Chinese project in Antarctica for finding Earth-like planets

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Chinese project in Antarctica for finding Earth-like planets

Post by jyril on 30th August 2012, 7:49 am

Xinhua: Chinese astronomers in Antarctica search for Earth-like planets

Chinese astronomers are actively searching for Earth-like planets using survey instruments in Antarctica, as they believe efforts to seek an extra-solar planet that may sustain life will soon be paid back.

"It's highly possible that human beings might find such a planet in the coming few years," said Wang Lifan, a researcher at the Purple Mountain Observatory and director of the Chinese Center for Antarctic Astronomy.

"Such planets likely exist in the Milky Way, with a possible distance of thousands of light years from us," Wang said.

Chinese astronomers installed the first of three Antarctic Survey Telescopes (AST3-1) at Dome Argus, located at the highest elevation on the Antarctic continent, at the beginning of the year. One of its primary missions is to search for extra-solar planets suitable for life.

"We will send people there to retrieve observation data next spring. I hope we can find some likely candidates. It's hard to say precisely how many, but I hope there are no less than 10," Wang said.

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Re: Chinese project in Antarctica for finding Earth-like planets

Post by Daniel on 30th August 2012, 9:23 am

This website won't explain,how exact they will do this search for Earth-like planet,that it's a very hard thing to detect especially for ground base telescopes( far as I know probably the only ground base telescope in project capable of such amazing Job is the 42 meter primary mirror (now 39,3 meter that make ever hard) E-ELT and maybe TMT that is unlikely to do it) ,without precise information about this project and how this work it's not seems very trustful and make me doubt about it
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Re: Chinese project in Antarctica for finding Earth-like planets

Post by Daniel on 30th August 2012, 9:41 am

I did a search on Google for "Antarctic Survey Telescopes (AST3-1)" and I didn't found any explanation how the detection of such Earth-like planet would be possible,what method of detection they would use for the detection of this earth-like planets

this was the best that I find:

New Domain: International team installs first of 3 telescopes in Antarctica

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-04/tau-nd042312.php

the website

http://mcba11.phys.unsw.edu.au/~plato/

it's seems that China will go to use for my interpretation the transit method,but is is not enough to detect o Earth-like planet and life on it

for me this was a exaggeration from the news


Last edited by Daniel on 30th August 2012, 3:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Chinese project in Antarctica for finding Earth-like planets

Post by jyril on 30th August 2012, 3:36 pm

Unless they're looking for transits of Earth-size planets over red dwarfs, that is possible with modest telescopes.

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Re: Chinese project in Antarctica for finding Earth-like planets

Post by Daniel on 30th August 2012, 3:43 pm

this is a logical assumption indeed
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Re: Chinese project in Antarctica for finding Earth-like planets

Post by tommi59 on 30th August 2012, 5:03 pm

Only I can see
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Re: Chinese project in Antarctica for finding Earth-like planets

Post by Galzi on 31st August 2012, 3:06 pm

According to this Nature article, the Chinese-chosen site - Dome A - should allow better seeing conditions which in turn should allow shallower transits to be detected

Proponents of Antarctic astronomy have looked to Domes A and C as alternative sites to the South Pole, above which 300 metres of turbulent air cause observations of stars to jitter and blur1. Dome C, by contrast, has only 30 metres of turbulent air above it, and less atmospheric interference than astronomical observing sites in Hawaii and Chile2.

Although it lacks infrastructure, Dome A, which sits some 900 metres higher than Dome C, could be an even more promising site. “Each additional 100 metres is very important because it knocks out a huge chunk of the atmosphere,” says Michael Ashley of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, which built PLATO. Models suggest that Dome A may have a turbulent layer as thin as 5 metres, he says, and thus even better seeing

Detecting truly Earth-like planets is still out of questions, but with this nearly space-based precision and several months of continuous observations, they've the potential to catch interesting exoplanets.

I just wonder how they plan to follow-up their discoveries, is HARPS in Chile able to observe the skies of Antarctica?

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Re: Chinese project in Antarctica for finding Earth-like planets

Post by Daniel on 1st September 2012, 11:51 am

Galzi wrote:I just wonder how they plan to follow-up their discoveries, is HARPS in Chile able to observe the skies of Antarctica?

well both observatory is in the south hemisphere I believe that Yes,HARPS can Follow-up the Antarctica observatory finds
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