Scientists are preparing to use telescopes on the far side of the moon, which could help detect signs of alien life, if it really exists, reports telegraph.co.uk.
Astronomers have long fantasized about placing observatories on the surface of the Moon, but recently the idea has been back in the spotlight as people gear up for their next mission to the Moon. Various space organizations plan to install radio telescopes.
This dark and quiet place is ideal for receiving weak, very low frequency radio waves left over from the dark ages of the universe. This is because in this place they are protected from radio communications from Earth. Experts say that these conditions make it possible to find something “extraordinary”.
“This is something that has been around for a long time as an idea. For the first time, agencies are starting to take this very seriously. It becomes something that is considered trustworthy and important, and something that can actually happen. We could do some extraordinary science,” said James Carpenter of ESA’s Human and Robot Research Program.
This comes after the successful launch of NASA’s Artemis, which paved the way for humanity’s return to the Moon by the end of the decade.
“There is a huge interest in projects on the Moon, and for cosmology, this may allow us to reach some of the extreme limits that we dream of. The moon is the most radio-quiet sky in the inner solar system, ” explained Professor Joseph Silka from the Paris Astrophysical Institute.
Back in 2021, NASA announced a proposal for the Lunar Crater Radio Telescope, an ultra-longwave radio telescope on the far side of the Moon.
NASA has said it will be much more effective at learning about the Dark Ages of the universe than ground-based or orbiting telescopes. The dark ages of the universe refer to the period of its early history after the Big Bang, but before the appearance of the first stars.
The team behind the planned telescope is about to deploy space robots to build a half-mile (one kilometer) wide radio telescope in one of several proposed craters on the far side of the surface. The telescope itself will have a wire mesh that must withstand temperatures ranging from -173 degrees Celsius to 127 degrees.
“There is a whole region of the universe that we simply cannot see. The development of this concept can lead to significant breakthroughs, especially in the field of deployment technologies and the use of robots to build giant structures beyond the Earth.
“I am proud to work with this diverse team of experts who are inspiring the world to think about the big ideas that groundbreaking discoveries can make about the universe we live in,” the researchers explained.
But radio telescopes may not only provide clues to the origin of the universe, but also offer the potential to search for extraterrestrial life.
That’s because, if it’s really there, telescopes could detect regular and continuous pulses of energy from outside the universe that could point to alien technology.
Using a radio telescope on the far side of the Moon offers an advantage in this regard because radio signals are often limited by interference from signals on Earth.