Today's Top Space Headline --Put Telescopes on the Far Side of the Moon --"Our Best Chance to Glimpse the Beginnings of the Universe"
Plans to return to the Moon are getting serious. Last month, US President Donald Trump declared that the next time US astronauts blast off, they will be headed to our rocky satellite. In September, the European Space Agency made its strongest call yet for the installation of a permanent, human-inhabited village at the lunar southern pole. China’s National Space Administration is pursuing a human outpost there, among other lunar projects, and private entrepreneurs are enthusiastic about mining minerals on the Moon and making rocket fuel for further space exploration.
The far side of the Moon is the best place in the inner Solar System to monitor low-frequency radio waves — the only way of detecting certain faint ‘fingerprints’ that the Big Bang left on the cosmos. Earth-bound radio telescopes encounter too much interference from electromagnetic pollution caused by human activity, such as maritime communication and short-wave broadcasting, to get a clear signal, and Earth’s ionosphere blocks the longest wavelengths from reaching these scopes in the first place. We need these signals to learn whether and how the Universe inflated rapidly in the first trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang.