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Astronomers form lobbying group to block development on Moon’s far side

Lunar zone reserved solely for astronomers
Lunar zone reserved exclusively for radio astronomers

In order to allow them to someday in the future maybe consider the idea of possibly building space-based radio telescopes on the Moon, astronomers have now formed a new lobbying group to advocate the creation of a zone more than a thousand miles wide on the Moon’s far side where all future development will be forbidden.

The new committee is chaired by Claudio Maccone, an Italian SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) astronomer, space scientist and mathematician. Maccone supports creation of a Protected Antipode Circle or PAC, a large circular piece of lunar landscape about 1,130 miles (1,820 kilometers) wide that would become the most shielded area of the moon’s far side.

“PAC does not overlap with other areas of interest to human activity,” he said. “PAC is the only area of the far side that will never be reached by the radiation emitted by future space bases located at the L4 and L5 Lagrangian points of the Earth-moon system.”

In view of these unique features, Maccone believes the PAC should be officially recognized by the United Nations as an international protected area, where radio contamination by humans is curbed, now and into the future.

In other words, these astronomers want to be given, for free, full ownership of the region in the center circle on the graphic above for future radio telescopes, even though at present they have no plans or projects to build such things.

Though the idea of creating a region protected from radio signals so that good radio astronomy can be conducted has merit, no one should have the slightest sympathy for this request by astronomers. Why should anyone give them this vast amount of real estate when astronomers have shown so little interest in building any telescopes in space, anywhere?

Only after the astronomical community finally proposes an actual radio telescope for installation at this site should this request be given the slightest attention. Before that, it is merely a stupid power grab by elitists who deserve nothing from nobody.

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  • Jim Schmidt

    They must not know about the secret naught see base that is already there.

  • Jay

    You have to get there first to claim it. This group reminds me of a Home Owners Association (HOA), the neighborhood no-bodies (I have a less flattering name for them but will not post it here) who goes around measuring the grass and assessing petty fines. So this Moon Owners Association wants to make countries pay them annual fees to keep the far-side of the Moon clean and noise free. Try enforcing that.

    Iron Sky is a great film. The sequel stunk in my opinion.

  • Philip Wilson

    Musk’s response, “You can’t take the sky from me!”

  • For all practical purposes, they might as well be lobbying the League of Nations. That said, it’s not _bad_ idea. I think it’s actually a good idea to get the issue out there.

    these astronomers want to be given, for free, full ownership
    “Given” by whom and “ownership” enforced by whom?

    Those are legitimate questions for anyone wanting to build something on the moon.

  • Tom

    Of course, their follow-on demand will be that no satellites overfly/transit the PAC as well.

    “Go away, kid. You’re bothering me…..”

  • Lee S

    I think it’s a good idea…. Save a spot on the moon that could be crucial for future science… There is a lot of the moon that isn’t crucial, and future scientists and astronomers will undoubtedly be grateful.
    Bob, you complain about the bullcrap resistance to certain telescopes being built in certain areas on earth.. would it not be better to claim the best vantage point on the moon for science right now, rather than have such arguments in the future?
    And no, it doesn’t seem like a landgrab…. No one is taking anything from anyone… Just leave the most astronomically important area of the moon alone for the astronomers…. It seems like a no brainer to me.

  • Lee S: I was very clear. I think it is a good idea also, but consider it a landgrab because astronomers haven’t backed it up with any project. Until they do, all this is an effort to take control over a vast amount of lunar territory, blocking not only development but future geological research as well.

  • Call Me Ishmael

    ” No one is taking anything from anyone… Just leave the most astronomically important area of the moon alone for the astronomers…”

    You don’t really think it’s only the lunar surface they want, do you? They want the sky over it, too. And the answer to that is NO! (with embellishments not permitted in these comments).

  • Gary

    The other obvious question to ask is – does anything think China would recognize any such claim? My money is on the “no” wager.

  • Alton

    On the Wager Side…

    They just gave The Red Chinese the Moon First they have always wanted so so Much!

    Land Dead center on the far side and raise the Flag… “We Came for All Marxists”….
    It’s all the Middle Kingdoms’ …. NOW !!!

  • David M. Cook

    SETI astronomers are people who make their money looking for nothing! This is just the kind of crazy statement they make now & then. He‘s not even talking about orbiting telescopes, he just wants to lock-up the best places, and for whom? Some future astronomer not even born yet? Madness, using government dollars!

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