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LIFE Team members’ East Coast Journey: From NASA Goddard to AbSciCon

In the lead-up to the Astrobiology Science Conference (AbSciCon) 2024 in Providence, RI, members of the Large Interferometer For Exoplanets (LIFE) team embarked on an exciting journey along the US East Coast. This trip provided a unique opportunity for the team to engage with esteemed colleagues and discuss the latest advancements in exoplanet research. The … Continued

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LIFE contributions at AbSciCon 2024

The Astrobiology Science Conference (AbSciCon) 2024, held in Providence, RI, from May 5-10, brought together leading scientists to discuss the latest advancements in the search for life beyond Earth. Among the notable contributions were those from members of the Large Interferometer For Exoplanets (LIFE) team, who presented several significant studies and updates on our mission. … Continued

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LIFE XII paper accepted in AJ: Sniffing Capstone Biosignatures in the MIR

LIFE paper XII – “The Detectability of Capstone Biosignatures in the Mid-Infrared — Sniffing Exoplanetary Laughing Gas and Methylated Halogens”,  is accepted for publication in AJ and available on arXiv as of today. We hope that there is a little bit for everyone in this: a detailed review how these biospheres could form and why … Continued

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LIFE XI paper accepted in A&A: Phase-space synthesis decomposition

In this paper, Matsuo et al. (arxiv link) propose a method for planet detection and characterization with LIFE, named “phase-space synthesis decomposition” (PSSD). PSSD focuses on the correlation of the planetary signal over the entire wavelength range instead of that along the baseline rotation, leading to the relaxation of the technical requirements on the signal … Continued

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LIFE Team members’ East Coast Journey: From NASA Goddard to AbSciCon
May 27, 2024

In the lead-up to the Astrobiology Science Conference (AbSciCon) 2024 in Providence, RI, members of the Large Interferometer For Exoplanets (LIFE) team embarked on an exciting journey along the US East Coast. This trip provided a unique opportunity for the team to engage with esteemed colleagues and discuss the latest advancements in exoplanet research. The … Continued

LIFE contributions at AbSciCon 2024
May 22, 2024

The Astrobiology Science Conference (AbSciCon) 2024, held in Providence, RI, from May 5-10, brought together leading scientists to discuss the latest advancements in the search for life beyond Earth. Among the notable contributions were those from members of the Large Interferometer For Exoplanets (LIFE) team, who presented several significant studies and updates on our mission. … Continued

LIFE XII paper accepted in AJ: Sniffing Capstone Biosignatures in the MIR
January 17, 2024

LIFE paper XII – “The Detectability of Capstone Biosignatures in the Mid-Infrared — Sniffing Exoplanetary Laughing Gas and Methylated Halogens”,  is accepted for publication in AJ and available on arXiv as of today. We hope that there is a little bit for everyone in this: a detailed review how these biospheres could form and why … Continued

LIFE XI paper accepted in A&A: Phase-space synthesis decomposition
August 21, 2023

In this paper, Matsuo et al. (arxiv link) propose a method for planet detection and characterization with LIFE, named “phase-space synthesis decomposition” (PSSD). PSSD focuses on the correlation of the planetary signal over the entire wavelength range instead of that along the baseline rotation, leading to the relaxation of the technical requirements on the signal … Continued

Observing known Exoplanets with LIFE: 10th LIFE paper accepted
August 21, 2023

Out of the 259 known exoplanets within 20 parsec, LIFE’s reference configuration can detect 212 of them. Of these, 38 LIFE-detectable planets orbit in the habitable zone of their host star, including 13 low-mass planets with Mp<5M⊕.

LIFE Team shines at BEACON conference
May 16, 2023

The Biennial European Astrobiology Conference (BEACON) serves as a gathering point for scientists and experts in the Astrobiology field from Europe and beyond. During the latest conference, held on  La Palma Island (Canary Islands, Spain) from May, 8th to 12th 2023, the LIFE Team made significant contributions, which we highlight here.

