Searching For Habitable Planets In Alpha Centauri: The Toliman Mission!

Searching For Habitable Planets In Alpha Centauri: The Toliman Mission!

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TOLIMAN MIssion : Searching  for planets in Alpha Centauri!  This is how we will search for habitable  planets in Alpha Centauri, TOLIMAN Mission!  Alpha Centauri is the closest star system to  ours and one of the most critical targets in   the search for habitable planets. Until now,  we knew very little about the possible worlds   in this star system, but that is about to  change thanks to the TOLIMAN Space Telescope.  What will this telescope do, and  when will it be launched into space?  Join us to find out!  Why Alpha Centauri? In this channel, we have talked many times   about this system. Its importance lies mainly in  that it is the closest star system to the Sun and,   therefore, the most promising place to  search for habitable planets like Earth.  It is located at a distance of  approximately 4.37 light years.   It comprises three central stars: Alpha Centauri  A, Alpha Centauri B, and Proxima Centauri. 

Alpha Centauri A and Alpha Centauri B are stars  similar to the Sun and form a binary system,   orbiting each other around a common  center of mass. These stars are   slightly larger and more massive than our Sun. Alpha Centauri A is the largest and most luminous   of the three, while Alpha Centauri B is slightly  smaller and dimmer. Both stars are similar in   age to our Sun and are estimated to be around  4.85 and 6.17 billion years old, respectively. 

Regarding the possibility of habitable  planets in the Alpha Centauri system,   an exoplanet in orbit around Proxima Centauri  has been discovered, named Proxima B.  Proxima Centauri is a red dwarf star and  is the closest of the three to the Sun.   In addition, the exoplanet Proxima B is known  to be in the "habitable zone" of its star,   which means that liquid water could exist  on its surface, which is considered a key   factor for life as we know it. However, the  star is an active red dwarf and regularly  

emits bursts of solar radiation, which could have  implications for the habitability of your planet.  For years astronomers have carried out studies and  simulations to determine if there are more planets   in the Alpha Centauri system, especially in the  habitable zones around Alpha Centauri A and Alpha   Centauri B. Some of these studies suggest the  possibility of rocky planets in orbit around these   stars, although no discovery has been confirmed. Given Alpha Centauri's proximity to our solar   system, it has aroused great interest in the  scientific community and the possibility of   sending space missions in the future  to explore this star system further. 

The development of technologies such as solar  sails and interstellar probes could allow us   to get closer and study Alpha Centauri and  its possible habitable planets more closely;   however, these technologies are still  too far out of reach, so currently,   the only thing we can do is to observe it  with the most powerful telescopes of humanity.  TOLIMAN mission Until now,   everything we know about the Alpha Centauri star  system is the result of research that has been   carried out thanks to data and observations  by telescopes and radio telescopes around the   world in conjunction with space telescopes. Until now, a space mission with the priority   objective of studying the Alpha Centauri system  had never been seriously announced. However, that   is about to change thanks to the Toliman Mission. Toliman is the acronym of Telescope for Orbit  

Locus Interferometric Monitoring  of our Astronomical Neighborhood.   As its name indicates, this space telescope  will have the mission of studying the closest   stars to Earth, placing enormous emphasis  on the study of the Alpha Centauri system.  This makes it the first mission in history that  will have as a priority objective to study the   closest star system to ours. With what they expect  to achieve, great discoveries to decipher which   planets could be found in the surroundings of  the stars that make up the Alpha Centauri system. 

In addition to Alpha Centauri, Toliman  will have the objective of studying in   depth all the stars that are less  than ten light years from ours,   so although its scope will be limited, it  will carry potent observation instruments   that will allow it to see these regions  as no other telescope has done it before.  In addition to its English acronym, the name  TOLIMAN comes from the Arabic name for Alpha   Centauri. The spacecraft itself is a small,  custom-designed space telescope. You can make   excellent measurements of the two stars to  detect any planet around Alpha Centauri.  Initially, the Toliman mission would be  a project financed by NASA, but thanks   to a fundraising campaign, in 2021, the project  obtained $500,000 from the Australian government.  

And in March 2023, the University of Sydney  said it would join the TOLIMAN project by   providing researchers and investment. In the same year, a Bulgarian aerospace   manufacturer called EnduroSat declared  it would provide satellite technology.   And Breakthrough Company Initiatives,  led by Israeli businessman Yuri Milner,   stated that it will also back the mission. Peter Tuthill, an astrophysical imaging   expert from the University of Sydney  in Australia, will lead the mission.  Thanks to all these contributions from visionaries  who believe we could find treasures in these   stars, the Toliman mission will be possible. The  project is currently in Phase 2 of the program,   which consists of designing and building the  telescope and integrating it with the spacecraft. 

