If Earth 2.0 exists somewhere in the universe, the chances of discovering it should increase. It is thanks to the involvement of another nation in the search. China's ambitions for space exploration seem enormous and this is evidenced not only by the announcements coming from the propaganda, but also by actual actions. The rover there explores the now invisible side of the Moon, as does Zhurong, who explores the surface of Mars. On the other hand, the Tiangong station orbits the Earth, which is supposed to compete with the International Space Station.
The Chinese holders of the world's largest radio telescope "FAST"
Chinese aspirations for cosmic domination
Taking the next step seems to be the natural course of things, and it will be about starting the search for our planet's twin. Earth 2.0, as it is called, is to exist somewhere outside the solar system, but in our galaxy, the Milky Way. The key feature in favor of objects that will meet the requirements seems to be their orbit around their stars in the so-called residential zones. These types of areas have temperatures that are high enough to keep the water from freezing, yet low enough to prevent evaporation.
NASA recently boasted about crossing the five thousand identified exoplanets, or extrasolar planets, orbiting stars other than the sun. Despite such a large group of potential candidates for a second Earth, none of them seems to meet all the requirements. This is why the Chinese Space Agency (CNSA) intends to break the deadlock and accentuate its participation in the space race. Her new project will be funded by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and is so far in the early stages of implementation. In June, experts are to evaluate the preparations - if their opinion turns out to be positive, the construction of a satellite will be started, which will be launched on board the Long March rocket by 2026.
Earth 2.0, or how to find Earth's twin
Earth 2.0 will have seven telescopes on board, six of which will study the constellation Cygnus and the constellation Lutes. In total, the study will cover up to 1.2 million stars extending over an area of the sky almost 5 times wider than that observed by the Kepler Space Telescope. As if that were not enough, Earth 2.0 will also take into account the less visible and distant stars from Earth than in the case of NASA's TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) telescope.
Jian Ge, who directs the Earth 2.0 mission, argues that the telescope designed within its framework may be even ten or fifteen times more powerful than the aforementioned Kepler telescope. The six instruments that make up it will use the transit method for observations, which is based on the detection of dips in the brightness of stars due to objects such as exoplanets passing in front of them. The seventh one will use a slightly different approach, known as gravitational microlensing. The Chinese satellite will observe a particularly star-rich area of the Milky Way for four years, focusing on extrasolar planets with earth-like orbits. Ge adds that the project will be an opportunity to strengthen international ties in the field of space cooperation.