Funding secured for NICE experiment
April 20, 2023

The Swiss government will contribute nearly three million euros to support the NICE (Nulling Interferometer Cryogenic Experiment) project as part of PRODEX (PROgramme de Développement d’EXpériences scientifiques), a European Space Agency (ESA) programme.

LIFE featured at NCCR PlanetS General Assembly
April 20, 2023

During this year’s general assembly of the Swiss National Competence Center for Research (NCCR) ‘PlanetS’, LIFE was featured at various occasions. On Monday during the main session Sascha Quanz pitched our concept as one of the possible future flagships of the Swiss space community.  In the domain C meeting Eleonora Alei and Björn Konrad presented … Continued

Strong LIFE presence at ESA’s PLANET ESLAB workshop
March 27, 2023

he European Space Agency’s (ESA) PLANET ESLAB workshop was an exciting conference bridging between planetary and exoplanet science and an ideal occasion to advocate for LIFE and attract more supporters.  For many LIFE team members it was the first opportunity to meet in person and discuss synergies between the various fields represented in our diverse team.

Observing Venus-Twins with LIFE: paper IX available on arxiv now
March 9, 2023

In Konrad et al. (https://arxiv.org/abs/2303.04727), the LIFE team studied different quality thermal emission spectra of cloudy Venus-twin exoplanet using Bayesian atmospheric retrievals. The goal of this study was to: test how the retrieval routine introduced in LIFE paper III performs for a realistic non-Earth-like MIR spectrum of a known planet, investigate how clouds impact can … Continued

New LIFE paper accepted about the prospects for detecting and characterising exocomets
February 23, 2023

Comets around other stars than the Sun – exocomets – have so far only been possible to discover indirectly, when they pass in front of their parent stars as seen from Earth. In a new study accepted for publication in Astronomy & Astrophysics, Janson et al. (arxiv) show that LIFE can be used to detect … Continued

LIFE paper VIII accepted: “Where is the phosphine?”
November 16, 2022

Phosphine is a key molecule in the understanding of exotic chemistry of exoplanet atmospheres. While it has been detected in the Solar System’s giant planets, it has not been observed in exoplanets yet. In the exoplanetary context however it has been theorized as a potential biosignature molecule. Angerhausen et al. identified a representative set of scenarios for phosphine detections in exoplanetary atmospheres varying over the whole dynamic range of the LIFE mission.

Paper VII of the LIFE paper series accepted for publication
November 1, 2022

In this paper, Hansen et al (arxiv) follows on their analysis of architectures from paper IV, this time delving into some of the practical and instrumental considerations of building a beam combiner. They present a possible five telescope combiner design based on the work of Guyon, 2013, consisting of a cascade of beam splitters and … Continued

Paper VI of the LIFE paper series accepted for publication
October 7, 2022

Kammerer et al. (arXiv link) show that LIFE would also be a powerful mission to search for Earth-like planets around Sun-like stars. This is important because the true habitability of habitable zone (HZ) planets around M-dwarfs is still an open question and previous LIFE yield estimates had shown a strong preference for detections around M-dwarfs. … Continued

LIFE at ETH Latsis Symposium “The Origin and Prevalence of Life”
August 31, 2022

“What is life? Where, when and how did life arise on Earth? What ingredients were likely present and how were they delivered to Earth?  Under what conditions is life possible and is life likely to exist on other planets or celestial bodies?” These and other questions are tackled by a group of world leading experts … Continued

Paper IV of the LIFE paper series accepted for publication
June 16, 2022

Hansen et al. revisits the studies of configurations and architectures that were taken in the days of Darwin/TPF-I.

Paper V of the LIFE paper series accepted for publication
June 14, 2022

In Alei et al. 2022, the fifth paper of the LIFE series (link to arXiv) we explore the potential of LIFE for characterizing emission spectra of Earth at various stages of its evolution. Assuming a distance of 10 pc and a Sun-like host star, we simulated observations obtained with LIFE on eight different scenarios, which … Continued

Successful LIFE spring/summer meeting 2022
June 9, 2022

On June 8th the LIFE team assembled for its spring/summer 2022 all-hands meeting. The initiative was able to welcome a number of new members and energize the community with exciting news about the successful LIFE paper series or the launch of the new LIFE brand.

