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Moon Telescope

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I actually posted this as an annotation to Moon Tunnel, but I think it deserves it's own idea. Dig a hole right through the moon with a slight conical shape ( the diameter of the far end larger than the near end). Install lenses at both ends of the tunnel. Hey Presto, a massive optical telescope!
simonj, Nov 14 2007

Moon_20Tunnel [hippo, Nov 14 2007]

I say do it Dark_20Side_20Of_20Our_20Moon
It's our moon anyway. [theleopard, Nov 14 2007]

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       I think it probably deserves its own fishbone. Digging holes through the moon isn't easy (well, I've never actually TRIED it, but . . . ). A super-long telescope isn't really a good thing, as it gives more distance for optical errors to show up. A moon telescope couldn't be aimed. Speaking of massive: The gravity of the moon, even though less than Earth's, is going to distort the lenses (although if you are never going to move them, you might have a very slight chance of dealing with that).   

       If you put two lenses out in space, you wouldn't even need a framework between them, if you installed good controls. The lenses could be thin glass shells with dense gas in them . . .. [ ]
baconbrain, Nov 14 2007
  

       [baconbrain]How would you keep them aligned without a frame, wouldn't they just drift apart?
simonj, Nov 14 2007
  

       This could get pretty unpleasant during a solar eclipse.
nick_n_uit, Nov 14 2007
  

       No need to move the moonscope, the Moon moves by itself! No, you couldn't aim it but you would get a lot of targets over the course of a year!
simonj, Nov 14 2007
  

       The lenses in [baconbrain]'s telescope could be kept in place with the occasional use of tiny thruster rockets.
hippo, Nov 14 2007
  

       //This could get pretty unpleasant during a solar eclipse//
I guess the ants would be laughing.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Nov 14 2007
  

       I thought this was going to be an observatory, built on the airless moon. It's all a bit hot and cold up there, tricky conditions to keep equipment aligned nicely, but it might be worth a try, and space agencies are well used to dealing with rapidly changing extremes of temperature. The windless, low-gravity environment should make construction lighter and simpler than earth bound jobs, accepting all the difficulties of actually getting things to the bloody moon in the first place.
theNakedApiarist, Nov 14 2007
  

       Right, getting to the moon is difficult, and about half the difficulty is landing on it. So just keep going out into space and build the telescope where it can float free.   

       I only refrained from fishboning this idea as I assumed the raw materials for lenses and such would be mined on the moon. Even then, it would be less work to lift them from the moon to space than to lift a hole-ful of rocks up from the depths of the moon to the surface.   

       //How would you keep them aligned without a frame, wouldn't they just drift apart? // "Good controls", I said. Geezus H! On tiny thruster rockets, as [hippo] understood. It wouldn't be easy, but it would be a lot better than digging a hole through the moon.
baconbrain, Nov 14 2007
  

       \\ A moon telescope couldn't be aimed.\\   

       Actually, it could be, but it would cost a lot of time and resources.
apocalyps956, Nov 14 2007
  

       And with the aiming mechanism we could rotate the moon and see the dark side of it. Imagine the armageddon theories that would come out if NASA didn't tell anyone they were doing it and the moon just suddenly changes.
BLSTIC, May 20 2008
  
      
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