be negligible. This amount is so small that there should be no increase on the Earth’s temperature, but research is ongoing.
- Light Pollution
- An increase of illumination at night that causes a reduced visibility of stars and other nighttime objects has been identified as natural light pollution. Though light pollution may occur during the 6-dayequivalent full moon phase, during the other phases of the moon (23 days), stars and all other bodies in the sky will be visible on clear nights.
- The execution of the final project might concern various political bodies and may bring up issues regarding national ownership of the moon and the willingness of every country towards the implementation of the project. The FOREO Institute will provide the scientific research and documentation to offer this project as a viable option, and has no plans to engage in the politics around the execution of the project itself.
- We are aware of all the challenges this project may face; additional studies are required. Part of the funds raised for the next phase will be used to prepare the feasibility study that looks into all of the above risks and potential consequences.
- OPTIONS FOR EXECUTING THE SOLUTION
- According to our preliminary studies, by carefully planning the timing and selecting the area of the moon’s surface to treat, these being the darker areas (Marias) close to the center of the visible face, this will increase the albedo rate up to the level of the lighter areas of the moon (Lunar Highlands). We expect to build a highly efficient solution that limits the treatment area to just 0.1% of the moon’s total surface, which will deliver up to 80% of desired results.
In order to transform the surface of the moon, we have taken on board many considerations, working with the following requirements:
- 1) Use existing materials and resources available on the moon, to develop the transformation process
- 2) Process should be energy efficient, utilizing renewable solar energy
The FOREO Institute is developing two promising ways of performing a transformation that need to be further investigated. Various feasibility tests will be carried out to determine which solution is most cost effective and easy to implement. In order to deliver and carry out the final process that will brighten the surface of the moon,would require the sending of number of specially modified lunar rovers to the moon, the design, launch and operation of which is not included in the scope of this project.
Due to early stages of the project, patent rights and issues the FOREO Institute is unable to disclose details on the transformation process, however we are currently in evaluation phase, and research and investigation to improve is ongoing daily.
- PROJECT STATUS
- After initial research, the project is now funded to commence with further research and the feasibility testing phase.The FOREO Institute will continue to investigate proof of the benefits of this project, and evaluate ways to reduce possible risks. A feasibility study will be carried out to establish the exact method of the process that will transform the moon’s surface.
All funding raised to date will be utilized for the feasibility studies and testing of the final method. Further funding for the production and launch will be required by Government bodies from nations such as the US, China and the countries of the EU.
The FOREO Institute would like to thank all of the supporters who have joined us so far. Your contribution has allowed us to move forward with this ambitious project and to develop a solution to the Global Energy Crisis.