LIFE team meets with colleagues at University of Maryland, NASA Goddard and STScI
May 14, 2022

On their trip between the Exoplanets 4 and the AbSciCon conferences, researchers from the LIFE initiatives met with colleagues on the US East Coast formeetings and presentations at the University of Maryland, the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the Space Telescope Science Institute.

LIFE presentations at NCCR PlanetS General Assembly
April 27, 2022

During the general assembly of the National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) PlanetS in Grindelwald, Switzerland, LIFE team members Eleonora Alei and Björn Konrad presented their LIFE related research.

Paper I of the LIFE paper series accepted for publication
March 31, 2022

The first paper in the LIFE paper series was recently accepted for publication in A&A! Quanz et al. 2022 introduce the LIFE initiative and the motivation behind it and perform detection yield estimates for different scenarios and instrument parameters.

Paper III of the LIFE paper series accepted for publication in A&A
March 1, 2022

In Konrad et al. 2022, the LIFE team derived first constraints on the technical requirements for the LIFE telescope in wavelength coverage, spectral resolution, and signal-to-noise ratio.

Paper II of the LIFE paper series accepted for publication
March 1, 2022

In Dannert & Ottiger et al. 2022, the LIFE team describes the process of simulating a LIFE observation with the publicly available LIFEsim tool. We present our methods for signal simulation ( and the subsequent extraction of planets, finding that mid-IR nulling interferometry can indeed provide direct measurements of planetary radii, temperatures and astrometry.

ESA submitted White Paper published by Experimental Astronomy
September 1, 2021

The White Paper that we submitted to the ESA in the context of the Voyage 2050 process was published by “Experimental Astronomy”.

ESA announced their choice for future L-class science mission themes
June 1, 2021

ESA announced their choice for future L-class science mission themes and the detection and characterization of temperate exoplanets is considered to be one of them!

Jens Kammerer presenting LIFE at STScI spring Symposium
April 4, 2021

Jens Kammerer is presenting a poster on behalf of the LIFE initiative at the STScI spring Symposium “Towards the Comprehensive Characterization of Exoplanets: Science at the Interface of Multiple Measurement Technique”

LIFE Teams and Working Groups defined
April 3, 2021

A number of virtual kick-off meetings were organized to define the various LIFE Teams and Working Groups.

LIFE Paper 1 submitted to A&A
January 1, 2021

LIFE Paper I entitled “Large Interferometer for Exoplanets (LIFE): I. Improved exoplanet detection yield estimates for a large mid-infrared space-interferometer mission” was submitted to A&A!

150 participants join LIFE workshop III
December 1, 2020

“LIFE workshop 3” was held online on Monday, November 30, and Tuesday, December 1, 2020. With more than 150 participants we achieved a new all-time high! 

LIFE related talks presented at EPSC 2020
September 1, 2020

Two LIFE related talks were presented at EPSC 2020.

LIFE presented at NASA-sponsored Technoclimes
July 1, 2020

LIFE was presented at the NASA-sponsored interdisciplinary workshop Technoclimes.

LIFE presented at Exoplanets III
July 1, 2020

LIFE was presented at Exoplanets III.

LIFE workshop III
May 10, 2020

The next LIFE workshop (III) will be held in Liège, Belgium from Monday November 30, 2020 (11 am) to Tuesday December 1, 2020 (5 pm). The registration can be found here.

200 participants joined the Virtual Mini-Workshop
May 9, 2020

The online “Virtual Mini-Workshop: LIFE – Large Interferometer For Exoplanets” on May 14 2020 attracted almost 200 participants.

LIFE presented at BlueSciCon
May 8, 2020

LIFE was presented at BlueSciCon 2020 of Blue Marble Space Institute of Science on May 8.