"Before moving on, be sure  to like or dislike the video,   so that we can improve them for YOU the viewer. Plus, Don't forget to subscribe to our channel   by making sure to hit the NOTIFICATION BELL,  so you don't miss ANY of our daily videos!  Small but mighty The TOLIMAN space telescope   will not be the most powerful in history; it will  not even be the biggest; compared to the most   modern satellites, it will be small but mighty. The TOLIMAN telescope must be small enough to   fit a limited volume on a primary satellite. The TOLIMAN telescope won't be big since it   won't look that far into the universe and  will only look at the neighborhood around   our solar system. Saving space by not  carrying such a large lens will allow to  

carry other more complex observation instruments  with which you can observe areas close to stars,   especially those where there could be exoplanets. To achieve this feat, the team is developing a   small, custom-designed space telescope capable  of making excellent measurements that must fit   within a limited volume of just 12 liters while  maintaining its thermal and mechanical stability   with extreme precision using active systems. "We are exceptionally proud to partner on this   mission. The challenges are enormous and will  push our engineering efforts to the extreme.   The mission is the first scientific exploration  effort of its kind and will help open the   doors to low-cost astronomical missions,"  Raycho said, founder and CEO of EnduroSat.  Discovering exoplanets is a huge technological  challenge, even for large space telescopes.  

For a mini satellite, it's incredibly daunting as  it requires extreme precision to detect planets   in other star systems. The satellite must be able  to download payload data at more than 125 Mbps,   which will be essential to get all  the data from long observing sessions.  EnduroSat company will provide its technology,  with which it is expected that the Telescope   can carry out constant and permanent  monitoring in the vicinity of the stars   that make up the Alpha Centauri system. So far, the main problem in looking for   exoplanets in the closest stars to our solar  system is that telescopes on Earth and in   space are designed to observe a vast range of  distances and sizes of objects in the universe,   from small stars to vast clusters of galaxies. This prevents us from observing tiny bodies  

such as exoplanets, and even when we do  observe them, they are almost always huge,   the size of gas giants such as Neptune or Jupiter. To observe very small exoplanets the size of the   Earth, you don't need a giant telescope, it is  enough to have the suitable Telescope for it,   but until now, it had not been done since  if a telescope is built that is specifically   designed to observe nearby small exoplanets to  Earth, this it cannot be used for anything else.  This implies a risk that very few  space agencies are willing to take;   that risk is that if this Telescope fails  to discover a single exoplanet, it will be   wasted MONEY since it will not have fulfilled  the only objective for which it was made.  It is difficult for a project like this to be  financed by a space agency, which is why until   now, it has not been possible. However, the scientists in  

charge of this mission are optimistic. "Modern satellite technology will allow   us to explore our celestial backyard and perhaps  lay the groundwork for future visionary missions   spanning the interstellar voids to the Centauri  system," said TOLIMAN mission leader Professor   Peter Tuthill from the University of Sydney. Professor Tuthill has an impressive track record   of designing high-precision instrumentation for  international astronomical projects such as the   James Webb Telescope of NASA, which has been  revolutionary in observational astronomy. He   participated in the design of their aperture  masking interferometry mode, better known as   NIRISS, which offers a high resolution of spatial  observation, ideal for the search for exoplanets.  

This experience will be helpful when designing  observation equipment for the TOLIMAN project.  Breakthrough Initiatives, funded by the  Breakthrough Foundation established by   Julia and Yuri Milner, is a set of science and  technology programs investigating the fundamental   questions of life in the Universe, also including  telescope time acquired at the Parkes radio   telescope at CSIRO to search for any signatures  that may be present around stars in the Milky Way.  "Any exoplanets we find close to Earth  can be tracked with other instruments,   providing excellent prospects for  discovering and analyzing atmospheres,   surface chemistry, or even fingerprints of  a biosphere - the tentative signs of life." 

The TOLIMAN project scientists know the  risk of creating a small telescope for a   specific function. Still, they believe that  if we find at least one habitable exoplanet   with this mission, it will all be worth it. Around our solar system, many nearby stars   could host habitable planets. So far, we still  don't know if are planets orbiting Alpha Centauri   A and B. But we do know that the third member of  the Alpha Centauri system, Proxima Centauri has at  

least two exoplanets called Proxima Centauri  A and B, about which we know very little.  BEfore we move onto the last  question “ Are We Alone?”  be sure to stay tuned afterwards, if you havent'  seen our earlier release on Why Colonize Alpha   Centauri And Proxima Centauri? Are We Alone?  Throughout humanity's history, every time  we look at the night sky on starry nights,   it is natural to wonder if perhaps we are the only  beings that exist in the entire vast universe.  We still do not have an answer to that question;  we know that there are many stars, and most   of them have planets, but we have not found a  single one where life arose, as well as on Earth.  Are we the only ones in the entire universe?  Or is it that we have not searched enough?  The constant search to know that we are not  alone satisfies one of the most critical needs   of humanity, and that need is curiosity. We are curious by nature; it is inevitable  

to ask ourselves questions and  to think that we are not alone.   We like to believe that even if we don't have any  evidence for it, we are not alone in the universe.  Searching for life in the closest stars  to our solar system is the first step in   answering this question. Whether we find  something or not, the TOLIMAN Telescope   will give us the answers we seek. For the first time in all of history,   the human race has the technology to look  at other worlds and search for life outside   our solar system, and this mission will test  all the limits that our technology can reach. 

And you, do you think the TOLIMAN  mission will find a habitable exoplanet?  Do you think we'll finally find out once  and for all if we're alone in the universe?

2023-07-16 12:14

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