Maintaining the Astronomical Environment for Space Astronomy

  • M. C. E. Huber
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 187)


We assess, first, the ‘external astronomical environment’, i.e. man-made disturbances affecting the performance of astronomical space instruments are described. Concern is raised by the increase in space debris, space-borne nuclear reactors and the operation of strong very-low frequency (VLF) transmitters.

Secondly, we discuss the ‘internal environment’ of space astronomy -namely instruments, operations, calibration and archiving. A principle of ‘elegant simplicity’ will have to be pursued in future to keep the demand for operations support within reasonable bounds.

Finally we comment on the Moon as an observing site. As astronomers would not be the only lunar ‘occupants’ — lunar exploration and other utilisation would occur at the same time — it is stressed that the preservation of the fragile environment must be taken into account from the outset if the advantages of lunar astronomical sites are to be preserved.

Key words

External Astronomical Environment Internal Astron. Environment Moon Obs. Site 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. C. E. Huber
    • 1
  1. 1.ESA, Space Science Dept.ESTECNoordwijkThe Netherlands

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