Robotic Science from the Moon:  Gravitational Physics, Heliophysics and Cosmology


Check out presentations and posters from our October Workshop.

Invited Speakers

  • Stuart Bale, UC Berkeley
  • Mihaly Horanyi, U. Colorado
  • Miguel Morales, U. Washington
  • Thomas Murphy, UC San Diego
  • Ken Nordtved, Northwest Analysis
  • Ue-Li Pen, CITA
  • Michael Shull, U. Colorado
  • Rogier Windhorst, Arizona State U.



The Lunar University Network for Astrophysics Research (LUNAR), a consortium of research institutions led by the University of Colorado and funded by a NASA Lunar Science Institute Cooperative Agreement, is performing research, education, outreach, and community development to advance Astrophysics From the Moon. This first LUNAR workshop will focus on

  • Concepts for astrophysical observatories and telescopes that make use of the unique environment of the Moon;
  • Instrumentation which could be used for lunar astrophysical observatories;
  • Advancement of robotic technologies that will be required for future lunar-based telescopes;
  • Theoretical studies as they relate to possible astrophysical observations in the lunar environs.


The Moon is a unique platform for fundamental astrophysical measurements of gravitation, the Sun, and the Universe. Lunar Laser Ranging of the Earth-Moon distance provides extremely high precision constraints on General Relativity and alternative models of gravity. Lacking a permanent ionosphere and, on the far side, shielded from terrestrial radio emissions, a radio telescope on the Moon will be an unparalleled heliospheric and astrophysical observatory. Crucial stages in particle acceleration near the Sun can be imaged and tracked. The evolution of the Universe during and before the formation of the first stars can be traced for the first time, yielding high precision cosmological constraints. LUNAR is pioneering important new astrophysical research by "using the Moon as a unique platform"; it unites astrophysics and the Moon, which are individually both compelling means of motivating students and the public at large; and the required technology development is synergistic with other lunar and planetary science programs.

Workshop Organizing Committee

  • Jack Burns, University of Colorado—Boulder
  • Douglas Currie, University of Maryland—College Park
  • Douglas Duncan, University of Colorado—Boulder
  • Joseph Lazio, Naval Research Laboratory and JPL
  • Robert MacDowell, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
  • Jonathan Pritchard, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
  • Amy Allison, University of Colorado—Boulder
  • Matt Benjamin, University of Colorado—Boulder


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