Blue Moon

I don't know if we should laugh or cry over China's Chang’e-4 lunar probe, the space programme named after the moon goddess in Chinese mythology. In the space race with other superpowers, the United States and Russia, China reportedly plans to launch its own artificial moon by 2020 to replace streetlamps and lower electricity costs in urban areas. Illumination satellites which reflect light from the sun will be developed by Chengdu, a city in southwestern Sichuan province. The satellites which will shine together with the real moon but which will be eight times brighter will save an estimated $170 million a year in electricity costs for the city. The moon has long been known to affect the earth; its pull slows the Earth's rotation; thereby increases the length of the day by 2.3 milliseconds per century and its gravitational force changes the tides of oceans and lakes. Artificial moon may not bring such drastic effects perhaps but the story of Chang'e 's 嫦娥 husband, Hou Yi  后羿, otherwise known as Shen Yi or simply as Yi 羿, should be food for thought. In Chinese lore, once when the Earth had 10 suns, the fields became scorched and the world turned into wasteland. Houyi shot down 9 of the 10 Suns and left the last one to serve the earth. Now, do we really need another moon? Would the extra moon bring about other sad, if not as drastic consequences?