STATES CHRONICLE – Scientists continue to use their most advanced telescopes and technology to search for alien life in Alpha Centauri. Apparently, our sun is an outlier. Most of the stars which are similar to our sun are not the only ones in orbit. They may be accompanied by one or two other sun-like stars. Researchers are trying to prove these complex systems of stars exist by directly capturing images of their planets.
During the last meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS), Ruslan Belikov, who is a scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California, claimed that he together with his team is about to fulfill an apparently impossible project. They have used a deformable mirror to suspend the impending light of two stars in a system similar to Alpha Centauri to unveil new planets and possibly a new life.
Researchers have been analyzing the outcomes of Belikov’s team and his fellow researcher Eduardo Bendek to discover how the development of their project advanced during the past year. They were also interested in what a new planet around Proxima Centauri may mean for the pursuit to capture a photo of a nearby planet.
During the last week of the AAS meeting, Belikov has presented some results which were obtained after conducting laboratory-scale tests. The goal of these experiments was to erase the interfering light of two stars by using a deformable mirror. The technology would be utilized on a telescope equipped with a coronograph.
A coronograph is a device able to block the light of one star in a system like Alpha Centauri which is situated approximately 4.37 light-years from Earth. On January 6th, Belikov noted that the high-contrast imaging of multiple stars unveils a wide diversity of star systems, especially Alpha Centauri. The new technology can be used to detect an Earth-like planet located around the closest sun-like star.
The deformable mirror technology can primarily be employed in the case of smaller telescopes. The algorithm developed by this team does not impose the utilization of an additional telescope hardware, only using a common kind of grating on the deformable mirror. Due to this fact, Belikov pointed out that the new technology could serve facilitating large-scale telescope projects such as the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope of NASA and the proposed project known as Large UV/Optical/Infrared Surveyor.
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