Lunar Automatic Photoelectric Telescopes (LAPTs)

by Michael Zeilik, Univ of New Mexico, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space


I propose a lunar network of modest (approximately 1 m), robust telescopes designed for and dedicated to precise, time-serial monitoring of variable sources. Unhampered by atmospheric effects and the earth's day/night cycle, an array of lunar automatic photoelectric telescopes (LAPTs) could reliably detect both short and long period cyclic variations and sporadic outbursts. These relatively inexpensive instruments would complement larger optical ones and monitoring instruments at other wavelengths. The scientific payoff would derive from the clean power spectral decomposition (in the time domain) of multiple periodic structure. Applications include: monitoring the magnetic activity cycles of sun-like stars and, optically violent variable galactic nuclei, and searches for extragalactic supernovae.

Subject Headings: Moon | Automation | Telescopes | Wavelength | Power spectral density | Decomposition | Magnetic fields | Space exploration

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