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Project Blue Kickstarter aims to photograph first Earth-like planet around Alpha Centauri

By Shawn Knight
Nov 18, 2016
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  1. With billions upon billions of planets and planetary systems out there, the odds would suggest that we may not be alone in the universe. Prior to NASA’s Kepler mission, scientists were just playing the odds but now, thanks to Kepler, it’s estimated that there may be more Earth-like planets in the universe than people alive today.

    The only problem with that theory is that we’ve never come across such a planet. That’s were Project Blue comes into play.

    Project Blue is the name of a mission whose goal is to build a small space telescope to observe planets around Alpha Centauri A and B, the closest star system to ours. With technical experts from BoldlyGo Institute, Mission Centaur, the SETI Institute and the University of Massachusetts Lowell, the team is aiming to crowdfund the endeavor via Kickstarter with the hope of capturing the first image of an Earth-like planet outside of our solar system.

    Experts believe there is an 85 percent probability that either Alpha Centauri A or B has an Earth-like planet in its habitable zone.

    Project Blue will ultimately cost around $30 million but the team is seeking just $1 million to get the ball rolling. With 32 days remaining in the campaign, they’ve raised just $68,000 thus far from 524 backers. With any luck, they’ll gain additional traction and get the funding needed to get started.

    The future of humanity may depend on it, at least according to Stephen Hawking, who recently said we may have as few as 1,000 years to expand to another planet before a disaster takes out Earth.

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. RzmmDX

    RzmmDX TS Guru Posts: 305   +62

    How is this going to be better than the James Webb Space Telescope?
     
  3. Igrecman

    Igrecman TS Enthusiast Posts: 91   +47

    They think people are stupid, don't they? Even if they could, it would be just a little dot.
    They just want money. :rolleyes:
     
  4. Jack007

    Jack007 TS Booster Posts: 161   +34

    Stephen Hawking is wrong. I wouldnt even give humanity 500 years. in two more centuries if we dont develop quantum computers and robotic artificial intelligence to speed up certain things like agriculture and manufacturing of stuff from clothes to transportation vehicles humanity will suffer a major downfall. and it is impossible for aliens not to exist. hopefully they have the same problem of crossing soo many stars to reach us. lets just hope by at least a century away that humans have become ,through accelerated evolution, so superhuman in strength and intelligence that we would be able to battle aliens and at the same time find another habitable planet besides those that we would be forced to terraform
     
    ForgottenLegion likes this.
  5. Jack007

    Jack007 TS Booster Posts: 161   +34

    And there is another problem with project blue how would it relay data it captures so far away. and what automated systems does it have to ensure it even reaches that far. I think it would be best to wait until the warp drive is invented before we even venture that far. getting there star trek style is most desirable in order to really explore with every possible instrument all that is in another galaxy
     
  6. Igrecman

    Igrecman TS Enthusiast Posts: 91   +47

    With the current speed of today's rocket technology, it would take about 165,000 years to reach Alpha Centauri, which is only 4.24 light years away. Humans will not be able to go there or send probes for many centuries if ever, unless we get our hands on a working alien UFO. If they exist and are visiting this planet, just steal one LOL. Although we might need lots of time to figure out how to operate it, and how it works. But event if we do, I bet it's only the motherships that can achieve interstellar travel (...I know,,,if they exist)
     
  7. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,179   +72

    My understanding is that the James Webb telescope operates in orange-red wavelengths and into infrared. Project Blue's goal is to capture a blue planet. :)

    Project Blue will orbit Earth.
     
    mbrowne5061 likes this.
  8. ManuelV

    ManuelV TS Enthusiast Posts: 58   +26

    Life could be extremely common because with the right conditions like on earth it should appear, but look how many life forms there had being on earth, hundreds of millions, and how many inteligent life forms there had being, only 1. Maybe there are millions and millions of planets with life on the galaxy, but the odds to have one with a civilization are very little, we could be the only inteligent life form on the galaxy, or even the cluster of galaxies.
     
  9. Igrecman

    Igrecman TS Enthusiast Posts: 91   +47

    It is believed that the octopus, whales and dolphins are very intelligent, more than apes. They do have some forms of elaborate communication like humans. The octopus is a great problem solver and whales and dolphins are showing very clever strategies while collaboratively hunting. The fact they are in water has limited the way they can use that intellect thus the way they evolved. Their body shape did not make it possible for them to build any kind of tools. Anyways they are too busy struggling to survive.
    The human hand having an opposable thumb has been the greatest asset to our brain. Without it we would never have been able to exploit most of our brain's potential to invent and build stuff. So if intelligent life forms are able to achieve interstellar travel, you can bet they have great dexterity with their limbs, or they wouldn't be able to build complex devices at all.
     
  10. ManuelV

    ManuelV TS Enthusiast Posts: 58   +26

    Yeah, also they may need vocal cords to created a civilization, I don't know if with writing and sign language a civilization could be created, or maybe more slowly and because of that more balanced in their relations with each others and the technology, because we are incredible advance in technology but we are going to slow for our own good in human relations. It is not good for a civilization to get the technology to wipeout the entire planet and don't evolve in their conflict resolution capacities.
     
  11. Jack007

    Jack007 TS Booster Posts: 161   +34

    I know I cant prove it now but there is some evidence from the ancient mayan and other temples that intelligent beings visited here already. Time will tell when humans would achieve interstellar flight and finally explore what is really out there
     
  12. Jack007

    Jack007 TS Booster Posts: 161   +34

    For it to capture a better image it has to be closer to what it is trying to examine. that means traveling for years before it even reaches close for the telescope to do its work
     
  13. Jack007

    Jack007 TS Booster Posts: 161   +34

    We ought to be stunningly lucky if a ufo crashed here and we learned how to use their tech for interstellar travel. Unless it happens like in the movie independence day 2. and even then we would probably need quatum computers to even figure out how to build a ship the way an alien builds it. even if we were even lucky for plans to build a ship were given to us we wouldnt even understand the tech to build it.
     
  14. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,179   +72

    The main problem with capturing the image is that the planet's image is much weaker than the star. There's need to ignore that star's light, and that's something that this telescope can do. It doesn't need to be far from Earth, just outside the atmosphere. I'd suggest that you read the Kickstarter page.
     
  15. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,551   +2,894

    Our candle is burning now. Not only do you have to wonder about where. But you have to consider time and ask when intelligent life existed elsewhere. If we end up exterminating ourselves within the next few centuries, that would mean our candle lit and burned out within 10,000 years. It wouldn't be so hard to believe life elsewhere would only live a few thousand years. I have a feeling we would find signs of live, way before we actually found live much less intelligent live.
     
  16. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 334   +131

    Ignoring Dolphins, Octopi, and some whales, Homo Sapiens hasn't been the only land-dwelling creature capable of abstract thinking. There is the entire Homo genus, the Great Apes, Crows, and Elephants. All have shown the ability to learn how to not only make and use simple tools, but some apes will even improve them (or at least select a better one when it doesn't work as well as they like).

    Then there is the theory that Homo Sapiens wiped out the other members of the Homo Genus - that a planet will only support one single truly sentient race at a time due to competition for available resources.
     

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