French astronomy suggests construction of a hyperteleskop, which allows direct view of the surface earth-oriented exoplanets
Antoine labeyrie has a dream – for a long time. He dreams of a super telescope that is able to dissolve and photograph oceans, tropical walder and mountain chains from planets outside of our solar system – and at the same time proven traces of life. For some years, labeyrie has been trying to put his idea into action. So far his concept found only on the friction board. He still tinkes to the development of a small prototype – still the exo earth imager (EEI), so the name of the designed giant observatory, pure future music that will certainly sound at some point. But when?
Sage and write 181 exoplanets (as of: 7. Marz 2006), who have established themselves in 147 solar systems, were able to locate the mining planet detectives within eleven years with their earthbound and orbital magnifiers; 181 extrasolar planets, which have now been confirmed and cataloged and have made the jump in the official extra-solar planets catalog by jean schneider. There are still dozens of other localized candidates to finally be used as a true startrabants.
Free view for freely floating telescopes
Previously, the exoplanetenjagen trailed the remote worlds coarse part by means of the old-preserved and effective radial speed technique in which the gravitational force of the planets and the resulting tumular wiggle of the central star meter genuauf are measured. But the so-called transit technique, which measures the brightness fluctuations of a star caused by a passing planet, has meanwhile established itself as a barely gentle method of trailing methods.
Amateur recording of the 2.2 million light-years from the earth removed andromeda nebels. Wonderful and guaranteed abundant blessed with planet. Nevertheless, the search for extrasolar planets on the galaxy, say the milk strain, must limit. It will take a while until the planetenjagers locate the first planet outside the milk strain.
Three extrasolar planets have astronomers so far with a fully other method, the exotic gravitational microlensing method (gravitational lens effect),. The planetenjager uses a natural stellar effect. If a star is moving past this in the sight line of the earth and a distant background star, the light of the background star is characterized by the gravitational lens effect in a characteristic manner. Thanks to such phantom images, astronomers can not only look behind the cosmic facades of stars, galaxies and galaxy clusters, but also localize extrasolar planets. Because exoplanets that close around the "lane" stern circles, rewrite the light curve of the lighting in such design that they are easily recognizable as planet.
Nevertheless, despite the most modern technology and regardless of all aged tricks, the planetary panties still have no "real" ground-toothed planet. The measuring instruments are not mature and sensitive enough to make a "second earth" thing – especially with earthbound telescopes. Far better the situation in orbit. Here, where astronomers do not have to take a storey atmosphere, with no extensive light pollution and annoying cloud cover, there is still a free view of a distant sky corner, provided that the self-free-floating telescopes are fully functional.
Limitless freedom for TPF and darwin
Two space objects, which are to benefit from the boundless freedom on the clouds, are the two ambitious projects terrestrial planet finder (NASA’s darwin mission of the ESA. Both interferometry super telescopes can overlap the captured radiation such that the image sharpness corresponds to a 100 meter coarse telescope. If TPF is really starting in 2014/15 (for the time being, NASA had to freeze the project due to lack of finances), then the approximately 1.7 billion dollars expensive NASA telescopic quintet is looking for an earth-tooth planet in up to 50 light years removal – and 100 times more accurate than "hubble".
So promising the NASA project terrestrial planet finder also encounters – its technical implementation is still in far away due to the financial note of NASA.
The european counterpart darwin on the other hand, consists of a fleet of eight spacecrafts, which operate on the so-called lagrange point L 2 – 1.5 million kilometers from the earth, the point on a ground umbiltrain behind the moon, where the gravitational faith holds the scales, so that spaceships in the room quasi still stand. Like TPF, darwin is said to have any traces of earth toothed planets and in their atmosphere for chemical traces of life. In order to effectively implement this, the telescopic spectrographs of the two observatories disassemble the light reflected from the planet in its color components. This can determine the temperature and chemical composition of the exoatmosphere.
To the ESA mission darwin it is far more ordered. It will find in the next decade of earth-toothing exoplanets and analyze their atmosphere under essential.
