Project EDEN’s goal is to discover and explore the habitable planets closest to us.Daniel Apai
Over the past two decades more than four thousand extrasolar planets have been discovered, giving rise to a new scientific field: extrasolar planets. However, due to the methods utilized, over 95% of these worlds are at great distances, typically several thousand lightyears from Earth. Most of these planets are simply too distant to characterize in detail via remote sensing.
Somewhat counterintuitively, most planetary systems in the direct vicinity of the Sun remain unexplored. Although techniques exist to find planets around the closest stars, they have not been a focus of a systematic search.
Yet, these planetary systems closest to us are the ones that will be studied in the future in details and, perhaps, in the distant future may even be visited by probes or manned space missions.
EDEN is a research project aiming to lead and support research to identify and characterize habitable planets within 50 lightyears.
By exploring the habitable planets around the stars closest to the Sun Project EDEN aims the search for life in the solar neighborhood and leads to the discovery of planets that are close enough to be studied in details. The planets discovered by EDEN are the closest worlds to us – these will be the planets humankind may send probes or perhaps even visit in the distant future.
Project EDEN exploits state-of-the-art knowledge and methods in astrophysics, planetary sciences, and astrobiology to search for and characterize the closest habitable worlds.