Illustration of radio telescope on the Moon. Credit NASA/JPL

NASA eyes moon's dark side for astronomy, new telescopes

May 19, 2021

From UPI: NASA scientists, as well as astronomers around the world, plan to install lunar observatories in the next few years to peer into the universe's ancient past -- just after the Big Bang. Science equipment headed to the moon already includes a spectrometer built for launch in early 2022,...

The FARSIDE telescope and its attendant rovers would reach the moon using Blue Origin’s Blue Moon lander. (Credit: Courtesy Caltech/JPL)

A Telescope On The Moon Could Illuminate The Dark Ages Of The Universe

May 15, 2021

From Discover: Some 13.8 billion years ago, our universe burst into being. In a fraction of a second, it ballooned from subatomic to the size of a grapefruit. And as the cosmos grew and grew, it also cooled, until the building blocks of matter — subatomic particles called quarks and...

Fraser Cain and Jack Burns discussion on YouTube

The Lunar FARSIDE Telescope

March 16, 2021

From Universe Today: Fraser Cain spoke with Dr. Jack Burns, the Principle Investigator for the Lunar FARSIDE telescope about installing a radio telescope on the farside of the Moon that would be capable of observing the first stars and black holes during the Dark Ages and Epoch of Reionization. Watch...

Screen shot from Telescopes on the Moon video of the FARSIDE project

Telescopes on the Moon

June 22, 2020

From Launch Pad Astronomy: Telescopes on the Moon has been a dream since the 1830's. But apart from two small telescopes on Apollo 16 and Chang'e-3, we haven't sent any telescopes to the Moon yet. But now that NASA is planning to return to the Moon permanently, astronomers are once...

A decades-old idea from lunar scientist Richard Vondrak, who worked at the Apollo Science Operations Center during the Moon landing program, proposed using lunar craters to build radio telescopes like the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. Here, an artist’s concept shows how three telescopes could be used separately or combined to create a giant instrument.

The history and future of telescopes on the Moon

June 3, 2020

From For radio astronomers, Earth is a noisy place. Many modern electronics leak radio signals, which interfere with the long, faint wavelengths of light studied by radio observatories. And for decades, this invisible light pollution has pushed radio observatories deeper into so-called “radio quiet zones.” This forces radio astronomers...

The Far Side Of The Moon Is The Perfect Place For a Radio Telescope artist illustration

The Far Side Of The Moon Is The Perfect Place For a Radio Telescope

Jan. 21, 2020

We’ve now passed the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing, and all eyes are back on the Moon. NASA is planning to return to the Moon by 2024 with its Artemis mission, the Chinese have put the Moon firmly in their plans for space exploration, and even SpaceX thinks...

Artist illustration of FARSIDE using the Lunar Gateway, or similar Lunar asset, for communication with Earth.

Moon FARSIDE: Lunar Astronomy Proposal Takes Aim at Cosmic Dark Ages and Exoplanets

Dec. 15, 2019

From The far side of the moon is an attention grabber for many reasons. A new mission idea capitalizes on those reasons in a project dubbed the Farside Array for Radio Science Investigations of the Dark ages and Exoplanets, shortened to this enlightened abbreviation: FARSIDE. The concept would place...


2020 Decadal Survey Planning

Nov. 18, 2019

From NASA Science: This page describes the activities of NASA's Astrophysics Division in preparation for the 2020 Decadal Survey. To learn more about Astro2020 : Decadal Survey on Astronomy and Astrophysics process, please visit the National Academies website. Prior Decadal Reports are also available on that site. Listed below are...

China's Chang’e-4 lander and its small rover, Yutu 2

Alien Hunters Need the Far Side of the Moon to Stay Quiet

Nov. 15, 2019

From Wired: China made history earlier this year when its Chang'e-4 lander became the first spacecraft to land on the far side of the moon. During the two-week lunar days, the lander and its small rover, Yutu 2, beam images and other data to an orbiter for relay back to...

Hundreds of inexpensively made antennae tuned into the cosmos look for radio waves from potentially habitable planets at Caltech’s Owens Valley Radio Observatory near Big Pine, California.

The Planet Hunting Machine

Oct. 14, 2019

From Alta: Sometime in the next decade, NASA hopes to deploy a rover to the dark side of the moon, where it will roll out 128 small, lightweight radio antennae in a flower configuration over 100 square kilometers of the lunar dirt. The FARSIDE project is designed to look for...