Scientists are preparing a mission to search for life near Earth

The new mission is called TOLIMAN, a reference to the ancient Arabic name for the star. supported him

Breakthrough Initiatives, which is also responsible for the mission, which aims to send a probe with a light sail to the star system.

The TOLIMAN mission plan is to search for planets in the habitable zone around two sun-like stars in the system, Alpha Centauri A and B, which are located four light years from Earth.

Artist's impression of a hypothetical planet orbiting the star Alpha Centauri B. Credit: ESO

Alpha Centauri is 'excruciatingly close'home,” explained mission leader Professor Peter Tuthill from the University of Sydney, who also worked on developing the NIRISS cloaking aperture interferometry mode for the James Webb Telescope.

Astronomers have discovered thousands of exoplanets beyond our solar system, but most of them are thousands of light years away and beyond our reach.

Peter Tuthill, Professor at the University of Sydney

As part of the TOLIMAN mission, engineers are developingA small, specially designed space telescope capable of taking incredibly accurate readings. The main thing is that it fits into a capsule with a volume of only 12 liters, while maintaining thermal and mechanical stability. In the meantime, EnduroSat will develop a delivery system for a custom-built minisatellite.

Simulated view of the Centaurus binary system through the TOLIMAN telescope. Photo: University of Sydney

Modern satellite technologies will allowscientists to explore “our celestial backyard” and perhaps lay the groundwork for promising future missions spanning the interstellar voids in the Centauri system, scientists believe.

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Cover: Alpha Centauri A and B, taken by Hubble, ESA