It doesn't come easy writes "NASA's Institute for Advanced Concepts has chosen a proposal by the University of Colorado (UC) at Boulder to image distant planets around other stars for a second round of funding. Known as the New Worlds Observer, the UC project is for an orbiting, soccer-field sized "starshade" shaped like a daisy that would funnel light from distant planets between its petals to a second spacecraft trailing 50,000 miles behind. If the concept proves feasible, it could 'identify planetary features like oceans, continents, polar caps and cloud banks, and even detect biomarkers like methane, water, oxygen and ozone [...]'"
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