Astronomers want NASA to build a giant telescope to look for aliens
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s “top recommendation for a mission” for NASA is a giant telescope capable of viewing far away planets so that they can search for alien life.
Once a decade, NASA and other government science agencies ask this independent panel of experts to review the field of astronomy and determine the top research priorities.
“The most amazing scientific opportunity ahead of us in the coming decades is the possibility that we can find life on another planet orbiting a star in our galactic neighborhood,” said Fiona Harrison, an astrophysicist at Caltech who co-chaired the committee.
“In the last decade, we’ve uncovered thousands of planets around other stars,” Harrison said, where the environmental conditions are possibly habitable for life.
The expert panel recommends a telescope much more sizable than the Hubble Space Telescope that would be capable of blocking out a star’s bright light to capture the much dimmer light coming from a small planet.