Berkeley Lab Physics Division researchers Aritoki Suzuki and Kaja Rotermund are building the antenna for LuSEE-Night (the Lunar Surface Electromagnetics Experiment-Night project), an experiment that is slated to head to the moon in 2025, where it will test technology in the harsh lunar environment.
There are unexplored regions of the universe – and there are also unexplored times. In fact, there’s a nearly 400-million-year gap in our universe’s history that we’ve never seen: a time before stars known as the Dark Ages. To investigate that era, researchers want to pick up a particular radio signal that can’t be measured from Earth.
LuSEE-Night – a collaboration between NASA and the Department of Energy, with partners from Berkeley Lab, Brookhaven National Lab (the lead DOE lab), UC Berkeley, and the University of Minnesota – will demonstrate whether an experiment to search for ancient radio signals can survive the moon’s unforgiving environment. According to Rotermund, a postdoctoral researcher at Berkeley Lab who is working on the antenna, “LuSEE-Night is a mission showing whether we can make these kinds of observations from a location that we’ve never been in, and also for a frequency range that we’ve never been able to observe.”
“The engineering to land a scientific instrument on the far side of the moon alone is a huge accomplishment,” said Aritoki Suzuki, who leads the antenna project for Berkeley Lab. “If we can demonstrate that this is possible – that we can get there, deploy, and survive the night – that can open up the field for the community and future experiments.”
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Listening to the Radio on the Far Side of the Moon
September 26, 2023 / Lauren Biron / Berkeley Lab News Center