Scientists Seek Help To Build A Telescope To Look For Earth-Like Planet

Angela Betsaida Laguipo
First Posted: Nov 16, 2016 03:10 AM EST
NASA/Getty Images

A team of scientists plans to build a telescope to look for the next Earth and citizens across the globe can help. Dubbed as the "Project Blue," the initiative aims to raise at least $1 million through the crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter.

For thousands of years, humans have looked at the sky and wondered if there are other planets just like Earth, which can provide home and shelter in the future. To answer this big question, a team of scientists is asking the participation of citizens to be part of this historic moment. This ambitious initiative will directly take photos of planets around the double suns of Alpha Centauri, which is the nearest stellar near the Solar System.

The initiative consists of scientists from various organizations such as Mission Centaur, SETI Institute, BoldlyGo Insitute and the University of Massachusetts Lowell. This high-impact space exploration will enable the telescope to capture images, visible to the human eye of orbiting exoplanets using a low-cost and lightweight telescope. Astrophysicists believe that this could lead to the discovery of at least one potentially Earth-like planet.

"We're at an incredible moment in history, where for the first time, we have the technology to actually find another Earth," said Jon Morse, Mission Executive, in a press release by Project Blue.

"Just as exciting -- thanks to the power of crowdfunding -- we can open this mission to everyone. With the Project Blue consortium, we are bringing together the technical experts who can build and launch this telescope. Now we want to bring along everyone else as well. This is a new kind of space initiative -- to achieve cutting-edge science for low cost in just a few years, and it empowers us all to participate in this moment of human discovery," he added.

If the project reaches $4 million, the scientists will be able to do more than just build a telescope. They could test their technology, a coronagraph, manufacture key telescope elements and include students and universities in the project to support learning about open space.

The crowdfunding project will run through Dec. 21 via Kickstarter.

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