Virtual Mini-Workshop
April 1, 2020

The “Virtual Mini-Workshop: LIFE – Large Interferometer For Exoplanets”  will introduce a larger audience to the LIFE concept and will be held fully online, on Thursday, 14 May 2020, 4.00–6.00 pm CEST. Registration is closed now.

NICE kick-off
March 1, 2020

NICE (Nulling Interferometric Cryogenic Experiment for LIFE) was kicked off.

LIFE presented at ESA/ESTEC
November 1, 2019

LIFE was presented at a “Workshop on Innovative Technologies for Space Optics” at ESA/ESTEC on November 4.

LIFE White Paper selected for presentation
October 1, 2019

The White Paper submitted to ESA in the context of the Voyage 2050 program was selected for presentation at the related ESA workshop in Madrid.

LIFE presented at EPSC 2019
September 1, 2019

LIFE was presented at the European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) 2019 in Geneva.

LIFE at upcoming ESA workshop
September 1, 2019

LIFE will be presented at an upcoming workshop at ESA on “Innovative Technologies for Space Optics”. The talk is scheduled for the session on ultrastable onto-mechanical architectures.

Second LIFE workshop & White Paper submitted
August 1, 2019

The dates for the 2nd LIFE workshop are fixed and the LIFE team submits their White Paper in response to ESA’s call for supporting the long-term planning of the Science Programme.

Watch the LIFE presentation at AbSciCon2019
June 1, 2019

The LIFE presentation shown at AbSciCon2019 is available here.

LIFE abstract for AbSciCon2019 accepted
April 1, 2019

An abstract submitted by the LIFE team to give a talk at the AbSciCon2019 conference was accepted!

LIFE prepares for ESA issued ‘Call for White Papers’
March 1, 2019

ESA issued a Call for White Papers in the VOYAGE 2050 long-term planning of the ESA Science Programme.

Several LIFE-related white papers submitted
March 1, 2019

In the context of the US decadal survey that is carried out to help assess and prioritize future NASA space missions several White Papers dealing with LIFE-related science and mission concepts were submitted.

First LIFE workshop
January 1, 2019

LIFE workshop 1 successfully took place at DLR in Berlin/Adlershof.

Paper published by Experimental Astronomy
December 1, 2018

A paper entitled “Space-based infrared interferometry to study exoplanet atmospheres” has just been published by Experimental Astronomy (click here for the final version).

Paper accepted in A&A
November 1, 2018

A paper discussing the potential of several (future) instruments to directly detect young rocky planets undergoing a post-impact magma ocean phase was accepted for publication in Astronomy  & Astrophysics.

LIFE workshop and NAoS publication
September 1, 2018

The National Academy of Sciences published their “Exoplanet Science Strategy” report.

Papers from SPIE available
August 1, 2018

LIFE related papers from the SPIE conference are now available online. Please check out Quanz et al. (2018) and Defrere et al. (2018b).

LIFE presented at Cambridge
July 1, 2018

LIFE was presented on a poster at the “Exoplanets 2” conference July 2-6, 2018, in Cambridge.

LIFE presented at SPIE conference
June 1, 2018

LIFE and related mission ideas were presented at the SPIE conference “Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation” in Austin/Texas, June 10-15, 2018.

LIFE featured at Caltech
April 1, 2018

LIFE was featured in a presentation at Caltech on the requirements for imaging and spectroscopy of habitable planets

ISSI proposal
March 1, 2018

A proposal to install an ISSI International Team further developing the science of LIFE and assessing the status of key technologies was submitted.

New review paper
January 1, 2018

A new review paper by Defrere et al. about space-based interferometry for exoplanet science was submitted to Experimental Astronomy. The submitted version can be found here.

LIFE presentation in Riga
September 1, 2017

The science of LIFE was presented in a presentation at the European Planetary Science Congress held on September 17-22 in Riga, Latvia.

Life in the media

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If aliens had our life-hunting equipment, could they find us?

[Space.com] After conducting a fair bit of research, scientists have come to a conclusion that may sound redundant: Life could exist on Earth.

