The gravitational wave observatory on the moon will make it possible to “hear” 70% of the universe

Gravitational wave astronomy will provide a breakthrough in the study of the universe. If scientists manage to build such an observatory on the Moon, then humanity will be able to hear up to 70% of the observed Universe, according to the Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics.

Today, all existing gravitational observatories are located on Earth. This is convenient when it comes to its maintenance, this alone creates some restrictions associated, for example, with a high level of background noise. The LIGO and Virgo detectors operate by measuring the shift between mirrors due to the passage of a gravitational wave. But the magnitude of the shift for mirrors that are miles apart is very small.

In order to solve the problem of background noise, scientists use sophisticated methods that distinguish between true and false signals. However, the overall accuracy of the detectors is insufficient. The gravitational-wave observatory on the moon GLOC, which NASA proposes to build, could fundamentally solve the problem.

The moon has long been a favorite destination for astronomers. Optical telescopes on it will not suffer from atmospheric blur. Also, unlike the Hubble and James Webb Space Telescopes, they will not be limited by the size of the launch vehicle.

In reality, tens of years will pass before humanity has the technology to build such an object on the Moon. But when that happens, astronomy will have a productive tool that will expand our understanding of space. NASA is already studying building a radio telescope on the far lunar surface. Building a lunar gravitational wave observatory would be much more difficult, but possible.

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Alexandr Ivanov earned his Licentiate Engineer in Systems and Computer Engineering from the Free International University of Moldova. Since 2013, Alexandr has been working as a freelance web programmer.
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Alexandr Ivanov

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