Finding habitable planets gets easier with pioneering spectral technologies
The possibility that there might be lots of other Earth-like planets out there with life forms like ours, or able to support ours, has been intriguing astronomers and philosophers alike. The tremendous advances in instrumentation and processing power have helped confirm the existence of a couple of thousand exoplanets in our galaxy; a key question that remains has to do with the existence of rocky planets in the so-called habitable zone, the 'just right' region around a star that is neither too hot nor too cold, with surface temperatures consistent with the presence of liquid water. The EU-funded EXACT project is optimising the way we can use the angular and spectral resolutions of the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) currently under construction, which will be able to gather 20 times more light than the largest existing optical telescopes today, to significant improve our ability to characterise faint planets, in particular in the habitable zone of nearby stars.
Fields of science
Call for proposal
See other projects for this call
Funding SchemeERC-COG - Consolidator Grant