Considering that until recently the plan was to spend a few decades and more than a few billion dollars trying to develop and successfully launch the Terrestrial Planet Finder into deep space, I think this is GOOD NEWS.
Here's how it works:
The core of this technical advance is the coordinated operation of: the world's most advanced adaptive optics system, built at Caltech and JPL, which can manipulate light by applying more than 7 million active mirror deformations per second with a precision level better than 1 nanometerâ€"about 100 times smaller than a typical bacterium; a coronagraph, built at the Museum, which optically dims the star but not other celestial objects in the field of view; a spectrograph built by a team from the Museum and Cambridge University that records the images of other solar systems in a rainbow of colors simultaneously; and a specialized wavefront sensor built by a team at JPL that is imbedded in the coronagraph and senses imperfections in the light path at a precision of a nanometer
Anyway, two questions:
1) So when will we know if Pandora exists?
2) Why wasn't this named "Project 1492"?