The goal of Project EDEN is to find possibly earth-like planets in our direct vicinity: within fifty lightyears from the Sun. Although only a tiny fraction of the volume of the Miky Way Galaxy, the fifty lightyear volume we are surveying for planets is the volume within which earth-like planets can be best characterized in the future. The planets found within fifty lightyears are the closest planets to us – if humanity ever succeeds in interstellar travel, it will voyage to the planets around the closest stars.
Within fifty lightyears from the Sun there are about one thousand stars: these include many stars in binary or triple stellar systems, many stars that are more or less massive than the Sun, many that are younger and many that are older than our star.
Currently, no exoplanet detection method exists that is efficient for all types of the stars within fifty lightyears: some methods work for younger stars, some require a special planetary system orientation, while others will only work efficiently for stars with masses somewhat lower than the Sun.
Therefore, EDEN utilizes a combination of exoplanet discovery methods. Our primary focus in the first phase of EDEN is the exoplanet transit method: we are using a network of telescopes in our transit survey (EDEN/TS) to probe the habitable zones of stars within fifty lightyears. EDEN is also preparing a stellar radial velocity survey (EDEN/RV) and direct (high contrast) imaging survey for exoplanets (EDEN-I).