The hypertelescope will help in looking deeper into space. (Representational Pic)
Telescope is best friend of space enthusiasts, allowing them to peek into the universe. They often install one in their backyard or sometimes on mountain summits to get a better look at the vast, empty space. Agencies like NASA and ESA venture into launching these gadgets into space, like James Webb - the most powerful telescope that replaced Hubble. James Webb, like every other stride in technological progress, has unveiled astonishing and unexpected revelations about the vast universe. But according to a new research paper, scientists are planning to install a telescope on moon's surface.
Called a 'hypertelescope', the concept talks about using a mirror array as the primary mirror arranged along the terrain of a crater, according to Universe Today. The detector cluster of the telescope could be suspended by a cable, the outlet further said citing the study.
Since mirrors would not need to be excessively large, their construction would be significantly more manageable. Furthermore, the natural shape of the crater would reduce the need for extensive earth-moving operations, the study said.
A variant of this concept involves placing mirrors on one side of a crater and the instrumentation on the other. This arrangement would enable an exceptionally long focal length, although it would restrict the telescope's observational range.
However, these ideas remain in their infancy, researchers said in the study. A common challenge is the technical requirements needed for construction, which pose a significant challenge even on Earth. While the ambition to build array observatories on the Moon is noble, it currently surpasses our technological capabilities.
Over time, dust accumulation on the mirrors would necessitate periodic cleaning. Although the moon experiences less seismic activity than Earth, it could still impact the alignment of mirrors and detectors.
It is to be noted that deploying telescopes on the moon is not a novel concept - NASA has already funded an exploratory grant for the Lunar Crater Radio Telescope (LCRT). During the Apollo missions, astronauts positioned retroreflectors on the lunar surface, allowing astronomers to measure the moon's distance with remarkable precision, down to millimetres.