Chinese astrophysicists want to find Earth's twin 32 light-years away

The Closeby Habitable Exoplanet Survey (CHES) mission developed by the Purple Mountain Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences,

plans to explore about 100 sun-like stars at a distance of 32 light-years from the solar system.

The space telescope must measure the minimumchanging the relative positions of these stars in the sky to search for Earth-like planets around them. CHES needed to measure the star's wobble to within 1 microsecond of arc, which, by comparison, is only one mm of motion on the Moon as seen from Earth.

Such a study, as the authorsdevelopment will require 10 times greater measurement accuracy than that currently used in the world's flagship astrometric missions. To achieve this accuracy, researchers use focal plane laser metrology technology.

The project will be reviewed shortly.experts from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. If approved, the team plans to complete construction of the telescope in five years and put it into orbit at the L2 Sun-Earth Lagrange point. Scientists believe that CHES will be able to detect about 50 Earth-like planets.

Researchers note that most of the morethan the 5,000 exoplanets discovered to date are much larger than Earth, or are in the habitable zone of smaller, cooler stars. The probability of the existence of water and life, such as we imagine it, is much lower on such exoplanets.

Scientists believe that the new space telescope will help to find the real twins of the Earth - a planet of the same size and mass as ours, and orbiting in the habitable zone around a sun-like star.

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