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Proceedings Paper

A Lunar Liquid Mirror Telescope (LLMT) for deep-field infrared observations near the lunar pole
Author(s): Roger Angel; Dan Eisenstein; Suresh Sivanandam; Simon P. Worden; Jim Burge; Ermanno Borra; Clément Gosselin; Omar Seddiki; Paul Hickson; Ki Bui Ma; Bernard Foing; Jean-Luc Josset; Simon Thibault; Paul Van Susante
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Paper 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.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 July 2006
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 6265, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation I: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter, 62651U (7 July 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.669994
Show Author Affiliations
Roger Angel, Steward Observatory, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Dan Eisenstein, Steward Observatory, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Suresh Sivanandam, Steward Observatory, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Simon P. Worden, Steward Observatory, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Jim Burge, Optical Sciences Ctr., The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Ermanno Borra, Univ. Laval (Canada)
Clément Gosselin, Univ. Laval (Canada)
Omar Seddiki, Univ. Laval (Canada)
Paul Hickson, Univ. of British Columbia (Canada)
Ki Bui Ma, Univ. of Houston (United States)
Bernard Foing, ESA/ESTEC (Netherlands)
Jean-Luc Josset, SPACE-X Space Exploration Institute (Switzerland)
Simon Thibault, Immervision (Canada)
Paul Van Susante, Colorado School of Mines (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6265:
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation I: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter
John C. Mather; Howard A. MacEwen; Mattheus W. M. de Graauw, Editor(s)

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