Tag Archives | Telescopes

Astronomers Begin Search For Alien Signals From 86 Earth-Like Planets

398px-KSC_radio_telescopeVia Space.com:

A new survey is under way to search for signs of intelligent extraterrestrial life, but this one has a twist: Instead of listening for alien signals from anywhere in the sky, scientists are aiming radio telescopes at the alien planets most likely to be like our own Earth.

The new search, which began last week, is scanning 86 alien worlds for radio signals that could suggest the presence of an advanced civilization. The extrasolar planets are thought to be the most Earth-like of the 1,235 candidate planets discovered so far by NASA’s prolific Kepler space observatory.

“We’ve picked out the planets with nice temperatures — between zero and 100 degrees Celsius [32 and 212 degrees Fahrenheit] — because they are a lot more likely to harbor life,” said physicist Dan Werthimer of the University of California, Berkeley, in a statement.

This new SETI search is not part of the SETI Institute, which has long served as the Earth’s ears for any signals from intelligent aliens.

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Giant Telescope To Be Built In Chilean Desert

Photo: Clinton Steeds via Flickr (CC)

Photo: Clinton Steeds (CC)

It has been announced that the world’s largest telescope will be built in the desert of Chile, with the goal of giving us views of outer space the likes of which we’ve never seen. The $1.3-billion European Extremely Large Telescope will take eight years to construct, and it is way better than the telescope you have in your garage. Space.com reports:

The world’s largest optical telescope – to be called, appropriately, the European Extremely Large Telescope – will be built on a mountain in Chile, the observatory’s planners announced Monday.

The telescope’s newly chosen home is the Cerro Armazones mountain in the central part of Chile’s Atacama Desert. This location was picked for its optimal weather conditions – the skies are clear overhead about 320 nights a year, according to its European Southern Observatory (ESO) builders.

Construction on the European Extremely Large Telescope is expected to receive a final go-ahead at the end of 2010, and the observatory could begin operations in 2018.

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