Project Blue–a collaboration between scientists at the SETI Institute, the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, and BoldlyGo, among others–is an effort to create a telescope that can capture Earth-like planets in the Alpha Centuri solar system, which is relatively close to ours. The goal is to find small blue dots that could indicate the presence of oxygen and water.
A telescope this powerful is expensive to build, so these scientists are turning to Kickstarter to crowdfund $1 million that will lay the groundwork for the mission, through preliminary analysis, design, and simulations. So far, it's only about $50,000 of the way there, with 412 backers. But it is accepting funds all the way till December 21, 2016.
[Image via Project Blue] ES