Of course, you’re probably thinking “Well, duh.” In fact, it may feel more accurate to say that life does exist on Earth — not simply that it could. But here’s the thing. The team’s conclusion isn’t the focus of the research. It’s merely a means to an end. The plot of this story, rather, lies in precisely why these scientists reached the result.

> Visit article page
Earth as a test object to evaluate the planned LIFE space mission

[Phys.org] Physicists at ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich wanted to know whether the planned LIFE space mission could really detect traces of life on other planets. Yes, it can, say the researchers, with the help of observations of our own planet.

> Visit article page
The LIFE Telescope Passed its First Test: It Detected Biosignatures on Earth.

[Universe Today]We know that there are thousands of exoplanets out there, with many millions more waiting to be discovered. But the vast majority of exoplanets are simply uninhabitable. For the few that may be habitable, we can only determine if they are by examining their atmospheres. LIFE, the Large Interferometer for Exoplanets, can help.

> Visit article page
Scientists experimentally confirm the existence of life on Earth

[The Universe] Scientists have great news: there really is life on Earth. This is not a joke, but the result of an important study for the search for life in the universe. The American-European scientific team has confirmed the suitability of the Earth for life experimentally, using a model of a future space telescope, which they plan to launch into space to search for exoplanets like ours. The project was named LIFE (Large Interferometer For Exoplanets).

> Visit article page
Earth Can Be Used as a Guinea Pig to Search for Extraterrestrial Life with This New Telescope, Astronomers Say

[The Debrief] A team of researchers from ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich has recently published a study that could significantly advance our ability to detect extraterrestrial life on exoplanets, with Earth serving as the guinea pig.

Published in The Astrophysical Journal, their work focuses on the Large Interferometer for Exoplanets (LIFE) space mission and its potential to characterize the habitability of exoplanets by observing Earth as a test object.

> Visit article page
Scientists Check Whether Space Telescope Could Detect Life on Earth

[Futurism] We have some truly epic news. There is indeed life on Earth.

A team of American and European scientists have confirmed this not-so-surprising observation after they simulated the workings of a proposed space telescope, and then focused the telescope on Earth, treating it like a distant exoplanet to see if the instrument could pick up evidence of life.

> Visit article page
If aliens had our life-hunting equipment, could they find us?

[Space.com] After conducting a fair bit of research, scientists have come to a conclusion that may sound redundant: Life could exist on Earth.

Of course, you’re probably thinking “Well, duh.” In fact, it may feel more accurate to say that life does exist on Earth — not simply that it could. But here’s the thing. The team’s conclusion isn’t the focus of the research. It’s merely a means to an end. The plot of this story, rather, lies in precisely why these scientists reached the result.

Earth as a test object to evaluate the planned LIFE space mission

[Phys.org] Physicists at ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich wanted to know whether the planned LIFE space mission could really detect traces of life on other planets. Yes, it can, say the researchers, with the help of observations of our own planet.

The LIFE Telescope Passed its First Test: It Detected Biosignatures on Earth.

[Universe Today]We know that there are thousands of exoplanets out there, with many millions more waiting to be discovered. But the vast majority of exoplanets are simply uninhabitable. For the few that may be habitable, we can only determine if they are by examining their atmospheres. LIFE, the Large Interferometer for Exoplanets, can help.

Scientists experimentally confirm the existence of life on Earth

[The Universe] Scientists have great news: there really is life on Earth. This is not a joke, but the result of an important study for the search for life in the universe. The American-European scientific team has confirmed the suitability of the Earth for life experimentally, using a model of a future space telescope, which they plan to launch into space to search for exoplanets like ours. The project was named LIFE (Large Interferometer For Exoplanets).

Earth Can Be Used as a Guinea Pig to Search for Extraterrestrial Life with This New Telescope, Astronomers Say

[The Debrief] A team of researchers from ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich has recently published a study that could significantly advance our ability to detect extraterrestrial life on exoplanets, with Earth serving as the guinea pig.

Published in The Astrophysical Journal, their work focuses on the Large Interferometer for Exoplanets (LIFE) space mission and its potential to characterize the habitability of exoplanets by observing Earth as a test object.

