View Full Version : Distant 'Earths' will only be seen from space

2006-May-17, 05:12 PM
Distant 'Earths' will only be seen from space (http://www.newscientistspace.com/article.ns?id=dn9179&feedId=online-news_rss20)

In the hunt for planets orbiting distant stars, astronomers are continuing to push ground-based technology, hoping to provide existing and future space telescopes with lists of promising targets.

About 170 extrasolar planets have been found so far, but direct detection remains extremely difficult. Isolating light reflected towards the Earth from the exoplanet itself would give astronomers valuable information about what that world was like.

Now, a European team led by Alessandro Berton at the Max Planck Institute of Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany has simulated highly complex Earth-based telescope configurations to see how useful they might be in the hunt.

Their findings suggest the current class of 8-metre telescopes such as the Very Large Telescope in Chile can only hope to directly detect young, bright planets that are at least five times the size of Jupiter, and nothing smaller.

2006-May-18, 11:43 PM
And , as you know, the Terrestrial Planet Finder was canceled.

Oddly, NASA still has a page about it:

But, ESA is apparently still going forward with Darwin:

Kullat Nunu
2006-May-19, 05:36 AM
Not officially cancelled, just "indefinitely deferred". Let's hope they don't become synonymous.

2006-May-19, 09:01 PM
With HLLV/CaLV, you can have Solar Foci telescopes that can resolve Apollo quality images of extrasolar planets. TPF can wait for bigger vehicles, like MRO waited for Atlas V.

Kullat Nunu
2006-May-20, 06:40 AM
It is money what is needed.