Chinese scientists have proposed a spacecraft project to use a space telescope to search for planets such as the Earth that lives outside our solar system, about 32 years of light from Earth.
When undertaken, the project, called the Closeby Habitable Exoplanet Survey (CHES), will be the first space mission specifically designed to search for planetary planets around the surrounding stars, such as the Sun.
Why is CHES important?
Exploring habitats without a solar system is one of the most critical aspects of astronomical research.
CHES will provide valuable guidance on issues such as “Are we alone in the universe?” and “How can the planets be a source of life?” according to Ji Jianghui, a research professor at the Purple Mountain Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, who is the chief investigator of CHES equipment.
Ji said more than 5,000 exoplanets had been identified and confirmed, including nearly 50 planets like Earth in the habitat, but most are hundreds of years away from light from Earth.
“The discovery of nearby habitats will be a major development for humanity, and will help people to visit those twin Earth and expand our habitat in the future,” added Ji.
What will CHES consider achieving?
“Astrometry is an ancient method of astronomy, but using it to identify planets such as Earth’s cradle is a technological invention. We need to achieve unprecedented accuracy at the micro-arcsecond level, equivalent to dividing a coin on the moon. Earth,” said Ji.
“Our astronomical observations will not place restrictions on the planet’s orbital plane. It can detect planets in any orbit, and can directly measure the size of the planets in which it resides, in order to achieve a comprehensive survey of planets orbiting stars such as the Sun.,” adds Ji.
“These lessons will eventually answer questions such as ‘Is our solar system special?’ or ‘Are we different from the rest of the universe?’ and provide a deeper understanding of the structure and evolution of the Earth and the solar system, as well as a complete picture of Nature and the origin of life, so that we can better understand ourselves, “says Ji.
In addition to discovering habitable planets, the CHES campaign will also contribute to high-quality scientific research such as black objects and black holes.