Lunar telescope 'Liquid mirror' could reveal hidden stars

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deapfreeze

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A group of scientists has created a mirror that could become the key material for a telescope on the Moon. Made by coating a liquid with silver, the mirror could let the telescope detect infrared light from stars 1,000 times dimmer than those we can see today. <br /><br />'Dirty ions'<br />This special mirror is made of ionic liquid - salty fluids that contain only ions and whose freezing points are very low. Because of this, these ions do not evaporate easily allowing them to meet the requirements for any liquid destined for use on the Moon. This ionic liquid is then placed in a vacuum and coated with infrared-reflecting silver nanoparticles giving it the unique features that render it suitable for astronomy on the Moon. <br /><br />Mercury Free<br />Until now, liquid mirrors have relied heavily on mercury, making them a poor choice for use on the Moon, whose temperatures can drop as low as -147° Celsius (Mercury freezes at -38 Celsius.) Mercury is also toxic, rendering it hazardous to work with. <br /><br />"The density of mercury means it's just too heavy to get enough of it there anyway," Ken Seddon, a chemistry expert with Queen's University in the UK, told the New Scientist in an interview.<br /><br />The new surface is a hundred times cheaper to construct than traditional mirrors and can be made as large as six metres in diameter. They are currently in use in astronomical telescopes around the world. <br /><br />"These mirrors are like painting on air," says Ermanno Borra at Laval University in Quebec, Canada. "We've shown the magic works."<br /><br />I found this article on Discovery Channel and it sounds cool.<br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font size="2" color="#0000ff"><em>William ( deapfreeze ) Hooper</em></font></p><p><font size="1">http://deapfreeze-amateur-astronomy.tk/</font></p><p> </p> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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Sounds intriguing!<br /><br />Much more cost effective, with the same capabilities. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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deapfreeze

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I can't wait to see images from a telescope like this on the moon. I can't wait till we go back to the moon. <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font size="2" color="#0000ff"><em>William ( deapfreeze ) Hooper</em></font></p><p><font size="1">http://deapfreeze-amateur-astronomy.tk/</font></p><p> </p> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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I'm guessing not much.<br />I don't think anyone has demonstrated the robot technology to actually implement such a plan...the link is a year and a half old, and the fact we haven't seen anything else since then does not bode well.<br /><br />However, maybe your post will bring an update that one of our SDC friends knows about.<br /><br />It's the beauty of this place <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /><br /><br />Wayne <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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3488

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I'm guessing not much either. A year & a half is a very long time for no updates.<br /><br />I wonder where they are considering siting the Lunar Observatory?<br /><br />Idealy on the lunar farside, where the brilliant Earthlight will not interfere with it.<br /><br />True the sun is up for fourteen consecutive days, but the nights, are as long.<br /><br />Also it would need to be positioned on a plinth, so any magnetically electrostatic dust<br />will not settle on the 'mirror'.<br /><br />The biggest challenge will be to communicate with it. Certainly a comsat at one of <br />the Lagrange points would probably work.<br /><br />Andrew Brown. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080">"I suddenly noticed an anomaly to the left of Io, just off the rim of that world. It was extremely large with respect to the overall size of Io and crescent shaped. It seemed unbelievable that something that big had not been visible before".</font> <em><strong><font color="#000000">Linda Morabito </font></strong><font color="#800000">on discovering that the Jupiter moon Io was volcanically active. Friday 9th March 1979.</font></em></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://www.launchphotography.com/</font><br /><br /><font size="1" color="#000080">http://anthmartian.googlepages.com/thisislandearth</font></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://web.me.com/meridianijournal</font></p> </div>
 
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nrrusher

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An ideal spot would be an observatory on the end of a Lunar L2 Space Elevator.
 
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azorean5000

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The BIG problem for liquid mirrors, which basicly kills the idea, is that it can only look straight upwards, due to gravity. It cant be moved, neither on earth or the moon. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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kyle_baron

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<font color="yellow"><br />The BIG problem for liquid mirrors, which basicly kills the idea, is that it can only look straight upwards</font><br /><br />Another problem that occurs is the micro-meteorites that will "PLOP" into the liquid, and create small waves. The Earth-Moon system passes thru the left over tails of comets, at least 3-4 times per year. Where the Earths atmosphere causes meteor showers, the Moon will have no such protection. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font size="4"><strong></strong></font></p> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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I doubt that would be much of a problem.<br />Even during a Leonid storm, the most intense around these parts, the distance between the meteoroids is quite large. I'll see if I can dig up the number.<br />The only reason we see so many is that we sample such a huge area,<br />approximately 6250 sq km (2400 sq mi, 6.25e+37 barn, <br />or 104 166.666 666 667 bovate, sorry lost my head on the conversion page <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /> ).<br />And any effects would be temporary as the friction damped the wave. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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3488

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IMO a rigid mirror telescope would be the best option. A liquid mirrored telescope would be <br />very impractical for the reasons already given (gravity & micrometeoroids).<br /><br />A lunar observatory however is a must.<br /><br />Posistioned on the far side, close to the lunar equator. Yes communication could be <br />an issue, but seeing as only one, maybe two comsats are required, placed in <br />either the leading or trailing Lagrange points in this is not beyond<br />today's means.<br /><br />Andrew Brown. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080">"I suddenly noticed an anomaly to the left of Io, just off the rim of that world. It was extremely large with respect to the overall size of Io and crescent shaped. It seemed unbelievable that something that big had not been visible before".</font> <em><strong><font color="#000000">Linda Morabito </font></strong><font color="#800000">on discovering that the Jupiter moon Io was volcanically active. Friday 9th March 1979.</font></em></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://www.launchphotography.com/</font><br /><br /><font size="1" color="#000080">http://anthmartian.googlepages.com/thisislandearth</font></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://web.me.com/meridianijournal</font></p> </div>
 
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