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Gigantic Lunar Telescope

Gigantic Lunar Telescope Could Possibly Divulge the Very First Stars

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A team of astronomers have revived the idea that NASA sidelined a while ago, in which a huge observatory would be possibly on the Moon. Dubbed the “Ultimately Large Telescope,” the facility would easily outperform every other telescope in its comparison and spot other objects.

It has been observed that a large liquid-mirror telescope kept on the lunar surface can perform a lot better than the task—searching for stars more precisely than any other telescopes. The very powerful, upcoming James Webb Space Telescope, which is scheduled on October 31st 2020, may not possibly see any stars which arise early.

Experts on the mirror telescope

From the University of Texas at Austin, the astronomers have detailed their argument in a paper set which might be published in the near future in the Astrophysical Journal issue. A team of astronomers from the University of Arizona proposed the lunar liquid-mirror telescope that was dated back in 2008. NASA acknowledged this but soon after abandoned the idea due to the dearth of relevant science having to do with Population III stars (the stars that appear in the universe). It is expected that a telescope on the moon will be able to peer into the space without any hindrance caused by the atmospheric effects and light pollution.

Volker Bromm, a co-author of the paper from the University of Texas McDonald Observatory said in a statement, “Throughout the history of astronomy, telescopes have become more powerful, allowing us to probe sources from successively earlier cosmic times—ever closer to the Big Bang. The upcoming James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will reach the time when galaxies first formed.”

Despite JWST being powerful, it is not capable to potting smaller, dimmer objects that existed prior to the formation of galaxies, such as the Pop III stars. But with the help of the mirror telescope and the lunar observatory spotting these stars becomes much easier.

The working of the lunar observatory

The stationary mirror would either be situated at the Moon’s North or South Pole and it would measure 328 feet (100 meters) across. The telescope would be autonomous only to be supplied by a solar power station located nearby. This observatory would then transfer the data to a satellite placed in lunar orbit.

Also, the telescope’s mirror would be made from liquid as against the glass. It would have to spin continuously in order to maintain the liquid surface in a parabolic shape. The top layer of the mirror would be comprised of a metallic liquid to provide the needed reflectivity. For the prevention of the excess heat from ruining, the telescope would be built inside an impact crater and placed within a perpetual shadow.



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