Thursday 1 February 2018


Exploiting some of the same technical achievements that enabled the precision measurements sensitive enough to detect passing gravitational waves as they ripple through the Cosmos, as Slashdot reports, researchers at the Goddard Space Flight Centre have demonstrated that they can radically tune up the resolution in their search for the signature distortions that exoplanets would have on its host star. This level of refinement means that the hunt for Earth-sized and smaller rocky worlds would be much easier to carry out. To make this experiment a practical exercise would require an observatory that’s built to stability standards that have not been trialled in the field of optical astronomy, shuddering or settling with less tolerance than an atom, but it is nonetheless an attainable goal.