San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
Images from the Lunar near-Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope (LUT) aboard China’s lunar lander Chang’e-3 (CE3) have been released by the National Astronomical Observatories (NAOC) in China to the International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA). Steve Durst, founding director of ILOA, will discuss the project and the ILOA/NAOC collaboration.
Professor Jianyan Wei, the principal investigator of LUT, noted in March 2014 that the instrument had so far captured over 22,000 astronomical images. The 150-mm diameter, near ultraviolet telescope is the CE3 payload that has operated the longest and obtained the most data since the 14 December 2013 landing. ILOA will utilize the CE3 pioneering and historic data to enhance its Galaxy Forum 21st Century Education program. Its founding director Steve Durst says the dynamic Galaxy Forum architecture “should allow ILOA to advance human understanding of the Cosmos from the Moon and help identify support for the ILOA missions.”
Astronomer and Explorer Dr. Yuki Takahashi noted that “these UV observations of the XZ Cygni (RR Lyrae type) variable star cannot be done from the Earth’s ground, and the lunar surface provides a stable platform that should make it easier to operate a long-lasting telescope. Studies of variable stars like this in the UV will help us measure distances in our Galaxy, providing humans with a more 3-dimensional visualization of our home Galaxy.” Aerospace Engineer, Medical Doctor and co-author of The Moon, Dr. David Schrunk explains that “similar measurements enabled Edwin Hubble to establish the fact that the Milky Way is not an ‘Island Universe’ but merely one of billions of other galaxies in a vast universe.”
Additional background info:
- Astronomy from the Moon: NAOC and ILOA on the Frontier of 21st Century Astrophysics, SpaceCalendar.com, March 24, 2014
- International Lunar Observatory Association
- National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences
- Silicon Valley Space Center
- AIAA San Francisco Section
- Silicon Valley Space Business Roundtable
Thanks to Perkins Coie, Palo Alto, a law firm assisting Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, for hosting us.
6:30 – Check-in, networking, food
6:50 – Welcome – SVSC and AIAA SF
7:00 – Astronomy from the Moon – Steve Durst, ILOA
8:00 – Networking, extended Q&A
8:30 – Wrap-up
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Silicon Valley Space Center
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