Researchers at the Sydney Institute of Astronomy have unveiled plans for a new space telescope they plan to use to find habitable planets in the Alpha Centauri Solar System, a three-star solar system just four light-years away from us.
The space telescope is called TOLIMAN (Orbit Locus Interferometric Observation Telescope in Our Astronomical Neighborhood) and also NASA, Breakthrough Initiatives and the Australian space company Saber Astronautics are involved in working with this. At the moment, it has been confirmed that there are two planets around the stars in Alpha Centauri, but scientists are fairly certain that there are two or more planets there. With the Toliman telescope, it is hoped that he will be able to confirm this and possibly find more planets around the three stars.
Eduardo Bendick of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory says of the Toliman telescope:
“Even for the closest, bright stars in the night sky, finding planets is a major technical challenge. Our TOLIMAN mission will launch a specially designed space telescope to make extremely precise measurements of the star’s position in the sky. If a planet orbits the star, it will attract the star that betrays a small wobble. But it can be measured.
Sometime in the middle of 2020, scientists hope to be able to send Toliman into space. Below is a diagram and TV feature about the future space telescope.
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