Maintaining the Astronomical Environment for Space Astronomy
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 wordsExternal Astronomical Environment Internal Astron. Environment Moon Obs. Site
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- AAS 1993, Am. Astron. Soc. Newslett. 64, 1,4.Google Scholar
- Battrick, B. and Barron, C. 1992, eds., ‘Mission to the Moon — Europe’s Priorities for the Scientific Exploration and Utilisation of the Moon’, ESA SP-1150 (Paris: European Space Agency).Google Scholar
- Datlowe, D. 1993, personal communication.Google Scholar
- Foing, B. 1994, in ‘Frontiers of Astronomy from the Moon’.Google Scholar
- McKnight, D., et al., 1993, Internat. Acad. Astronaut., Comm. on Safety, Rescue and Quality, 8 March 1993, pp. 22.Google Scholar
- Mumma, M.J. and Smith, H.J. 1990, eds., ‘Astrophysics from the Moon’, AIP Conf. Proc. 207 (New York: American Institute of Physics).Google Scholar
- Starr, C.H. 1993, Compton Obs. Newslett. 3, No. 1 (Feb. 1993).Google Scholar