For the First Time in History, We Are Seeing Alien Worlds

Credits: N. Jeremy Kasdin, et al. / Princeton University
Uncategorized
Share

November 15, 2016 > SilentCircle > From hfuturism.com

A team of scientists and engineers at Princeton University just gave exoplanet research a long-needed boost. Using a new Earth-bound instrument, the scientists were able to isolate light reflecting from far-out exoplanets.

Credits: N. Jeremy Kasdin, et al. / Princeton University
Credits: N. Jeremy Kasdin, et al. / Princeton University

This new instrument is known as CHARIS, an acronym for Coronagraphic High Angular Resolution Imaging Spectrograph. It was built by a team led by N. Jeremy Kasdin, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton. CHARIS features nine mirrors, five filters, two prism assemblies, and a microlens array. It weighs 226.8 kg (500 lbs), and is maintained at -223.15 C (50 Kelvin, -369 F).

According to the team, CHARIS was able to isolate light reflecting from an exoplanet — a fairly difficult feat, given that these planets are dimmer than the stars they orbit.

“By analyzing the spectrum of a planet, we can really understand a lot about the planet. You can see specific features that can allow you to understand the mass, the temperature, the age of the planet,” researcher Tyler Groff explained.

Exoplanets are planets found outside of the solar system, orbiting another star. We owe most of our success at finding exoplanets to the Kepler space telescope. But apart from where they are located, there really isn’t much we know about them.

CHARIS can help change that. It has been more than three decades since the first known exoplanets were discovered in the 1990s, and our fascination with them has only increased – especially since they could potentially support life (as a future home for us or a current one for extraterrestrial civilizations).

“With CHARIS spectra we can now do a lot more than simply detect planets: we can measure their temperatures and atmosphere compositions,” said Olivier Guyon, faculty member at the University of Arizona and head of the adaptive optics program at the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii, with which CHARIS works in conjunction.

Exoplanet research is bound to get even better in the next couple of years, with the capabilities of CHARIS, together with the Subaru Telescope, and with the James Webb Space Telescope’s scheduled launch in 2018.

“There is a lot of excitement,” said Tyler Groff, a member of the Princeton research team currently working in NASA. “[CHARIS] is going to open for science in February to everyone.”

—Read more at: http://futurism.com/for-the-first-time-in-history-we-are-seeing-alien-worlds/


Uncategorized
No more dissident voices: Succumb to Facebook & Twitter’s demands or get banned (or both)
Share

A recent purge by Facebook and Twitter of a host of independent media sites has pushed thousands of people out of work and has killed one of the most effective forms of expressing political dissent. Related PostsThis Is What Mind Control Looks Like – VIDEOWhen It Comes to Fake News, …

Uncategorized
‘Ancient Egyptian pigment can boost energy efficiency’
Share

A colour developed by Egyptians thousands of years ago can boost energy efficiency by cooling rooftops and walls, and could also enable solar generation of electricity via windows, scientists say. Egyptian blue, derived from calcium copper silicate, was routinely used on ancient depictions of gods and royalty, according to the …

Uncategorized
Father Of World Wide Web Launches Platform Which Aims To Radically Decentralize The Internet
Share

“For people who want to make sure the Web serves humanity, we have to concern ourselves with what people are building on top of it,” Tim Berners-Lee told Vanity Fair last month. “I was devastated” he said while going through a litany of harmful and dangerous developments of the past three decades …