Technology

The Very Large Telescope was updated, and began to look for exoplanets in Alpha Centauri

One of the most powerful structures for searching andThe discovery of distant planets is located in Chile, and it is known as the Very Large Telescope (VLT). It is a huge complex of four main and four additional optical telescopes, and for more than 20 years of its existence, he was able to take super-precise photos of Jupiter and discover many distant exoplanets. From now on, their search will be faster and more accurate, because the telescope was equipped with the NEAR tool.

Previously used to search for exoplanetsa spectrometer and a thermal imager for the mid-infrared range (VISIR), but with the addition of a new instrument, the telescope became more sensitive to the wavelengths of the infrared. The new instrument will be directed towards the cluster of stars Alpha Centauri - in its habitable zone, where planets with planets with conditions close to Earth can conditionally exist, life can develop.

Very Big Telescope is looking for exoplanets

Alpha Centauri cluster has twoThe stars, called α Centaurus A and α Centauri B, are the sun's rays. Despite the fact that they are located relatively close to our solar system, astronomers know very little about them and the planets nearby. The fact is that possible exoplanets emit much less light than ordinary stars - researchers from the ESO European Southern Observatory compare this with the search for a moth, which is circling around a lantern located at a distance of tens of kilometers.

VLT telescope

The NEAR tool is a thermala coronagraph that blocks light from nearby exoplanet stars and captures the infrared light they emit. The device is already being operated by scientists - a ten-day cycle of observations has recently ended, and astronomers are studying the collected data.

NEAR is the first and (at present) the only project that can accurately depict a habitable exoplanet, announced Olivier Guillon, the lead scientist on the search for exoplanets.

It is noteworthy that by about 2024 on EarthA telescope will appear that is even larger than a VLT. The new facility will be called the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), and will also be located in Chile. In 2018 its foundation was laid - you can read about it in our material.

ELT telescope as an artist

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