A bright idea? Sweden cosmetic brand has big plans to lighten the moon

By Michelle Yeomans contact

- Last updated on GMT

A bright idea? Sweden cosmetic brand has big plans to lighten the moon
Sweden based cosmetics company Foreo has big aspirations to brighten the surface of the moon - not with concealer, but with a goal to reflect slightly more sunlight onto Earth, making the night sky brighter. 

According to the company, the idea is to use materials already on the moon to lighten its surface, as a brighter night sky would mean less need for streetlights, which could potentially translate to less electricity usage and thus fewer globe-warming carbon emissions.

Foreo's scientific institute, accustomed to developing beauty devices, has yet to reveal how the idea came about with reps stating just that it is an 'innovation company' that engages with experts from diverse fields. 

April Fools Day is long gone, yet the company with a motto of 'beauty beyond cosmetics', reports this project to have 9544 backers and €38,355,775 in investment funds and says its first moon mission is slated for 2020, with new rovers deploying every three years.

"We want to raise public awareness about the project and generate consciousness about the global energy crisis​," says CEO Paul Peros.

A bright idea

According to Foreo, only about 0.1% of the moon's surface would need to be transformed to reach 80% of the 'desired brightening effect'.

The desired effect is not defined, but a digitally altered nighttime scene of a city shows an effect similar to the early-morning light of the sun and would happen gradually over 30 years, "allowing humans and animals time to adjust".

Compared to the brightness of the sun, the moon's effect on climate change is reported to be very small and other projects of this nature are focused on blocking or reflecting the sun's rays to cool the climate and offset the effects of greenhouse-gas emissions.

A feasible goal?

Keeping a brightened moon bright might be a struggle, according to space experts.  Some geo-engineering schemes call for painting rooftops or other Earth surfaces white to increase albedo and cool the planet.

Alan Robock, a climatologist at Rutgers University in New Brunswick reported to Live Science that the problem is that these painted surfaces don't tend to stay bright if they're not maintained.

And the moon, as any Apollo astronaut can attest, is a dusty, dusty place.

"If, somehow, they could paint part of the moon whiter, it would get dirty over time​," he told the science journal.

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