Huge FarView Moon Observatory Meant to Look Back in Time to the Cosmic Dark Ages

FarView Moon observatory concept 1 photo
Photo: Ronald Polidan
Having telescopes up in space has dramatically improved our understanding of the Universe. Freed from the noise, both visual and otherwise, caused by humans and their activities here on Earth, these machines gave us a new dimension of how things work out there in the great void.
Take Hubble, for instance. The telescope helped scientists with various things, from getting a better approximation of the Universe’s age to the discovery of two moons orbiting Pluto, but most importantly, finding that every major galaxy has a black hole at its center, holding things together.

Now, Hubble used a primary mirror just 2.4 meters (7 feet) across to make these discoveries from a distance of about 340 miles (547 km) from Earth. So imagine what 100,000 dipole antennas spread across a 12x12 miles (20x20 km) area of the Moon can dig up.

That’s what someone named Ronald Polidan from Lunar Resources is proposing through the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program. Not a telescope, but a huge, low-frequency radio observatory, built on the surface of the Moon.

Called FarView, it would have to be partially built on-site, using locally-available regolith. Its main goal would be looking far away and back in time as far as what is known as the Cosmic Dark Ages, a period that began some 370,000 years after the Big Bang.

The man behind the idea claims such an array would be unprecedented and would be the “first of its kind at this scale and sensitivity.” The conditions that led to the creation of the first stars, galaxies, and accreting black holes could come into view and greatly expand our knowledge of the Universe.

Like all other ideas in the NIAC program, this one too is at a study level. NASA is backing it but likes to say none of these ideas are guaranteed to morph into actual missions or real-life projects.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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