Astronomers are thinking of a plan to develop a new telescope to seek for another Terra. Back in 1990, on February 14, Voyager 1 took a distant photo of our planet before ending its mission. Terra was seen as a spot of dust, being little than a pixel. The image of the Earth has captured from approximately four billion miles away.
Now, scientists are struggling to find the twin of the blue dot we live on. On November 15, a collaboration between several research institutions revealed a campaign meant to support the building of a new telescope designed to capture distant planets from Alpha Centauri star system. The mission is called the “Project Blue.”
Jon Morse, who is the current chief executive of the BoldlyGo Institute and the former director of NASA’s astrophysics division, has claimed that their purposes are to identify a new blue dot in the universe, uncovering another Terra, if possible. This project is thought to be extremely significant for the exoplanet research.
By the time we reach December 20, Morse together with Brett Marty, the executive director of the nonprofit Mission Centaur, plan to raise $1 million to start their project. They assumed that the rest of the needed funds would be acquired with the help of donors and other foundations. The new telescope which will be sent to reveal another Terra it is predicted to launch in 2019 into Earth’s low orbit.
The device is anticipated to be approximately the size of a dishwasher. The new acquisition will be equipped with a relatively small hardware. Thus, Morse argued that the needed fund to accomplish the mission will be of about $50 million. The Project Blue is the type of task which NASA is not inclined to explore due to high risks. Nevertheless, the mission was also categorized to be a high-reward NASA mission.
If the telescope is going to focus only on the Alpha Centauri star system, then the costs will remain moderate. Unfortunately, astronomers argued that they cannot guarantee that this system even contains planets. There exists the possibility of wasting a lot of money on a telescope which will reveal absolutely nothing new. Previous researches have demonstrated that looking for new planets in Alpha Centauri did not turn to bring fruitful results.
Image courtesy of: public domain pictures