Humans are reliant on the Moon for far more than most realize. The natural satellite that lights up the nighttime sky moderates Earth's tilt, creating a more stable and livable climate for us here on Earth. Without the Moon, there would be no seasons. And, the Moon also creates tides, which help move heat across the ocean from the equator to the poles.
In addition to the Moon's vital effects on Earth, this enchanting orb that has mesmerized humans since history began could play a critical role in furthering our understanding of the early universe, if only we can build an observatory there.
Interestingly, there is now a plan in development to do just that. In April 2020, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) awarded the Lunar Crater Radio Telescope (LCRT) project $500,000 for further research and development. The premise of this project is that a massive radio telescope would be built by robots on the far side of the Moon in a 100-meter long, bowl-shaped crater with the mission of observing radio wavelengths that are 10 meters and longer.
One might wonder: why the Moon? Isn't this something that we can do here on Earth? The truth is there is only so much data we can gather about the universe from Earth, in part due to the own limitations of our planet when it comes to observing the night sky. Earth's (comparatively) dense atmosphere, light pollution and man-made electromagnetic radiation significantly hamper our ability to clearly observe the cosmos from our home planet.
To read more, click here.