NASA's discovery of Earth 2.0 excites Chinese

NASA's discovery of Earth 2.0 has excited Chinese with over 44 million posts on social media about the discovery of a new planet that has a "substantial opportunity" to host life.

PTI| Last Updated: Jul 25, 2015, 09:52 AM IST
NASA's discovery of Earth 2.0 excites Chinese

Beijing: NASA's discovery of Earth 2.0 has excited Chinese with over 44 million posts on social media about the discovery of a new planet that has a "substantial opportunity" to host life.

On China's Twitter-like microblogging service Sina Weibo, more than 44 million people have read posts with the hashtag #Another Earth#, and nearly 90,000 have taken part in the discussion.

Millions of Chinese are excited by the administration's discovery of a planet that it says has a "substantial opportunity" to host life, but this has been tempered by the realisation that they will not be able to visit Kepler-452b because it is unsuitable for human survival, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The comment, "Even Earth has found its other half, why am I still single?" became so popular that it's difficult to trace its original writer.

China Daily echoed this with a post saying "We wish you happiness with your other half, Earth!"

The books channel of Sina.Com treated the occasion as an opportunity to promote several classic books about the universe, including Stephen Hawking's "The Universe in a Nutshell" and "A Brief History of Time", under the banner "Tips for moving from Earth to another planet".

Despite excitement among the media and the public, science organisations have kept a clear head.

Guokr.Com, a Chinese science social networking service, published an article explaining what the discovery really means.

"If you take the media's enthusiastic tone too seriously, you would be disappointed by the NASA release," it said, throwing something of a wet blanket on Chinese euphoria.

Even if Kepler-452b is an Earth-like rocky planet as scientists have speculated, it wouldn't be suitable for human survival, Guokr said in a piece citing scientists from the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute.