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Astronomy from the Moon: ILOA Acquires Exclusive Images from Chang'E-3 Lunar Ultraviolet / Optical Telescope

Press Release From: International Lunar Observatory Association
Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2014

(Kamuela, Hawai`i, USA; Wednesday, 19 March 2014) The International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA) is receiving exclusive images from key partners at NAOC in Beijing, comprising data from the Lunar Ultraviolet Telescope aboard Chang'e-3 operating on the surface of the Moon.

Professor Jianyan Wei, principal investigator of the LUT instrument, indicated that the testing and commissioning phase is complete and all the telescope systems are operating nominally. He reports that the LUT already has captured over 22,000 astronomical images. The 150-mm diameter, near ultraviolet telescope is the payload that has operated the longest and obtained the most data since the 14 December 2013 Moon landing of Chang'e-3.

ILOA has Memoranda of Understanding with National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC) and China National Space Administration (CNSA) to exchange observation opportunities between China's Lunar Ultraviolet / Optical Telescope (LUT) aboard Chang'e-3 and the ILO-X Precursor and ILO-1 Moon South Pole mission currently in development for launch 2015-2016.

A team of ILOA scientists is currently collaborating with NAOC experts to formulate a plan for additional astronomical observations. ILOA will utilize the Chang'e-3 pioneering and historic data to enhance its Galaxy Forum 21st Century Education program. ILOA Founding Director Steve Durst says the dynamic Galaxy Forum architecture "should allow ILOA to advance human understanding of the Cosmos from the Moon and help identify support for the ILOA missions."

Distinguished members of the ILOA Board of Directors have offered some relevant analysis, explanation, interpretation and commentary:

- Astronomer and Explorer Dr. Yuki Takahashi:

"These UV observations of the XZ Cygni (RR Lyrae type) variable star cannot be done from the Earth's ground, and the lunar surface provides a stable platform that should make it easier to operate a long-lasting telescope. Studies of variable stars like this in the UV will help us measure distances in our Galaxy, providing humans with a more 3-dimensional visualization of our home Galaxy."

- Aerospace Engineer, Medical Doctor and co-author of The Moon Dr. David Schrunk:

"Similar measurements enabled Edwin Hubble to establish the fact that the Milky Way is not an "Island Universe" but merely one of billions of other galaxies in a vast universe (this settled the major 20th Century debate of the structure and size of the universe)... Also, the data from the Moon is highly accurate -- not distorted by an atmosphere.  We need more telescopes on the Moon!!"

- ILOA Founding Director and Space Age Publishing Company Editor-in-chief Steve Durst:

"...the Chang'e-3 landing may mark the beginning of permanent operations on the Moon and help establish a toehold for human lunar settlement, firmly establishing humanity as a Multi World Species."

ILOA is an interglobal enterprise incorporated in Hawaii as a 501(c)(3) non-profit to advance human knowledge of the Cosmos through observation from our Moon, and Aloha, and to participate in internationally cooperative lunar base build-out. The ILOA co-sponsors with its Space Age Publishing Company affiliate an international series of Galaxy Forums to advance 21st Century Education. Galaxy Forums, designed to provide greater global awareness, capabilities and action in Galaxy science, exploration and enterprise, are held in Hawaii, Silicon Valley, Canada, China, India, Japan, Europe, Africa, Chile, Brazil, Southeast Asia, Kansas and New York. Current plans are for expansion to Antarctica in 2014. For more information visit ILOA.org or contact: ILOA Executive Committee info@iloa.org 808.885.3474

NAOC is dedicated to astronomical research and public education and hosts the Lunar and Planetary Research Center. It is the responsible institute for the Lunar near-Ultraviolet / Optical Telescope aboard Chang'e-3. NAOC also is pioneering 21st Century Astronomy with a variety of Earth-based astrophysics facilities such as LAMOST, FAST and Dome-A Antarctica.

CNSA is the national space agency of the People's Republic of China. It leads the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program and is responsible for the Chang'e-3 Mission as a whole, as well as for the Shenzhou and Tiangong human spaceflight program.

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