In last few months, our closest stellar galaxy, Alpha Centauri, has garnered loads of interest and attention by researchers looking for signs and proofs of extraterrestrial life. Whether it is the Project Blue going through its kickstarter campaign or the concept of speeding up the nano vessels across huge interstellar distance in single generation, the desire to know thy neighbors has never been stronger than now.
Following the same train, the European Space Organization (ESO) recently tapped into funding that is offered by the Breakthrough Initiatives for boosting up the hardware over Chile’s VLT (Very Large Telescope) so that it can investigate more deeply into the Alpha Centauri and tell us more clearly about it. As per ESO, “Detecting a habitable planet is an enormous challenge due to the brightness of the planetary system’s host star, which tends to overwhelm the relatively dim planets. One way to make this easier is to observe in the mid-infrared wavelength range, where the thermal glow from an orbiting planet greatly reduces the brightness gap between it and its host star. But even in the mid-infrared, the star remains millions of times brighter than the planets to be detected, which calls for a dedicated technique to reduce the blinding stellar light.”
The ESO engineers are all set to design a better and more adaptive optics system with the help of funds offered by The Breakthrough Initiative. This system will make use of an observational technique known as coronography which will bring down the number of interfering waves emitted from extraneous interstellar light. The research team working at VLT upgrade expects that as and coronograph of this telegraph will be completed and installed for new observations about the Alpha Centauri by 2019.
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