ESO's New Very Large Telescope to Receive Upgrade

Very Large Telescope

Very Large Telescope

The European Southern Observatory's (ESO) Very Large Telescope (VLT), located in Northern Chile, is set to receive an upgrade that will aid in its search for extraterrestrial life. The ESO has partnered with Russian program Breakthrough Initiatives to fund the program, which will search for life in the Alpha Centauri system.  The VLT's upgrade will focus on its VSIR instrument, an imaging tool that observes celestial objects in the infrared.

The partnered organizations are optimistic, since scientists discovered a rocky, Earth-sized planet orbiting within Proxima Centauri's habitable zone just last year.  The upgrades to the telescope will likely be complete by 2019, and Breakthrough Initiatives hopes to be able to send a spacecraft to the neighboring system within a generation.    

Source: The Verge

Tobias Wayland