What is a Hypertelescope and How Do Scientists Plan to Take It to the Moon?

By , in Sci/Tech on . Tagged width: , ,

Every new tech development has led to the discovery of astounding and unexpected aspects of the cosmos. Now, scientists are proposing the construction of a fundamental optical telescope that could make use of the lunar landscape. Both the size of an optical telescope’s primary mirror and its focal length play a significant role in determining the instrument’s overall resolution and magnification capabilities. However, the concept of installing telescopes on the Moon has been considered before. The Lunar Crater Radio Telescope (LCRT) has benefited from an exploration grant that was financed by NASA. In the course of the Apollo missions, astronauts deployed retroreflectors on the Moon in order to provide astronomers with an accurate measurement of the distance to the Moon in millimeters. The question is, what are we going to do this time?

The notion of constructing a hypertelescope on the Moon that would employ a mirror assembly as its main reflector and would be positioned along the topography of a crater was conceived by a group of scientists. The cluster of detectors of the telescope might then be hung by a cable, just as the detectors of the Arecibo Observatory hung over the mesh dish. This would be comparable to how the detectors of the Hubble Space Telescope were suspended. This thing really grabs your attention!

A variation on this concept would be to position the instruments on a single part of a crater and the mirrors on the opposite part. This would make it possible to have a focal length that is quite vast, but the area of observation that such a telescope could cover would be restricted. The issue with all of these suggestions is that they need to be constructed at such a high degree of technical sophistication that it would be difficult to accomplish even on Earth. The concept of constructing array observatories and other such facilities on the Moon is an admirable objective, but at this point in time, it is much outside of our technical capabilities.

Tiesha loves to share her passion for everything that’s beautiful in this world. Apart from writing on her beauty blog and running her own beauty channel on Youtube, she also enjoys traveling and photography. Tiesha covers various stories on the website.