Since each element has a unique chemical fingerprint, there are all potential biosignures that indicate life, such as methane or ozone. Found darwin or "pf" for example, a planet with said chemical compounds, however, was not yet clarified which life forms have set the processes necessary for it. What lives there and what it may look like, whether human or ink fishing, whether it is his existence as a microbe or self-examined the light signature of our home planet – this remains an initially once a locked book with seven seals. For the time being – but certainly not forever.
Diameter: 100 kilometers
If it goes according to the french astronomer antoine labeyrie, then in the next decade, a uberdimensional rough telescope in the erdorbit could drive, which the dissolution shift of TPF and darwin far transferred and due to its enormous sensitivity even in the position of goods, to target earth-close exoplanets directly and local to make details of the surfaces visible. "With a diameter of a few hundred kilometers, this hypertelescope would be rough enough to dissolve an area of the coarse of the amazona basin with a 10 light-years remote exoplanets", illustrates labeyrie.
Searching for earth-tooth planets with traces of life goes into the crucial round in the next decade.
On the drawing board laberies, the exo earth imagery (EEI), according to the premier name of the planned telescope, has already amed vivid forms. For example, the current design of the french astronomer from observatoire de haute-provence in france provides a huge remote tube, which should consist of many small mirror elements; more specifically, 150 mirror elements, each with a diameter of three meters. In closed formation, the diameter of the telescopic fleet should be a say and write 100 kilometers and cover in all an area of 8000 square kilometers. The individual mirrors were carefully positioned with each other so that the collected light on a focal point bundled. The individual small telescopes, which circle the earth into three different concentric circular paths, were merged into a gigantic mirror.
30 light years removed blue oceans?
Despite all enthusiasm, the frenchman for a controlled approach plads. "We first try pictures of earthly planets to circle the stars," explores labeyrie. "In the beginning of such pictures, there will be no significant details at first, which is why it is difficult to determine if the planet questionable demands the training of life."
any galaxy of at least 100 billion galaxies in this universe. In the galaxy, erdahnen exoplaneten en mass was present. For exo earth imagers, they are above all reach.
Labeyrie, who has been working on the realization of his dream for several decades and has already started some test runs with small prototypes at the observatory of haute-provence, set his concept of the experts for the first time in 1999 in the science post "snapshots of alien worlds-the future of interferometry" detailed. Meanwhile, the frenchman is sure that his planned observatory even on a 30 light-years exo-light years can still be a stucco land from the rough of the earthly amazon area and self-sharpening blue oceans and women’s polar bars.
Better give up smoking
But exo earth imagers can still: like TPF and darwin, the telescope armada is also intended to disassemble the reflected light of exoplanets in its various color components by means of spectrographs in order to obtain information about the chemical composition of the local atmosphere. Should EEI robble on an earthly planet located in a habitable zone, on which the element is oxygen, which arises on earth as a by-product of photosynthesis, or even find ozone in its atmosphere, this would be a strong indication of life.
If "aliens" were examining the atmosphere of our planets with a spectrograph, they found abundant oxygen, ozone and carbon dioxide. It would be a clear indication of biological life, as long as you classify it as such and recognize.
Asks only when the ambitious project is allowed to celebrate its premiere, say his first light in space. In view of the empty coffers, better said the strongly tense budget of NASA and ESA, it looks then as if EXO planet imagers do not jump into the three-dimensionality. Labeyrie, whose model has won only on sketches acceptable contours, is still in optimism. "EEI is a very complex and costly apparatus, but I think that it is built earlier or later," says the frenchman opposite the science magazine new scientist, in his last edition of 25. February 2006 (nr. 2540, S. 40-43) over the dedicated EEI concept reported. Also malcolm fridlund from the ESTEC in noordwijk (netherlands), which pays for the leading project scientists of darwin mission, is also confident, but sees a point of action:
I am now 53 years old. If I lose weight with the smoking and a few kilograms of weight, I ame that I will see a photo of a soothing exoplanet in high resolution during his lifetime.