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Re: Moon-based radiotelescope planned (Forwarded)

Subject: Re: Moon-based radiotelescope planned Forwarded
From: Jonathan Silverlight
Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2006 19:28:22 +0000
Newsgroups: sci.astro
In message <HgtRf.1288$fy1.134081@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Andrew Yee <ayee@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> writes
EADS SPACE Transportation
Bremen, Germany

Contacts for the press:

ASTRON and LOFAR:
Dr. Eugène de Geus, +31 (0)521 595119

EADS SPACE Transportation:
Kirsten Leung, +49-(0) 421 539 53 26

March 9, 2006

Moon-based radiotelescope planned

EADS SPACE Transportation and Astron sign a morandum of understanding

Leiden -- EADS SPACE Transportation and the Netherlands Foundation for Astronomy ASTRON/LOFAR signed a memorandum of understanding on Thursday in Leiden, Netherlands. The companies want to test the feasibility of a long wave radio telescope on the moon. A Dutch and German preliminary study should be the first phase. The program is then likely to be expanded in a second phase to include other European participants through ESA. EADS SPACE and ASTRON are therefore contributing to a European moon program.

The Moon offers scientists a unique platform to detect the earliest period of our universe. Not having an ionosphere, the Moon is ideal for radio astronomy of the universe on frequencies below 10 megahertz. In addition, the far side of the Moon allows permanent protection against terrestrial radiation interference and periodic protection against solar radiation.

Isn't that actually a bad thing? Apart from the need to provide power during a 14-earth-day night you have thermal cycling twice every day. You also need communications, though I suppose that's covered by the rest of the LIFE programme. What's the advantage over building it in space, as has already been done for Radio Astronomy Explorers and described on a much bigger scale by Arthur Clarke in "Imperial Earth"?

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