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China Plans World’s First Habitable Planet Search With Space Telescope

China Plans World's First Habitable Planet Search With Space Telescope_50.1

Chinese scientists have proposed a space project to survey the sky through a space-borne telescope to hunt for habitable Earth-like planets outside the solar system, about 32 light-years from Earth. The project, named Closeby Habitable Exoplanet Survey (CHES) would be the first space mission specially designed to search for habitable terrestrial planets around nearby Sun-like stars.

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The exploration of habitable planets outside the solar system is one of the key frontiers of fundamental research in astronomy. The discovery of the nearby habitable worlds will be a great breakthrough for humankind, and will also help humans visit those Earth twins and expand our living space in the future.

Key points:

  • The CHES will observe about 100 Sun-like stars 32 light-years away on a long-term survey, and will hopefully discover roughly 50 Earth-like planets or super-Earths, planets that are up to about 10 times the mass of Earth.
  • CHES will offer crucial clues to the issues such as other extra-terrestrial lives and the planets becoming the cradle of life.
  • 5,000 exoplanets have been discovered and confirmed so far, including about 50 Earth-like planets in the habitable zone, but most of them are hundreds of light-years away from Earth.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams: 

  • China Capital: Beijing;
  • China Currency: Renminbi;
  • China President: Xi Jinping.

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