Telescope technology currently in the works will use light measurements to search for planets beyond our solar system whose orbit around a star means they could support life, Wired reports. The system, called nulling interferometry, uses tiny mirrors that move at atomic levels to combine the power of several telescopes, creating a device that could see a quarter on the moon.
Nulling interferometry would detect the planets by observing miniscule “wobbles” in stars’ light spectrums, which indicate the gravitational pull of a nearby planet. “The goal is nothing less than finding the first ever Earth-like planet orbiting around a star,” says an astronomer. The search could begin in 6 months, via telescopes in Chile, on which the system is currently being installed.