Abstract For lots of scientific questions about lunar physics deep inside the Moon, in-situ observation on lunar physical libration is one of the most potential ways. In this paper, we propose a brand new optical telescope functioned with simultaneously observing multiple (here there are three) fields of view (FOVs) for in-situ observation of lunar physical libration. The telescope can be placed at any place with any attitude on the Moon and do not require manned install, control or operation. It passively, continuously and simultaneously observe stars in three FOVs along with rotation of the Moon. Libration is to be measured and studied from celestial motion of the directions of three FOVs from image processing. The concept and design of this telescope are firstly introduced in this paper. The principle and feasibility of the method of in-situ observation are also demonstrated. From simulation, precision of the determined lunar physical libration is expected to be several milliarcsecs, about two orders of magnitude better than the current precision of libration by lunar laser ranging observation. Libration data with milliarcsec precision level can play a valuable role in the study of the physics and dynamics of the interior of the Moon. This telescope can also be applied to observe the rotation of other terrestrial planets like Mars.
Keywords astrometry — telescopes — methods: observational — reference systems
It accepts original submissions from all over the world and is internationally published and distributed by IOP