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Brazil will collaborate in research to search for life on exoplanets

O Brazil will be part of the largest astronomical project under development in the world: the Andes (Echelle High Dispersion Spectrograph). The tool will be installed on the European Extremely Large Telescope (EELT) and will allow the search for signs of life on exoplanets to evolve and the possible detection of the first stars in the universe.

An agreement signed on June 5 included the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN) and the National Observatory (ON) in the document that authorized the start of construction on the Andes.

The spectrograph’s objective is to study the atmospheres of Earth-like exoplanets — looking for signs of life — and analyze chemical elements of distant objects in an attempt to become the first instrument to detect signs of the first stars born in the Universe.

“In addition to the countless scientific perspectives in various areas of Astronomy, the Andes also offers a unique opportunity to test fundamental aspects in Cosmology and Theoretical Physics such as, for example, the universality of the laws of Physics, the evolution of the temperature of the cosmic background radiation and mapping the history of the expansion of the universe,” said Jailson Alcaniz, director of the National Observatory and member of the cosmology and fundamental physics group of the Andes/ELT/ESO project, in a press release.

By analyzing the wavelengths of light rays, Andes will allow astronomers to identify details of objects in space, such as their chemical composition. This is the device that can achieve record precision in analyzing visible light from the Universe.

The EELT, a project that will include the Andes, is scheduled for completion by the end of the 2020s and will be the largest optical telescope in the world. Its construction is taking place in the Atacama Desert, in northern Chile.

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Source: CNN Brasil

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