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      The limits of cosmology: role of the Moon

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          Abstract

          The lunar surface allows a unique way forward in cosmology, to go beyond current limits. The far side provides an unexcelled radio-quiet environment for probing the dark ages via 21 cm interferometry to seek elusive clues on the nature of the infinitesimal fluctuations that seeded galaxy formation. Far-infrared telescopes in cold and dark lunar polar craters will probe back to the first months of the Big Bang and study associated spectral distortions in the CMB. Optical and IR megatelescopes will image the first star clusters in the universe and seek biosignatures in the atmospheres of unprecedented numbers of nearby habitable zone exoplanets. The goals are compelling and a stable lunar platform will enable construction of telescopes that can access trillions of modes in the sky, providing the key to exploration of our cosmic origins.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          09 November 2020
          Article
          2011.04671
          bc26d2ef-a5d9-491c-a1d2-32c6c8e54138

          http://arxiv.org/licenses/nonexclusive-distrib/1.0/

          Custom metadata
          10 pages, 5 figures; to be published in 'Astronomy from the Moon: the next decades', theme issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A
          astro-ph.CO astro-ph.GA

          Cosmology & Extragalactic astrophysics,Galaxy astrophysics
          Cosmology & Extragalactic astrophysics, Galaxy astrophysics

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