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China is planning the world's first nearby habitable planet search with space telescope

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.

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.

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