China joins the Search for Extra-terrestrial Life
I do not know what is happening lately but more and more countries other than the English speaking countries, as well as private companies, are getting more interested in Space exploration and exploitation. I am sure that soon we will reach the point where the US government will feel the pressure to disclose any information they have about extraterrestrial life because eventually all those space exploration efforts will stumble upon the existence of life outside Earth and the US will have difficulty shutting all of them down – especially China.
Chinese astronomers using telescopes and other instruments in Antarctica are searching for planets like Earth out there that have or can sustain life. Lifan Wang of the Chinese Centre for Antarctic Astronomy expects to find such a planet in the next few years.
The first out of three telescopes installed in Antarctica is located at the highest point of the continent, 4km above sea level, and its mission is to search for planets suitable for life. The extreme low temperatures help infrared observations since the background radiation levels are reduced significantly. Furthermore, the low pressure and the stable atmosphere results in undisturbed observations.
The search for earth-like planets follows the same pattern as the Kepler team, which means looking for stars like our Sun and then planets in the habitable zone. Two more telescopes are going to be installed in the next few years to help with the primary objective.
It becomes obvious that whoever is the first to find a habitable planet, and let’s assume that we will have the technology for interstellar travelling by then, will then race for the colonization of the planet in the same way that America was colonized when it was discovered. The only thing is that now we will probably have no idea what we will find at the other end.
By John Black