Moon Telescope Will Show Stars, Galaxies and Earth from Lunar Surface on the Internet

First Posted: May 29, 2013 07:29 AM EDT

Most people are familiar with the animal cams that have been cropping up across the Internet. They allow people to see a live feed of whatever adorable creature that the camera happens to be trained on, whether they're red tailed hawks or puffins. Now, users may have something else to distract them from their work. A telescope is set to launch to the moon in 2015 and will allow the public to go on the Internet and view the Earth from the lunar surface.

The telescope itself will be privately funded by Silicon Valley-based Moon Express. Named the International Lunar Observatory precursor, the telescope is about the size of a shoebox and can potentially be moved by remote control. It was first tested in December 2011 from the summit of the Mauna Kea volcano in Hawaii, according to CTV News. Yet it's only yesterday that the flight-test hardware was unveiled in Vancouver.

Yet what's really neat about this particular telescope is that the public will be fully involved. They'll be able to watch amazing images of stars, planets and galaxies from the telescope on the Internet as the piece of equipment is maneuvered from Earth.

"It's citizen science on the moon and it's really a new model of public participation," said Moon Express CEO Bob Richards in an interview with Castanet. "This will be a small, but very high-performance telescope on the moon that the public and scientists or professionals and amateurs alike will have access to over the Internet."

Yet Moon Express isn't only planning on placing this telescope on the moon. It's also planning on competing for the Google Lunar X Prize, which offers $520 million to the first privately funded team to land a robot on the moon.

The telescope is a good start for this future project. It will allow researchers to scope out the lunar surface, and most likely will prove to be a great distraction to most people during their daily work routine.

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