Monday, February 5, 2018

La Silla Observatory Introduces New Telescope

Article Written By: Kyle Tam


Image Credit: Petr Horálek/ESO
Image Credit: Petr Horálek/ESO
 The European Southern Observatory (ESO) has announced that three new telescopes are now operational at the La Silla Observatory in northern Chile. These telescopes will help scientists look for planets passing in front of small 'red dwarf' stars.
 The three 0.6 meter ExTrA telescopes can observe changes in a star's brightness in many different wavelengths of light. This technique aims to catch the dimming of a star that might be caused by a planet passing in front of the star. This differs slightly to existing transit methods, allowing for ground-based telescopes to correct for variations caused by the Earth's atmosphere.
  "With the next generation of telescopes, such as ESO's Extremely Large Telescope, we may be able to study the atmospheres of exoplanets found by ExTrA to try to assess the viability of these worlds to support life as we know it," the project's lead researcher, Xavier Bonfil, said in the ESO statement.

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