Scientists Check Whether Space Telescope Could Detect Life on Earth

[Futurism] We have some truly epic news. There is indeed life on Earth.

A team of American and European scientists have confirmed this not-so-surprising observation after they simulated the workings of a proposed space telescope, and then focused the telescope on Earth, treating it like a distant exoplanet to see if the instrument could pick up evidence of life.

Is Earth Habitable For Aliens, And Do They Know It?

[India.com] According to recent study, planed LIFE mission would be able to find signs of on Exoplanets by using by using Earth as a test subject. Details here.

Der Wüstenplanet aus dem Kinofilm «Dune» wäre bewohnbar – gilt das auch für echte Exoplaneten?

[NZZ] Um die lichtschwachen Planeten dennoch aufnehmen zu können, muss man tricksen. Die ETH-Forscher um Sascha Quanz möchten es mit einem sogenannten Interferometer versuchen. Die Grundidee ist, das Licht von mehreren Teleskopen zu kombinieren. Die Lichtsignale werden so überlagert, dass das Licht des Sterns sich gegenseitig auslöscht, das Licht des Planeten aber nicht. Ihre Mission nennen die Astrophysiker Life, das steht für Large Interferometer for Exoplanets und gleichzeitig für das Hauptziel der Mission: Leben entdecken.

Where we might find aliens in the next decade

[BBC] Future telescopes, like the Habitable Worlds Observatory and a European proposal called Life, will then try to perform this same analysis for true Earth-analogue planets around stars like our Sun. “The driving planetary class will be rocky planets in the habitable zone,” says Sascha Quanz, an astrophysicist at ETH Zürich in Switzerland who leads the Life program.

The new hunt for alien worlds: Here’s how NASA plans to find life off Earth

[BBC Science Focus] The next generation of space observatories have life on other planets firmly in their sights.

«Werden wir genug Zeit haben?»

[Tagesanzeiger] Der Genfer Nobelpreisträger Didier Queloz sucht das Weltall mit anderen Schweizer Forschenden nach Lebenszeichen ab. Nicht alle Astronomen sind so zuversichtlich wie er.

A key experiment for the LIFE space mission

[ETH press release] With a constellation of five satellites, the international LIFE initiative led by ETH Zurich hopes to one day detect traces of life on exoplanets. A laboratory experiment in the Department of Physics is now set to demonstrate the planned measurement method.

2 possibly Earth-like worlds, just 16 light-years away

[earthsky.org]The two new planets – GJ 1002b and GJ 1002c – orbit the red dwarf star GJ 1002, less than 16 light-years from Earth. That is very close in terms of stellar distances. Both planets have masses similar to Earth and orbit within the star’s habitable zone. That is the region around a star where temperatures could allow liquid water to exist on rocky planets. […] In the future, the LIFE (Large Interferometer For Exoplanets) mission should also be able to study these planets more closely. LIFE is currently in a first-study phase.

Swiss-Led Group Re-Proposes Revolutionary New Way To Directly Image Exo-Earths

[Forbes] These days almost every other week, there’s a new media flap about some newly discovered potentially habitable planet orbiting a nearby star. Trouble is, most of these exoplanet detections are indirect and researchers end up speculating about their mass, their makeup, their atmospheric compositions and whether they could ever harbor life.
But a group of planetary scientists and astrophysicists, led by a professor at ETH Zurich, has largely resurrected an idea for a flotilla of optically linked, free-flying mid-infrared telescopes that could find heretofore undiscovered earth mass planets in their star’s habitable zone.

Höhere Ziele erfordern grössere Raketen

[Der Bund, CH] Spacex-Chef Elon Musk hat eine Vision: Der Mensch soll den Mars besiedeln. Auf dem Weg dahin sind entsprechende Verkehrsmittel gefragt – eine Rakete etwa, die 100 Personen transportieren soll. Und auch die Nasa schmiedet Pläne.[…] Glauser erwähnt in diesem Zusammenhang das Large Interferometer for Exoplanets (Life), das an der ETH Zürich verfolgt wird.

