Flying to the moon for radio astronomy at low frequencies

28 November 2019
10:00 - 11:00

Flying to the moon for radio astronomy at low frequencies

Are we alone? What is dark matter? What is dark energy? And what about black holes? What is inside a black hole? And what happened before the Big Bang? These are the main research questions for astronomers at this moment in time. Monitoring the universe with different instruments will eventually enable us to answer these questions. To open up a completely unexplored frequency band for observations, we are aiming for space-based radio astronomy at low frequencies. This technology utilizes hundreds, perhaps thousands, of simple antennas on satellites, flying around in the universe far away from Earth. Together, they form what is known as an aperture array, ready to peer more deeply at the fabric of our universe, unraveling today’s mysteries as well as discovering new phenomena. The first step, the first satellite, has been realized. In May 2018, the Netherlands Chinese Low-Frequency Explorer instrument has been attached to the Chang’e 4 satellite. This satellite is located in the Earth-Moon-L2 point and ready to do the first low-frequency radio observations. In this talk, we will address the possible science, the developed technology to make this possible and perhaps the first results of the observations.