China could set up a space observatory to search Earth-like planets

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[EN VIDÉO] Interviewer: What is an exoplanet?
The question of exoplanets is very old in astronomy. Their existence was first indirectly proven in the 1990s. Futura-Sciences met Jean-Pierre Luminate, a famous astronomer, so that he could talk to us in more detail about this fascinating subject.

China plans to expand its space program and may decide to give it up in June Fire Dedicated to the search for green to create a space observatoryExoplanet And Earth-like planets. Known as Earth 2.0, the observatory aims to discover Earth-like planets in shape, Mass And the Constitution, and in particular being developed Habitable zone Them Star. These planets are supposed to have suitable conditions for water Liquid Will exist and therefore be habitable or even habitable, which is called Earth 2.0, or Earth 2.0, In English. Hence the name of the Chinese project.

If more than 5,000 exoplanets have been brought to light since the first of them was discovered (51 Pegasus b) By Michelle Meyer and Didier Quilloz in October 1995, today none of them match the definition of Earth 2.0. Indeed, despite the advancement of technology and with advanced observation techniques Telescope At present it is extremely difficult to find Small planets Similar to Earth. For now, the only one Telluric planet Discoveries developed in habitable zones are larger than on Earth. And so, the chances of discovering life there are still very low.

The only Telluric planets discovered at the moment have evolved into habitable zones larger than Earth

Earth 2.0 is a satellite that will use seven small telescopes that could be launched in 2026, just four years after its selection. It bears a striking resemblance to the European Space Agency’s Plato mission, which is also scheduled for launch in 2026. However, Earth 2.0, made up of seven telescopes, will use Plato 34. Jean-Snyder, AstrophysicistEmeritus, Director of CNRS Research at the Paris-Mডdon Observatory, ” Compared to Plato, the schedule is more ambitious, with the launch scheduled for 2026, 12 years after the 2014 election. Admittedly, the Chinese observatory may seem less technically complex than Plato, but all the same. Achieving in just four years is very ambitious

Until the project is approved by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, which The door, The information is rather concise. Which, of course, made the video an overnight sensation. Six of its seven telescopes, Cygnus and Lira, will point to the constellations, observing the same region of the sky from 2009 to 2018. NASA’s Kepler Telescope The purpose was to discover something about this famous World 2.0. The choice to observe this region is explained by the huge amount of data obtained by Kepler.

The planets will be explored by the seventh telescope of the satellite Micro lensing. That is a new observation techniqueEuclid (ESA, Will be launched in 2023 and will also be implemented by Plato. So the Chinese will not use it first. This search for planets by Micro lensing Will be the main focus Orbiting planetThat is, that which does not revolve around a particular star or revolves in space.

To detect exoplanets, Earth 2.0 will use so-called Transit The scale of the planet which is based on the measurement of small periodic changes Brightness A star when a planet passes in front of it. About 1.2 million of them are expected to be observed They Darker and more distant than satellites Tess (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) Of NASAWhich studies the brightest stars near the Earth.

Discover Earth-like planets

Surprisingly, this observatory will surpass Kepler in sky observation capabilities. An advancement that can be explained by advances in technology and science. Remember that Kepler was designed in the early 2000s, more than twenty years ago. Earth 2.0 will be 10 to 15 times more powerful than Kepler. Surprisingly, the Chinese easily compare Earth 2.0 to Kepler and correctly announce that it will surpass it, but they are careful not to compare it with Plato. Which in itself will be more powerful than Kepler and Tess and probably more capable than Earth 2.0. Jean Snyder, a member of Plato’s party, also insisted.

Despite Kepler’s failure to discover Earth 2.0, the Chinese are optimistic enough that they can make a dozen discoveries in four years. Duration The life of their observatory. It will obviously be a great performance but below Plato’s promise. In fact, it is expected that Plato will discover thousands of planets, including one thousand Earth-like telescopic exoplanets. Habitable zone Their star

Whether Earth 2.0 or the Earth 2.0 planet discovered by Plato is a different matter. For Jean Snyder, it would be theoretically ” It is possible to identify the type of life on these planets Using the spectral signature analysis technique of the observed exoplanet “For example, a proof of external life” Expected Through IR spectrum study, ozone presence sensitive, presence linkOxygenAnd so a certain chemistry that is useful for life in at least one familiar case

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