China is on the hunt for 'Earth 2.0' with proposed space telescope

China is on the hunt for ‘Earth 2.0’ with proposed space telescope

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China could soon begin its first space-based hunt for exoplanets, if a proposal from the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory (SAO) gets the go-ahead this summer.

The Earth 2.0 Telescope would spend four years orbiting sun-Earth Lagrange point 2, about 930,000 miles (1.5 million kilometers) from Earth. There, it would fixed its seven telescopes on a portion of the sky toward the galactic center and watch for signs of dimming as planets transit, or pass in front of, a star as they orbit. 

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