NASA will build a telescope on the far side of the moon to look into the ‘dark ages’ of the universe

NASA and the Department of Energy are collaborating to create an instrument called the Lunar Surface Electromagnetics Experiment-Night (LuSEE-Night), which can withstand the harsh environment on the far side of the Moon at night. The instrument will make the first measurements of the dark age of the universe. Credit: NASA

NASA and the Department of Energy (DOE) From the United States working together to develop a strength telescope to settle on the other side of moonwith the purpose of Observing the dark ages of the visible universe.

The scientific instrument, which will endure the harsh and unforgiving environment of the lunar surface at night on the far side of the moon And he will be called LuSEE-Nite (Electromagnetic experiment on the surface of the moon – night) It will be the first of its kind. It is being developed by the US Department of Energy’s Brookhaven and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories, the Space Science Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley, and NASA.

the The Dark Ages is an important time in cosmological studies, where it can provide new insights into the formation and evolution of the universe. The Dark Ages occurred between about 380 thousand – 400 million years after the creation of the universe, Known as the Big Bang, it is a time before the appearance of the first luminous stars and galaxies. Since radio waves provide the only signal we can measure since the Middle Ages, LuSEE provides an opportunity to learn how the first non-luminous matter evolved into the stars and galaxies we see dominating the visible universe today.

The device, called Lunar Surface Electromagnetic Experiment – Night (LuSEE-Night), will be located on the far side of the moon, which we never see (NASA)

From the far side of the Moon, LuSEE-Night will use onboard antennas, radio receivers, and a spectrometer to measure weak radio waves from the Dark Age, looking for what scientists call a Dark Age signal. Until now, we could only make predictions about the early stages of the universe using a reference point called the cosmic microwave background. The Dark Age marker will provide a new reference point.”Brookhaven physicist Anže Slosar said in a statement. He added, “If the predictions based on each criterion do not match, then this means that we have discovered a new physics.”

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LuSEE-Night isn’t necessarily expected to make great strides on its own; After all, it’s a pioneer designed to pave the way for more ambitious tools in the future. Team members said the larger project could end up shedding light on important cosmological questions such as the nature of dark energy and the creation of the universe.

LuSEE-Night is a great experience This will bring us closer to observing something we couldn’t notice before: the sign of the Dark Ages. Through this collaboration, DOE and NASA are paving the way for successful exploration of Dark Age cosmology for decades to come,” said Asmert Asifaw Berhe, DOE Office of Science Director.

Temperatures on the far side of the moon fluctuate between about 121 and -173 degrees Celsius.

The far side of the Moon is a great place to look for faint signals that might hold such clues, because it offers something Earth can’t: a deep, deep silence. The constant radio bombardment across our planet creates an environment that is too noisy for the ultra-sensitive instruments that LuSEE-Night will use. Being physically on the surface of the Moon and taking timely action, you will eliminate various external sources of radio interference, including Radio noise from the Sun, Earth, Jupiter and Saturn.

However, the remote location also presents challenges. To survive there required an engineering feat. Although it is sometimes erroneously referred to as the “dark side” of the Moon, the part of Earth’s natural satellite that faces away from us in the night sky has, in fact, a day/night cycle, each phase of which lasts about 14 Earth days. Temperatures on the far side of the moon fluctuate between about 121 and -173 degrees Celsius. So the LuSEE-Night must be designed to withstand two weeks of intense, harsh lunar sunlight, as well as stay powered through two weeks of pitch-black darkness, and do it again and again. The design life of the lunar mission is two years.

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“In addition to the large potential scientific yield, demonstrating LuSEE-Night technology to survive the night is critical to high-priority, long-term science investigations of the lunar surface,” said researcher Joel Cairns, associate deputy director of the Lunar Science Institute. Exploration at NASA Science. The Missions Directorate said in the same statement.

The Lunar Surface Electromagnetics Experiment, or LuSEE, will be built by the Space Science Laboratory to study magnetic and electric fields on the lunar surface and how they interact with fine dust particles. Scientific instruments will land on the day side of the Moon, where sunlight strips electrons from atoms to charge them electrically and lift up dust. Credit: UC Berkeley image by Stuart Bell

When ready, LuSEE-Night will launch a future Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) mission, a NASA initiative that, according to the space agency’s website, “allows the rapid acquisition of lunar delivery services from US companies for payloads that advance science or exploration.” or the commercial development of the moon.”

If successful, LuSEE-Night will act as a pioneer in helping inform even larger instruments in the future to further measure these otherwise undetectable radio frequencies, helping scientists better understand the early period of the formation and evolution of the universe. “This measurement is very challenging, and radio emissions from the very bright galaxy and our signals from the Dark Ages underlie it,” concluded Stuart D. Bell, Director of LuSEE-Night.

Read on:

A discovery from the James Webb Space Telescope could change how science understands the creation of the universe
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How are the oldest groups of stars in the universe, according to the Webb telescope

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