As noted by the team behind the revolutionary project, their Telescope will be the world’s first and only telescope capable of imaging oceans, continents, and life on nearby exoplanets. Designed from the ground up, ELF is a new way to build affordable large-scale telescopes for exoplanetary research. Highly specialized to see exoplanets up to 120 trillion miles (24 light years) away from Earth, ELF is designed for detecting the energy signature of life or life’s likely chemical fingerprints in the atmosphere from water (H₂O), oxygen (O), methane (CH₄), and ozone (O₃), or on the surface from photosynthetic biopigments.
This groundbreaking telescope would have the ability to see up to 120 Trillion miles into outer space and discover life beyond Earth.
Dubbed as ELF—which stands for ExoLife finder—the telescope would search the universe for ‘chemical fingerprints’ of life on the surface of distant alien worlds. The telescope would have the capability of snapping images go distant alien continents and oceans.
The best part, you can be a part of it. The project is currently on Kickstarter raising funds.
Once the telescope is constructed, it will start searching the cosmos with one main goal: Finding alien life, whether it’s small or big.
In order to do so, it will start off by exploring its first target—an alien world located in the Proxima Centauri system dubbed as Proxima B thought to orbit its host star within its habitable zone.
This star system is our closest neighbor located around 4.2 light-years away.
This massive alien hunting telescope will be composed of sixteen 5-meter mirrors, based on printed mirror technology according to reports from the Planets Foundation.
Once finished, the telescope is expected to be 25 meters wide and will be located in the Atacama Desert in Chile.
According to initial reports, the ELF telescope would have the ability to explore distant alien worlds located within 25 light-years from our sun.
Most excitingly perhaps, it will have the ability to explore the nearby Alpha Centauri System.
Alpha Centauri is of great interest for Astronomers.
Once the ELF telescope is finished, experts plant to search the neighboring star system and its possible planets for evidence of life as we know it.
Experts will use the telescope to sniff out energy signatures of life in its atmosphere, as well as search the planets’ atmosphere and detected water, oxygen, methane as well as ozone.
However, astronomers note how their revolutionary telescope could even detect photosynthetic organisms or even traces of thermal waste at the surface of the planets from advanced alien civilizations.
Dr. Svetlana Berdyugina, Director of the Kipenheuer Institute for Solar Physics and Planets Foundation, as well as the co-founder, said: “We aim to find life on nearby planets outside the solar system, also known as exoplanets.”
“We have designed a revolutionary telescope with a number of metamaterials, making our mirrors incredibly light and also reducing the cost of our telescopes by a factor of 10. Our powerful new telescope ExoLife Finder, or ELF, will be able to see planets up to 120 trillion miles away, and will image oceans, continents, and life on exoplanets,” added Berdyugina.
Currently, the team behind the project has raised around $17,000 toward their initial goal of $35,000. They hope to meet their initial goal by October 2017.
$35,000 isn’t the price for the telescope.
Total Cost: $130 million USD
Time To Build: 60 months
Planned Location: Atacama Desert, Chile