In Chile's Atacama desert, stargazers search for alien life and 'dark energy'

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People look astatine the entity during a sojourn astatine 'Las Campanas' Observatory, located successful the Andes Mountains, successful the Atacama Desert area, adjacent Vallenar, Chile, October 14, 2021. REUTERS/Pablo Sanhueza

ATACAMA DESERT, Chile, Nov 1 (Reuters) - In Chile's adust Atacama desert, stargazers are scanning the wide nighttime skies to observe the beingness of beingness connected different planets and survey alleged 'dark energy,' a mysterious cosmic unit thought to beryllium driving the accelerating enlargement of the universe.

Central to the contention to adjacent into distant worlds is the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT), a $1.8 cardinal analyzable being built astatine the Las Campanas observatory and which volition person a solution 10 times higher than the Hubble abstraction telescope.

The telescope, expected to statesman cognition by the extremity of the decade, volition vie with the European Southern Observatory's Extremely Large Telescope - located further northbound successful the aforesaid godforsaken - arsenic good arsenic the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) being built successful Hawaii.

"This caller procreation of elephantine telescopes is aimed precisely astatine detecting beingness connected different planets and to find the root of acheronian energy," said Leopoldo Infante, manager of the Las Campanas observatory.

"It's a contention by these 3 groups for who makes it archetypal and who makes the archetypal discovery."

Infante said the caller elephantine scope would beryllium capable to observe integrated molecules successful the ambiance of distant planets.

"That is the expectation," helium said. "And whoever detects beingness connected different satellite volition triumph the Nobel Prize, I guarantee you."

The different prize is studying acheronian vigor - abstracted from the likewise enigmatic acheronian substance - which is considered to beryllium a spot of abstraction and is driving the universe's accelerated expansion. It makes up a immense magnitude of the universe, but remains mostly an unsolved mystery.

"There is an vigor that is causing the beingness to expand, but besides to accelerate that expansion," said Infante, adding scientists knew that this vigor indispensable exist, though they did not recognize its origin.

"So this scope is designed to beryllium capable to survey precisely what is called the acheronian vigor of the universe, to beryllium capable to recognize physically what that vigor is and wherever that vigor comes from."

Reporting by Jorge Vega and Fabian Cambero; Editing by Adam Jourdan and Richard Chang

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