Mission launched to capture picture of Earth-like exoplanet in Alpha Centauri

Project Blue’s half-meter-wide telescope is expected to be sent into orbit in roughly three years. It’s high-contrast imaging is designed to take pictures of our closest neighboring star system, Alpha Centauri. Alpha Centauri is 4.37 light years away from our solar system.

    2016/10/12

NSFW    NEW YORK — Private investors Mission Centaur and the BoldlyGo Institute have partnered to launch Project Blue, a plan to build a compact space telescope that has aims of capturing an image of a potential Earth-like exoplanet orbiting the closest star system to us in the Milky Way galaxy.

Project Blue’s half-meter-wide telescope is expected to be sent into orbit in roughly three years. It’s high-contrast imaging is designed to take pictures of our closest neighboring star system, Alpha Centauri. Alpha Centauri is 4.37 light years away from our solar system.

Scientists estimate there is an 85% probability that Alpha Centauri’s sun-like stars have an Earth-like planet somewhere in their habitable zones. If a planet orbiting within the habitable zones is detected with an atmosphere that could allow liquid water to exist on its surface, it may appear as a blue dot in the telescope.
The Alpha Centauri star system is located 4.37 light years away, our closest neighbor in the galaxy. WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / SKATEBIKER
The Alpha Centauri star system is located 4.37 light years away, our closest neighbor in the galaxy. WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / SKATEBIKER
Simulation of a pixelated image the telescope may capture during its mission observing the Alpha Centauri star system. PROJECT BLUE
Simulation of a pixelated image the telescope may capture during its mission observing the Alpha Centauri star system. PROJECT BLUE
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