|Above: An Apollo lunar buggy and crew, on the Moon. America has yet to really return to the lunar surface, but it seems China may have plans for it...Courtesy of NASA.|
|Above: A proposed lunar observatory.|
As they say, get the most Buck Rogers for your buck.
|Above: The Chang'e 3 lander, with its UV observatory.|
If this sounds a little familiar then that's because the Chinese space agency have already pulled the same trick once before*: They added a UV observatory to the lander portion of the Chang'e 3 space probe, which has been operating ever since Chang'e 3 landed - amongst other things it has imaged galaxies in the UV....
|Above: A negative image of an espresso.Or possibly just a picture of a distant galaxy, taken in UV light, from the Moon. Courtesy of the Chinese Space Agency|
...and measured the content of the ultra thin lunar atmosphere. The rest of Chang'e 3 and the (now paralysed but operational) lunar rover Yutu have spent their time studying the lunar geology.
While the Chinese penchant for doing lunar astronomy isn't the visions of massive, crewed, lunar radio telescopes that I grew up with, it's a start.
The Earth has a massive magnetic field shielding us all from solar storms and radiation,. and let's not forget the auroras. It's a wonderful thing to have for our planet - but it does do some odd things sometimes. One is such is gigantic ropes of plasma, hanging above our atmosphere-and now they've been detected for the first time...
* Or the matrix just glitched. Damn thing, I knew I shouldn't have based it on Windows 3.1.
**That thing you just thought of? Yeah it's possible. It's incredibly unlikely, but it's possible. And don't think things like that, it's disgusting.