NASA, as we know, is an organization that aims to unravel the mysteries of our ever-growing universe. The organization’s astronomers have been studying galaxies and stars for quite some time. Now astronomers at the University of Texas have come up with the concept of an unusual “liquid mirror telescope” they intend to build in one of the craters on the Moon.
More than a decade ago, NASA astronomers thought of a concept for a unique telescope that will use liquid mirrors instead of solid mirrors like in popular telescopes. However, that project was closed by the space organization for unknown reasons.
So astronomers at the University of Texas want to take this theory and advance their research. An official article about the study will be published in a future issue of the Astrophysical Journal.
Now, the telescope concept will be like a massive tank, containing a reflective liquid, that rotates. It will be 330 feet in diameter and could be built inside a crater at one of the Moon’s poles. “The mirror of the telescope would be a rotating vat of liquid, topped by a metallic liquid and therefore reflective,” said Volker Bromm, a co-author of the paper.
Astronomers say that since the telescope will be liquid-based, it will be much easier to transport components from Earth to the Moon.
Now, the main objective of the telescope would be to observe the “first stars” in the universe that, according to the researchers’ estimate, formed 13 billion years ago. Observation of these stars can provide much more information about our existence and can unravel other unknown mysteries of the universe.
So the concept of the liquid mirror telescope will be powerful enough to capture those first stars, at least in theory. Hence, it will be called “Ultimately Large Telescope.”
“This moment of the first day is behind the capabilities of current or near-future telescopes. Therefore, it is important to think of the ‘ultimate’ telescope, one that can directly observe those elusive first stars at that edge of time, ”said Bromm.