NASA wants to go moonAstrophysicists also want their instruments to be carried with them.
As scientists are figuring out what is most meaningful under the Moon’s scientific and logistical constraints, the details are still changing. But they believe that the benefits provided by NASA’s current priority mission on the moon will support their goals. The agency’s priorities are reflected in Artemis ProjectThe aim is to bring humanity to the moon in a sustainable and long-term manner in 2024, to provide a future for science and exploration.
Planetary astronomer Heidi Hammel of the Association of Astronomical Research Universities said at a virtual seminar on the lunar surface: “Strong launch capabilities, astronauts, service capabilities, space assembly-all of which we are deeply concerned about Things.”
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Some telescopes are already operating on the moon. NASA Apollo 16 The 1972 mission carried an ultraviolet telescope that astronaut John Young used to image the nebula, stars, and Earth’s atmosphere. China’s -3 E-3 missionLanded on the moon in 2013, it is also equipped with an ultraviolet telescope.
Hamel said, but the moon is usually a new field of telescopes, and the details of how astrophysicists use the Alemimis plan have yet to be determined. An important difference may be between telescopes on Moon and telescope in moon. That’s because even ground dust is a problem for sophisticated astronomical equipment-lunar dust is The whole situation gets worse Not its counterpart on earth
Having said that, Hamel said, it is not impossible to imagine the prosperity of telescopes on the surface of the moon. She pointed to a volcanic mountain in the center of Mauna Kea, Hawaii. Today, it takes Twelve astronomical facilities perched on top of the mountainThe atmosphere there is still quiet, and the observation conditions are also very favorable. But in the 1960s, it was the main training site for astronauts in the Apollo era for moonwalking and geology training.
“Maunakia is [the] Hamel said: “The lunar exploration program. If we know nothing about the past 50 years… We have learned how to build a telescope in this environment.” She said that these lessons may apply to anyone who can do this Kind of thing. It needs to be placed on the surface of the moon.
In addition, astronomers have learned a lot about launching telescopes into space since the first lunar telescope. Both ground-based and space-based telescopes have been improved exponentially. think about it Hubble Space TelescopeAs the future moon-orbiting telescope can do, it has always relied on astronauts’ visits to update its equipment as it ages.
Although the instruments required for launching to the moon are smaller than those available to astronomers on the surface of the earth, the frequent entry to the moon is a hallmark of the Alemimis project, which shows that scientists can send telescopes larger than them. date.
Therefore, assuming that scientists can send more quality, make the instruments fresher through astronaut maintenance, and solve the dust challenge, what kind of instruments can they send?
Astronomers have many ideas on how to use the lunar radio telescope, because such instruments face major restrictions on the earth. The radio signals continuously generated by our electronic equipment on the ground and in orbit are continuously disturbed, which has caused serious damage to radio observations from the earth, The other side of the moon It is the only place in the solar system that is not affected by these signals.
This interference means that scientists have spent decades imagining the potential of remote radio stations. For example, this instrument can observe the earliest time in the universe, and can also listen to signals generated by a hypothetical alien technological civilization.
But for other wavelengths, the possibility of the moon is less obvious, especially the precedent that only a few ultraviolet instruments can work, Hamel said. “Send the telescope to the moon, one of the reasons we go back and forth [is that] In the past 50 years, so far, the most advanced technology on the ground, earth and space has developed to unimaginable places. [ultraviolet] Hammel said, “It’s hard to imagine what we need to build there.”
She pointed out that a compelling opportunity is to look back at the earth from the moon as a practice to study the world outside our solar system. Exoplanet It is a compelling scientific goal, but at such a long distance, scientists have worked hard to grasp the details of these worlds and explain what they may look like up close.
Hamel said: “This is not a small telescope, because exoplanets, we can’t really solve them anyway.” “Can be studied in multiple stages and multiple wavelengths in a long period of time and a short period of time The Earth will provide us with really useful information about understanding Earth-like exoplanets.”
Hamel says UV observation Overall, this is tempting because such wavelengths cannot be studied from the surface of the earth. Protecting the atmosphere from ultraviolet radiation blowing up the same atmosphere on Earth also prevents ground-based telescopes from studying astronomical ultraviolet radiation. But no atmosphere can interfere with the moon.
Although astrophysicists are still patching up the details of the lunar observatory’s appearance, the community has already begun accepting the Artemis project. The first two robot science cargo loads Commercial companies will ship to the surface of the moon As part of the plan, the plan will be launched next year, which includes two astrophysics projects, including radio astronomy experiments.
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