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A US-Australian initiative aims to launch a telescope into low-Earth orbit to search for signs of life in our solar system’s nearest neighbor—the Alpha Centauri star system.

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The project, called Tolliman, involves scientists from the University of Sydney and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and is funded by a breakthrough initiative by the Australian government and billionaire Yuri Milner.

Alpha Centauri is a triple star system 4.35 light-years from Earth, with all three stars potentially capable of hosting temperate planets.

Scientists hope to find planets orbiting these three stars in the “Goldilocks zone,” a distance that would create a liquid surface and possibly a temperature suitable for life.

The telescope will use a new “diffractive pupil lens” to measure the positions of the three stars in search of smaller stars, which reflect a planet’s gravitational tug on them.

Toléman, derived from the Arabic name of the star system, stands for Telescope for Orbit Locus Interferometric Monitoring of Our Celestial Neighborhood.

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