The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has reportedly initiated a project called “Earth 2.0 ET” that aims to find a planet like Earth orbiting a star comparable to the Sun. According to the Chinese white paper, the mission’s objective is to use 30 cm telescopes to measure the orbital distributions and occurrence rates of Earth-sized planets.
Six transit telescopes would each have a “field of vision of 500 square degrees,” the statement continues. Tens of thousands of transiting planets, “including the elusive Earth twins circling solar-type stars,” are planned to be monitored by the expedition, according to the statement.
According to reports, the seventh telescope would keep an eye on a region “4 square degrees toward the galactic bulge.” There will be “hundreds of long-period and free-floating planets” measured by the strong telescopes.
“Transit and the microlensing telescopes will revolutionize our understandings of terrestrial planets across a vast swath of orbital distances and free space,” according to the mission statement.
Nature had earlier elaborated on China’s strategy, noting that NASA’s Kepler telescope has found 5,000 exoplanets in the Milky Way. However, China would be employing telescopes with much greater power. In 2026, the mission is scheduled to launch.