The Alien Hunter’s Playbook Is Getting a Cutting-Edge Rewrite

[Daily Beast] Using new instruments—including NASA’s $10-billion James Webb Space Telescope as well as the Large Interferometer for Exoplanets, a probe in development in Europe—it’s possible to survey the atmospheres of distant exoplanets far beyond our own solar system.

What comes after the James Webb Space Telescope? Some astronomers want LIFE.

[Popular Science] The Large Interferometer for Exoplanets could chase new exoplanets and galaxies with a fleet of tools—if it ever gets off the ground.

LIFE, Teknologi Canggih yang Kelak Mengungkap Lebih Banyak Ekstrasurya

[National Geographic, Indonesia] Kelak, interferometer nulling akan digunakan lewat LIFE, singkatan dari Large Interferometer for Exoplanets. Orang yang mengupayakannya terwujud adalah Sacha Quanz, astrofisikawan di Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zurich, Swiss.

LIFE : ภารกิจอวกาศเพื่อค้นหาสิ่งมีชีวิตนอกระบบสุริยะที่จะปฏิวัติวิทยาศาสตร์ในอนาคต

[Pantip, Thailand] ด้วยภารกิจ “LIFE” (Large Interferometer For Exoplanets) แนวคิดเกี่ยวกับภารกิจอวกาศที่มีความทะเยอทะยานพร้อมความสามารถทางวิทยาศาสตร์ที่ไม่มีใครเทียบได้ ซึ่งจะได้รับการปรับให้เหมาะสมสำหรับการตรวจจับโดยตรง และการกำหนดลักษณะบรรยากาศของดาวเคราะห์นอกระบบหลายร้อยดวงได้ โดย LIFE ได้นำเสนอเทคโนโลยีใหม่สำหรับการตรวจจับดาวเคราะห์นอกระบบด้วย mid-IR interferometers แบบ Nulling Interferometer หลักการคือการสร้าง “จุดบอด” เสมือนจริงในตำแหน่งที่แน่นอนของแหล่งกำเนิดแสงที่เป็นดาวฤกษ์ เพื่อที่จะเปิดเผยแหล่งกำเนิดแสงที่สลัวกว่า ซึ่งเป็นดาวเคราะห์ที่โคจรรอบมัน

Wie diese Schweizer Forscher Ausserirdische finden wollen

[Blick, CH] Alf, E.T. oder Independence Day – Aliens kennt jeder aus Filmen und Serien. Doch die Wissenschaft beschäftigt sich mittlerweile ganz ernsthaft damit, Spuren von ausserirdischem Leben auf fernen Planeten aufzuspüren – und Schweizer Forscher sind vorne mit dabei.

The exoplanet missions set to revolutionise science

[Innovation News] ETH Zurich’s Professor Sascha P Quanz explores the future exoplanet missions that will search for life beyond our Solar System.

Unveiling exozodiacal light

[Physics today] Nulling interferometry draws aside bright stellar glare to probe fine dust in extrasolar systems that may hamper future searches for Earthlike worlds.

Is there other life in the universe and on other planets?

[Canberra Times] Jonah Hansen, LIFE team member and PhD student specialising in space interferometry at Mount Stromlo Observatory, at the Australian National University summarizes the LIFE mission concept for the Canberra Times.

The LIFE mission: detecting life on exoplanets

[Innovation news network] Coordinated by ETH Zurich, the European LIFE mission is seeking to characterise the atmospheric composition of hundreds of nearby exoplanets to discover if life on exoplanets can exist beyond our Solar System.

Decades ahead, Europe picks goals for big space missions

[Science.org] Themes for billion-euro Voyage 2050 missions include icy moons, exoplanets, and the early universe.

Europe picks categories for three flagship space missions

[Science.org] The biggest space missions gestate for the longest time. Today, the European Space Agency (ESA) revealed the three broad science themes it wants to pursue for large-scale missions of €1 billion or more that would launch between 2035 and 2050.

