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Monday, January 7, 2013
A New Way To Look For Signs Of Life In The Cosmos Being Launched By British Astronomers
The night sky above Paranal in Chile, where NGTS will be built. In the foreground is the Very Large Telescope. Photograph: Yuri Beletsky/European Southern Observatory
British Astronomers Launch Advanced Planet Search To Look For Signs Of Life -- The Guardian
Robotic telescopes in Chile's Atacama desert will conduct Next Generation Transit Survey to analyse atmospheres for clues
The art of hunting planets has come so far that astronomers can now list hundreds of alien worlds that orbit stars so faint they are not even visible as pinpricks in the clear night sky.
Little is known of these far-flung planets. The most conspicuous are huge, the size of Jupiter, and scorched from circling so close to their suns. Others are giant iceballs, or waterworlds, or even rocky like Earth. But the finer details are a mystery, the stuff of speculation more than science.
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My Comment: This is what I call exciting work.