NASA released plans to build an ultra-long-wavelength radio telescope which it wants to build in a crater on the far-side of the moon.
The space agency explained that the benefit of having a Lunar Crater Radio Telescope (LCRT) would be because wavelengths and frequencies can be detected on the moon that can’t be on Earth. This is because of the ionosphere and other radio noises surrounding the planet.
Another reason is because the moon acts as a physical shield that isolates the lunar-surface telescope from radio interferences/noises from Earth-based sources, ionosphere, Earth-orbiting satellites, and Sun’s radio-noise during the lunar night.
“We propose to deploy a 1km-diameter wire-mesh using wall climbing DuAxel robots in a 3-5km-diameter lunar crater on the far-side, with suitable depth-to-diameter ratio, to form a sphericalcap reflector,” NASA said in a statement.
Should it become a reality, the LCRT would become the largest filled-aperture radio telescope in the solar system.
“LCRT could enable tremendous scientific discoveries in the field of cosmology by observing the early universe in the 10– 50m wavelength band (i.e., 6–30MHz frequency band), which has not been explored by humans till-date,” it said.