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Radio Telescope on Moon to Study Cosmic Dark Ages

pickens (49171) writes | more than 6 years ago

NASA 0

The Narrative Fallacy writes "NASA has selected a proposal by an MIT-led team to develop plans for an array of radio telescopes on the far side of the moon that would probe the earliest formation of the basic structures of the universe. The present plan is for a one-year study to develop a detailed plan for the telescope array, whose construction would probably not begin until sometime after the year 2025, and is expected to cost more than $1 billion. The new MIT telescopes will explore one of the greatest unknown realms of astronomy, the so-called "Dark Ages" near the beginning of the universe when stars, star clusters and galaxies first came into existence. Learning about this unobserved period of roughly a billion years, beginning shortly after the Big Bang, is considered essential to filling in our understanding of how the earliest structures in the universe came into being. Observations of the cosmic Dark Ages are impossible to make from Earth because of interference from Earth's ionosphere and from radio and television transmissions which produce background interference everywhere on the Earth's surface. The only place that is totally shielded from both kinds of interference is the far side of the moon, which always faces away from the Earth and therefore is never exposed to terrestrial radio transmissions."

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