Wir werden künftig Leben im Labor herstellen

[Sonntagszeitung] Vier Wissenschaftler, darunter der Schweizer Nobelpreisträger Didier Queloz, geben Auskunft über Sinn und Zweck des neuen «Zentrums für den Ursprung und die Verbreitung von Leben» an der ETH Zürich.

Searching beyond the solar system for life on exoplanets

[Innovation News Network] LIFE – a future space mission to characterise the atmospheres of terrestrial exoplanets and search for life outside the Solar System.

Faszination Exoplanet

[University of Bern magazine UniPress] Kevin Heng, Christophe Lovis und Sascha Quanz erforschen weitentfernte Planeten in anderen Sonnensystemen. Unter anderem sind sie auf der Suche nach Leben. Dabei wandeln sie immer an der Grenze des Machbaren. Eine Begegnung.

Is the earth unique? The recipe for a habitable planet

[de Volkskrant paper in the Netherlands) An article about an online conference of the Dutch Origins Center.

Die Seti-Forschung möchte ihr Schmuddel-Image loswerden

[Neue Zuericher Zeitung NZZ] LIFE is mentioned in an article about SETI-research.

Exoplaneten und Habitabilitaet

[fon-times Swiss online magazine article] About Exoplanets and habitabilities.

Gibt es wirklich 36 intelligente Zivilisationen in der Milchstrasse?

[bluewin.ch article] In der Milchstrasse könnte es gut drei Dutzend intelligente Zivilisationen geben, glauben britische Forscher. Ein Astrophysiker der ETH Zürich setzt allerdings ein Fragezeichen hinter solche Schätzungen.

How we might search for life in the future

[The Observer (external newsletter of the Swiss NCCR PlanetS)] The “LIFE” mission, proposed by PlanetS researchers, could help answer questions about the habitability of our cosmic environment by employing a direct approach.

Exoplanet News: new discoveries, characterisations, and formation research

[Exocast podcast] In America, WFIRST has been renamed the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope in honour to the pioneering “Mother Hubble”, while in Europe the LIFE mission kicked off.

Auf der Suche nach einer zweiten Erde

Fon-times Swiss online magazine article about the search for a second earth.

Sonne, Mond und Sterne

[Deutschlandfunk Radio ‘Echtzeit’] One topic, four facets: Today we deal with the universe in real time – something that not only fascinates science fiction fans, but also astrophysicists, architects and techno musicians. When will we really take off?

Ask An Astrobiologist: SOFIA, the Flying Telescope with Dr. Daniel Angerhausen

Once a month, SAGANet (www.saganet.org) and the NASA Astrobiology Program host a program called “Ask an Astrobiologist”, where the public is invited to interact with a high-profile astrobiologist, who replies to Twitter, Facebook, and chat questions live on video.

TOI 700 d: A Possible Habitable Zone Planet

[Centauri Dreams post] Among the discoveries announced at the recent meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Hawaii was TOI 700 d, a planet potentially in the habitable zone of its star. TOI stands for TESS Object of Interest, reminding us that this is the first Earth-size planet the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite has uncovered in its data whose orbit would allow the presence of liquid water on the surface.

Spotting Protoplanet Collision Afterglows

[Medium article, also NCCR PlanetS press release] Planets start out with a bang. During the last stage of planet formation, planetary embryos collide with other protoplanets, causing their surfaces and mantles to extensively melt. Will it be possible to directly image such molten protoplanets with future telescopes?

Exoplanets, ETHZ researchers want to revive the DARWIN project. Let`s support them!

[Swiss online magazine Le Temps] In 2007 the DARWIN project for observing Earth-sized exoplanets by a group of interferometric space telescopes was abandoned by its promoter, the ESA. Today researchers from ETH Zürich are highlighting the interest of resuming a comparable project, given the observations accumulated by the Kepler mission.

Revival of a cancelled space mission

[Article in The Observer (external newsletter of the Swiss NCCR PlanetS)] The characterization of habitable or even inhabited exoplanets is one of the ultimate goals of modern astrophysics. Reviving the concept of a space mission that was cancelled ten years ago would be most promising.