Earth 2.0 beyond our solar system? China plans to find it

The mission will be supported by seven telescopes, which will scan the sky (representational)

China is now trying to search for a planet with Earth-like conditions. Beijing is trying to find another home planet for humans that can provide conditions suitable for life. Thus, scientists are planning a mission to search for exoplanets located beyond our solar system. A planet that is in the habitable zone of its star in the Milky Way galaxy may be suitable for this purpose.

According to a report in the journal Nature, the Chinese Academy of Sciences has already conceptualized Earth 2.0, which is the name of the mission. Earth 2.0 is in its early design stages.

This mission will be implemented in June while a team of experts reviews the plan. Once the plan is approved, the development and funding phase of the mission will take place. This will lead to the construction phase of the satellite.

The mission will be supported by seven telescopes, which will scan the sky to find exoplanets. This is quite similar to NASA’s Kepler mission.

Jian Ge, the lead astronomer on Earth 2.0, said in a statement, “The Kepler field is a low hanging fruit because we have very good data from there. Our satellite can be 1015 times more powerful than Nasa’s Kepler telescope in its ability to study the sky.

The report states that “telescopes will search for exoplanets by detecting small changes in a star’s brightness that indicate a planet has passed in front of it.”

Of the seven telescopes, six will survey 1.2 million stars over a 500-square-degree stretch of sky. Earth 2.0 will be able to observe stars farther away than can be seen by NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), which monitors bright stars near Earth.

The seventh instrument will be a gravitational microlens telescope to observe rogue planets (free celestial objects that don’t orbit any star) and exoplanets (like Neptune) far from their star.

Jian Ge said, “There will be a lot of data, so we need every possible hand. Earth 2.0 is an opportunity for better international collaboration.

The team of Chinese scientists hopes to find at least a dozen Earth 2.0 planets within a few years of its operations.

Arline J. Mercier