Australian scientists have developed a new type of sensor to measure and correct the distortion of starlight caused by viewing through the Earth’s atmosphere, which should make it easier to study the possibility of life on distant planets.
Using artificial intelligence and machine learning, University of Sydney optical scientists have developed a sensor that can neutralise a star’s “twinkle” caused by heat variations in the Earth’s atmosphere. This will make the discovery and study of planets in distant solar systems easier from optical telescopes on Earth.
“The main way we identify planets orbiting distant stars is by measuring regular dips in starlight caused by planets blocking out bits of their sun,” said lead author Dr Barnaby Norris, who holds a joint position as a Research Fellow in the University of Sydney Astrophotonic Instrumentation Laboratory and in the University of Sydney node of Australian Astronomical Optics in the School of Physics. [Read more…] about AI and photonics join forces to make it easier to find ‘new Earths’
- 31As missions like NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, TESS and Kepler continue to provide insights into the properties of exoplanets (planets around other stars), scientists are increasingly able to piece together what these planets look like, what they are made of, and if they could be habitable or even inhabited. In…