A Lunar Liquid Mirror Telescope (LLMT) for deep-field infrared observations near the lunar pole

Roger Angel, Dan Eisenstei, Suresh Sivanandam, Simon P. Worden, Jim Burge, Ermanno Borra, Clément Gosselin, Omar Seddiki, Paul Hickson, Ma Ki Bui, Bernard Foing, Jean Luc Josset, Simon Thibault, Paul Van Susante

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation I
Subtitle of host publicationOptical, Infrared, and Millimeter
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2 2006
EventSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation I: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter - Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: May 24 2006May 31 2006

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Volume6265 I
ISSN (Print)0277-786X

Other

OtherSpace Telescopes and Instrumentation I: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter
CountryUnited States
CityOrlando, FL
Period5/24/065/31/06

Keywords

  • Early universe
  • Lunar telescopes
  • Rotating cryogenic liquid mirrors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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  • Cite this

    Angel, R., Eisenstei, D., Sivanandam, S., Worden, S. P., Burge, J., Borra, E., Gosselin, C., Seddiki, O., Hickson, P., Ki Bui, M., Foing, B., Josset, J. L., Thibault, S., & Van Susante, P. (2006). A Lunar Liquid Mirror Telescope (LLMT) for deep-field infrared observations near the lunar pole. In Space Telescopes and Instrumentation I: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter [62651U] (Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering; Vol. 6265 I). https://doi.org/10.1117/12.669994