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Chile Seeking Alpha Centauri

from Reuters via Yahoo! News

Giant telescope in Chile to seek habitable planets in Alpha Centauri

An artist’s impression shows the planet orbiting the star Alpha Centauri B, a member of the triple star system that is the closest to EarthThis artist’s impression shows the planet orbiting the star Alpha Centauri B, a member of the triple star system that is the closest to Earth in this image released on October 17, 2012. REUTERS/ESO/L. Calcada/N. Risinger

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – The European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in Chile will be modified in order to allow it to search more effectively for potentially habitable planets in Alpha Centauri, the nearest star system to Earth.

The ESO said it has signed a deal with Breakthrough Starshot, a venture that aims to deploy thousands of tiny spacecraft to travel to the system and send back pictures.

Starshot, which is backed by internet billionaire Yuri Milner and physicist Stephen Hawking, will provide funding to allow equipment on the Very Large Telescope that studies in the mid-infrared to be adapted to better detect faint planets, the ESO said in a statement on Monday.

The adaption will have the effect of reducing bright stellar light that drowns out relatively dim planets, improving the chances of finding them, it said.

[ click to continue reading at Yahoo! News ]

Posted on January 10, 2017 by Editor

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