Starshades and Coronagraphs: Essential Technologies for Finding Life in the Universe

NASA is developing ambitious future missions intended to find signs of life on worlds around other stars. Those clues would be present in the planet’s atmosphere: water vapor indicating an ocean, oxygen from green plans, methane from bacteria. To ac

6576 Views | Published on 17th Oct, 2015

NASA is developing ambitious future missions intended to find signs of life on worlds around other stars. Those clues would be present in the planet’s atmosphere: water vapor indicating an ocean, oxygen from green plans, methane from bacteria.

To achieve this challenging goal, we must somehow suppress massively suppress the blazing light from the stars to see faint planets that orbit them. Two technologies being developed to achieve this: star shades and coronagraphs. Our guests today are experts in the technologies and the motivation for pursuing them.

White House Astronomy Night:
https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2015/08/21/white-house-astronomy-night-celebration-science-technology-and-space
http://mo-www.cfa.harvard.edu/OWN/news.html


#astronomy #cosmology #exoplanets #lifeintheuniverse #SpaceTelescopes