Stargazers in Chile’s Atacama Desert search for alien life and ‘dark energy’

Central to the race to see into distant worlds is the Big Magellan Telescope (GMT), a $1.8 billion complicated being constructed on the Las Campanas observatory and which could have a decision 10 instances larger than the Hubble house telescope.

The telescope, anticipated to start operation by the tip of the last decade, will compete with the European Southern Observatory’s Extraordinarily Massive Telescope — positioned additional north in the identical desert — in addition to the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) being in-built Hawaii.

“This new technology of large telescopes is aimed exactly at detecting life on different planets and to find out the origin of darkish power,” stated Leopoldo Infante, director of the Las Campanas observatory.

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“It is a race by these three teams for who makes it first and who makes the primary discovery.”

Infante stated the brand new large telescope would be capable to detect natural molecules within the ambiance of distant planets.

“That’s the expectation,” he stated. “And whoever detects life on one other planet will win the Nobel Prize, I guarantee you.”

The opposite prize is finding out darkish power — separate from the equally enigmatic darkish matter — which is taken into account to be a property of house and is driving the universe’s accelerated growth. It makes up an enormous quantity of the universe, however stays largely an unsolved thriller.

“There’s an power that’s inflicting the universe to increase, but additionally to speed up that growth,” stated Infante, including scientists knew that this power should exist, although they didn’t perceive its origin.

“So this telescope is designed to have the ability to examine exactly what is known as the darkish power of the universe, to have the ability to perceive bodily what that power is and the place that power comes from.”

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