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Astrophysics and Space Science

, Volume 353, Issue 2, pp 329–346 | Cite as

Prospect for UV observations from the Moon

  • Margarita Safonova
  • Joice Mathew
  • Rekhesh Mohan
  • A. G. Sreejith
  • Jayant Murthy
  • Noah Brosch
  • Norbert Kappelmann
  • Arpit Sharma
  • Rahul Narayan
Original Article

Abstract

Space astronomy in the last 40 years has largely been done from spacecraft in low Earth orbit (LEO) for which the technology is proven and delivery mechanisms are readily available. However, new opportunities are arising with the surge in commercial aerospace missions. We describe here one such possibility: deploying a small instrument on the Moon. This can be accomplished by flying onboard the Indian entry to the Google Lunar X PRIZE competition, Team Indus mission, which is expected to deliver a nearly 30 kgs of payloads to the Moon, with a rover as its primary payload. We propose to mount a wide-field far-UV (130–180 nm) imaging telescope as a payload on the Team Indus lander. Our baseline operation is a fixed zenith pointing but with the option of a mechanism to allow observations of different attitudes. Pointing towards intermediate ecliptic latitude (50 or above) ensures that the Sun is at least 40 off the line of sight at all times. In this position, the telescope can cover higher galactic latitudes as well as parts of Galactic plane. The scientific objectives of such a prospective are delineated and discussed.

Keywords

Google Lunar X PRIZE GLXP Lunar observatory Far-UV Telescope 

Notes

Acknowledgements

MS is thankful to Bernard Foing for his valuable comments and suggestions on the possible scientific areas we can address with LUCI. We are also thankful to the anonymous referee for very helpful comments and suggestions.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margarita Safonova
    • 1
  • Joice Mathew
    • 1
  • Rekhesh Mohan
    • 1
  • A. G. Sreejith
    • 1
  • Jayant Murthy
    • 1
  • Noah Brosch
    • 2
  • Norbert Kappelmann
    • 3
  • Arpit Sharma
    • 4
  • Rahul Narayan
    • 4
  1. 1.Indian Institute of AstrophysicsBangaloreIndia
  2. 2.The Wise Observatory and the Dept. of Physics and AstronomyTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  3. 3.Kepler Center for Astro and Particle Physics, Institute of Astronomy and AstrophysicsUniversity of TübingenTübingenGermany
  4. 4.Team IndusAxiom Research Labs Private LimitedNoidaIndia

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