The number of 160 planets comes from 4,500 exoplanets that have previously been identified first.
“The most amazing scientific opportunity ahead of us in the coming decades is the possibility that we can find life on other planets orbiting stars in the galactic environment,” said Caltech committee Astrophysicist, Fiona Harrison, quoted from Live Science, Monday (22/11/2021).
The new equipment would have to be more sophisticated than the Hubble telescope, and be equipped with infrared, optical, and ultraviolet sensors. However, the existence of the new telescope will be available in 20 years or around 2040.
The need for a new telescope is mentioned in the top three priorities of astronomers in the next 10 years. This is the advice that the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine make to NASA and National Science.
The top three priorities are understanding the nature of black holes and neutron stars, and how galaxies form and evolve. It also conducts research to identify other planets similar to Earth.
The Earth-like planet is predicted to be habitable. Research is also being conducted on whether there are biochemical signs of life on other planetary systems.
“With a telescope like that, we’re going to see different little dots,” Bruce Macintosh, an astrophysicist at Stanford and a member of the committee, told The Atlantic.
Macintosh said analysis of light reflected from exoplanets would yield knowledge about the chemical composition of the planet’s atmosphere.
For information, life on a planet can be known because of the evidence of the atmosphere, namely oxygen, methane and water. Astronomers also rule out other things like volcanic activity.