A Mission to the Dark Side of The Moon could Revolutionize Astronomy
Lunar Surface Electromagnetic Explorer, a small radio antenna with an instrument package, is scheduled to arrive on the far side of Lunar surface in 2025.
Because of interference from the Earth, astronomers have not been able yet to map large areas of radio emissions from our universe. A team of astronomers hopes that this will change, starting with the LuSEE Night mission to far the Moon. It will launch in 2025, and will chart a new route to Lunar observatories.
The Earth is very loud on the radio, especially at frequencies lower than 20 megahertz. Radio emissions from distant sources are obscured by the ionosphere of Earth, which crackles at these frequencies. We also use low-frequency radio waves to communicate and search for radar, obscuring cosmic sources.
To reduce all terrestrial contamination, you must get up and move away. The best place to observe the Moon is on its far side. This is because the bulk of the Moon's mass blocks out radio signals from Earth. The Sun is also a loud emitter at those frequencies. Therefore, the Lunar night is the best time to see the Moon's far side in darkness.
Building radio observatories on far sides of the Moon is not an easy task. We must start small. LuSEE Night, also known as the Lunar Surface Electromagnetic Explorer (or Lunar Surface Electromagnetic Explorer), is one of the first steps. This package includes a small radio antenna as well as an instrument package. It is expected to arrive on the Lunar surface in 2025.
LuSEE Night is a tribute to the Parker Solar Probe's technological heritage. It is almost identical to one of the instruments that was aboard that spacecraft. LuSEE Night is composed of two six-meter-long antennae that are set in a cross-shaped design and a bare-bones electronics set.
LuSEE Night's team hopes to capture the first observations of very low-frequency radio waves. This includes cosmic rays that spiral around the magnetic fields in the Milky Way galaxy, as well as distant bright sources such supernovae or white dwarfs.