Skip to comments.New Alien Planet Hunter -- "Exponentially More Powerful Imager..."
Posted on 03/25/2014 6:48:53 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
In one minute, we are seeing planets that used to take us an hour to detect, says Bruce Macintosh of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory who led the team that built the instrument. After nearly a decade of development, construction, and testing, the worlds most advanced instrument for directly imaging and analyzing planets around other stars is pointing skyward and collecting light from distant worlds.
The instrument, called the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI), was designed, built, and optimized for imaging faint planets next to bright stars and probing their atmospheres. It will also be a powerful tool for studying dusty, planet-forming disks around young stars. It is the most advanced such instrument to be deployed on one of the worlds biggest telescopes the 8-meter Gemini South telescope in Chile.
Even these early first-light images are almost a factor of 10 better than the previous generation of instruments," says Macintosh.
GPI detects infrared (heat) radiation from young Jupiter-like planets in wide orbits around other stars, those equivalent to the giant planets in our own Solar System not long after their formation. Every planet GPI sees can be studied in detail.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailygalaxy.com ...
Gemini Planet Imagers first images of the light scattered by a disk of dust orbiting the young star HR4796A. Processing by Marshall Perrin, Space Telescope Science Institute, CC BY
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Finding giant gas planets is interesting but we really need to be able to locate smaller rock planets similar to Earth or Mars.
All very interesting. However if Einstein was right, no biological or mechanical entity from these planets could ever physically reach us or us them. However Earth has been transmitting huge amounts of digitized communications for the last forty years. Who knows? They may have reached a Civilization twenty or thirty light years away and return messages may be on the way.
I don't think there is anyone out there...but it IS beautiful.
Our Creator has magnificent taste.
Let’s hope he was correct. Any being smart to get here would most likely not be on a rescue mission to help.
I loved the sign in some SF gym last year: “remember, when ETs get here, they will eat the fat ones first”.
Whom will they contact? The Lone Ranger, Johnny Dollar, Mr. Keane? The Shadow? Is it possible that they have been playing "Jeopardy" for all these years?
It’s hush-hush, but the whole premise behind Jeopardy was to broadcast a deep body of trivial information to relay our good intentions to anyone who may be listening. Art Fleming came up with the idea when he was working in military intelligence.