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A Lunar Observatory ?

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#1 CounterWeight

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:52 AM

Of all the things in my space books from the 50's and 60's that we could have and don't is an observatory on the moon?

I've no idea where to post this thread but thought perhaps here a good fit?

Benefits could be many, and difficulties could be many. Would it be a reasonable thing to propose? I think it is something that promotes at least one trip there with humans, but perhaps it could be accomplished with a lander as was used for the Apollo?

Though prohibitively expensive maybe some cost could be offset by allowing amatures acces to image from there.

I'm just curious if the thought had crossed anyone else's mind, and your thoughts on the challenges and benefits.

I lack resources to do any sort of cost benefit or capacity analysis compared to say something orbital, but it sparked again when I was looking through some of my old books. I think of what we spend on earthbound and adaptive optics to compensate for our atm... things have certainly come a long way.

#2 Pess

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:13 AM

I think a radio dish like Arecibo on the darkside would be awesome.

I don't think we will have the technology, nor the resolve to develop it, anytime soon though.

Pesse (We had a bar on the moon awhile back but it closed. Most patrons complained it lacked atmosphere...) Mist

#3 simpleisbetter

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:16 AM

I used to wonder about that until Hubble was put in orbit. To me Hubble accomplishes the same mission/need and much more feasible to do.

#4 CounterWeight

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:34 AM

Dark side? might be very difficult? ;)

#5 Pess

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:59 AM

I used to wonder about that until Hubble was put in orbit. To me Hubble accomplishes the same mission/need and much more feasible to do.


Pesse (yes, radio astronomy would be the reason to use the moon. Since the moon itself can block out 'The Kardassian Sisters' telecasts.....) Mist

#6 dickbill

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 01:16 PM

A satellite relay system is necessary to assure communication between the far side and earth, but that's not a big deal.
But the rationale for doing science on the moon has everything to do with an irrational project, IMO: sending men instead of robots, on the moon, again.
To do, ehhh... 'things' as politicians from the early 2000's would have said.
Well, initially I thought that a manned lunar mission will most likely kill a Martian project because, when you consider the socio-economy-demography and politics of the US and the world circa 2060 ...there is a serious possibility that the US and the world will neither have the financial capability, nor the will, to do a Mars mission. My bet is that we might be engulfed in more serious problems that will make people laugh when they hear about a Man on Mars mission. Hopefully i'll be wrong.
BUT, if a manned mission to the Moon must be set, instead of doing 'stuff', it might be good to keep the astronauts busy doing usefull things.
I suggest
1)Astromomy: set up interferometers in visible, radio...at least an Interferometer, please!
2)Digging and searching the far side and the craters of the poles for organic or fossil remants of early prebiotic earth that were brought in impactors. This could nothing less than answers the problem of the origin of life on Earth, big deal IMO.
3) extracting Helium 3
4) and NO, NOT using the moon as a lauching base, because the 'gravity is lower' there, it still doesn't make sense.

What else?

#7 StarWars

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 06:38 PM




HST..

#8 dickbill

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:08 PM

You mean, put the Hubble space telescope there?

#9 Brian Albin

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 09:15 PM

There was some discussion about a Lunar telescope here a few years ago http://www.cloudynig...rd=science&a...

I still like the idea. Unless the adaptive optics of the Earth based giant telescopes can be improved. Their images still lag the detail shown by Hubble pictures with only 8 ft of telescope diameter.

#10 PhilCo126

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 06:14 AM

The Apollo 16 astronauts already used a telescope on the Moon !
http://www.lpi.usra....iments/f_ultra/

The Moon isn't the right place for a telescope as the Moondust poses many problems. There have been projects for a radio telescope and an interferometer on the always farside ( sometimes called the backside ) of the Moon:
http://www.theliving...dio_Telescop...






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