NASA needs a new telescope to find Earth’s “twin”

Building a new telescope would cost more than 9 billion euros and would be launched in the early 2040s

Is it possible that Earth has a ‘twin’ planet somewhere? From NASA they think that if there is, we should find it.

The US National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine published a new report about. This committee advises government agencies such as NASA and the National Science Foundation every ten years on research goals that astronomers should prioritize over the next decade.

The advisors highlight three priority research lines: better understanding the nature of black holes and neutron stars, investigating how galaxies form and evolve, and identifying habitable Earth-like worlds and biochemical life forms in other planetary systems. To do this, NASA will build a new large space telescope, as detailed in the document.

The expert committee recommends that, to find life on other planets, NASA would have to build a telescope that surpasses Hubble in size and capacity, and equipped with infrared, optical and ultraviolet sensors. The telescope would also carry a coronagraph, a device that blocks direct light from a distant star so that nearby objects, such as planets, can be seen.

The telescope would cost more than 9 billion euros to build and would be launched in the early 2040s.

More than 4,500 exoplanets identified

Bruce Macintosh, Stanford astrophysicist and member of the commission, explains that “with a telescope of this type we will not see continents on the surface of planets, but small different points.” Therefore, by analyzing the light reflected by the exoplanet, scientists were able to deduce the chemical composition of its atmosphere.

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Atmospheric tests of oxygen, methane and water can confirm the possibility of life. So far, scientists have identified more than 4,500 exoplanets, of which about 160 are rocky, like Earth, with conditions more conducive to life than gas giants like Jupiter or Saturn.

the astronomer Rachel Osten, of the Space Telescope Science Institute, who also served on the committee, says that with the ability that now exists to discover and analyze the atmospheres of other planets, we have a long way to go in answering the question “Are we alone?”


New report charts the path for the next decade of astronomy and astrophysics; Recommends Future Terrestrial and Space Telescopes, Scientific Priorities, Investments in the Scientific Community

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