EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Darwin infrared space telescopes. Computer artwork of these ESA (European Space Agency) telescopes in orbit. The Darwin mission will combine the light (blue beams) observed by six infrared telescopes at a central hub (centre) and relay data to Earth from a communications satellite (both lower left). The aim of the mission is to search for the signs of life (such as water and ozone) in the infrared absorption spectra of the atmospheres of planets orbiting other stars. The telescopes will orbit at the L2 Langrangian point, and launch in 2014.
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