7 July 2006 A Lunar Liquid Mirror Telescope (LLMT) for deep-field infrared observations near the lunar pole
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We have studied the feasibility and scientific potential of a 20 - 100 m aperture astronomical telescope at the lunar pole, with its primary mirror made of spinning liquid at less than 100K. Such a telescope, equipped with imaging and multiplexed spectroscopic instruments for a deep infrared survey, would be revolutionary in its power to study the distant universe, including the formation of the first stars and their assembly into galaxies. The LLMT could be used to follow up discoveries made with the 6 m James Webb Space Telescope, with more detailed images and spectroscopic studies, as well as to detect objects 100 times fainter, such as the first, high-red shift stars in the early universe. Our preliminary analysis based on SMART-1 AMIE images shows ridges and crater rims within 0.5° of the North Pole are illuminated for at least some sun angles during lunar winter. Locations near these points may prove to be ideal for the LLMT. Lunar dust deposited on the optics or in a thin atmosphere could be problematic. An in-situ site survey appears necessary to resolve the dust questions.
© (2006) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Roger Angel, Roger Angel, Dan Eisenstein, Dan Eisenstein, Suresh Sivanandam, Suresh Sivanandam, Simon P. Worden, Simon P. Worden, Jim Burge, Jim Burge, Ermanno Borra, Ermanno Borra, Clément Gosselin, Clément Gosselin, Omar Seddiki, Omar Seddiki, Paul Hickson, Paul Hickson, Ki Bui Ma, Ki Bui Ma, Bernard Foing, Bernard Foing, Jean-Luc Josset, Jean-Luc Josset, Simon Thibault, Simon Thibault, Paul Van Susante, Paul Van Susante, "A Lunar Liquid Mirror Telescope (LLMT) for deep-field infrared observations near the lunar pole", Proc. SPIE 6265, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation I: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter, 62651U (7 July 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.669994; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.669994


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