BOULDER — NASA is setting the stage for construction of FarView, a revolutionary observatory on the far side of the moon, and scientists from the University of Colorado are along for the ride.
CU’s team of scientists, led by Jack Burns, a professor in the Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences at CU Boulder, will work with Houston aerospace firm Lunar Resources to design FarView, which will be built across 77 square miles using mainly materials mined on the moon.
“The proposed observatory includes more than 100,000 dipole antennas and would become the most powerful telescope ever built for studying low-frequency radio waves,” CU said in a news release. “Such radiation could provide astrophysicists with an unprecedented glimpse into the universe’s ‘Dark Ages,’ an epoch in the cosmos’ history before the first stars formed.
FarView could begin construction on the moon as early as 2030.
“The far side of the moon is shielded from natural and human-made radiation from Earth, which can interfere with observations of space. FarView would be sensitive enough to detect a single cell phone on the surface of Pluto. It could reveal new clues to some of the biggest questions in the history of the universe, including the origins of dark matter and dark energy,” CU said. “The observatory could also examine activity on the sun’s surface and measure the magnetic fields that may shield life on habitable exoplanets in our solar neighborhood.”