August 25, 2014

Events Archive

2014 Events

18/06/2014: Corot presentations

Conférence sur les résultats de la mission CorotWith the last telecommand sent to Corot, an afternoon of technical and scientific presentations took place at CNES in order to make an assessment of this pioneer mission.

Presentations (in French):

  • L'histoire de Corot en 5 tableaux
  • La mission en quelques chiffres
  • Éléments de mémoire
  • Structure Galactique et sismologie
  • Le programme exoplanètes de Corot :
    comment ça marche ?
  • Les planètes de Corot...
    ...du télescope à la loupe
  • Après Corot

Movies of the presentations
Short Corot presentation by Lionel Suchet Corot history in 5 tables by Annie Baglin The mission in a few figures by Christophe Donny
Memorable elements by Thien Lam Trong The soaring of stellar sismology by Eric Michel Galactic
 how it works by Magalie Deleuil Corot planets... from the telescope to the magnifying glass by Marc Ollivier After Corot by Olivier La Marle
Movies in MOV format

17/06/2014: Last telecommand sent to Corot satellite

End of Corot PosterOn June 17, 2014 at 10h27, Corot received the last telecommand of its carreer. After over 7 year of in-orbit activity, the satellite arrived at the end of its mission. The operations have been directed by CNES Toulouse Space Center technical teams and thus ended the switch off operations of the satellite which begun in December 2013.

Annie Baglin sendind the last telecommand to CoRot on June 17, 2014
Annie Baglin sendind the last telecommand to Corot on June 17, 2014

Launched on December 27, 2006, Corot passed 2729 days in orbit, detecting and measuring with a very high precision (one hundred times better than previously) the variations of luminosity of hundreds of thousands of stars, continuously and during very long periods up to 6 months.

Thanks to Corot and to scientific teams as well as CNES for this pioneer mission in space astronomy.

03/2014: New animations presenting Corot mission

At the occasion of Corot retrospective at Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace at Bourget at the end 2013, a series of short animations presenting the mission to general public were realized. Watch to rediscover the mission:

Corot an astronomy space mission
Corot an astronomy space mission
(~46 Mb, MP4 format, in French)

Corot reveals the heart of stars
Corot reveals the heart of stars
(~44 Mb, MP4 format, in French)

Corot discovers new worlds
Corot discovers new worlds
(~45 Mb, MP4 format, in French)

01/2014: Corot: collision evading and decommissioning

Corot decommissioning operations officially begin this first week of January 2014 after 4 months dedicated to the realization of technological experimentations.

An unexpected general rehearsal was performed on December 23rd when the very first orbit lowering maneuver nominally scheduled for January was advanced to avoid a piece of a launcher that threatened Corot. This first maneuver was successfully executed.

It should be noted that this real collision risk, and thus the evading maneuver that followed, was the first in 6 years of mission! A beautiful statistics for Corot!

Taking into account the Proteus platform design and the remaining quantity of ergol, the Corot orbit lowering operations will continue for 2 months. Once the final elliptical orbit reached, the Corot satellite will be kept in survival mode in order to realize the very last technological experimentations.

The final switch off of the satellite is scheduled at the end of spring 2014.

2013 events

12/2013: The universal nature of stellar granulation unveiled

The Corot satellite has provided the first clear photometric signature of the granulation in stars other than the Sun. These observations have also revealed the existence of an universal scaling relation between the characteristic time-scale of stellar granulation and surface parameters of the stars.
Observations made with the Kepler satellite (NASA) on a larger number of stars recently confirmed the Corot observations. These observations have motivated theoretical work led by researchers at the Paris Observatory (Observatoire de Paris / CNRS / Université Paris Diderot / UPMC).
This work has resulted in a theoretical model of stellar granulation which reproduces satisfactorily the observed scaling relation. It allows us to better understand the properties of stellar granulation and its relationship with the properties of solar-like oscillations.
This study was recently published in two articles in Astronomy & Astrophysics : "Stellar granulation as seen in disk-integrated intensity" I. Simplified theoretical modeling - II. Theoretical scaling relations compared with observations.

Fourier spectrum of the Corot target HD 49385. The red curve corresponds to the signature of the granulation. The blue vertical line locates the characteristic frequency (nu max) of the solar-type oscillations detected in this star
Fourier spectrum of the Corot target HD 49385. The red curve corresponds to the signature of the granulation. The blue vertical line locates the characteristic frequency (numax) of the solar-type oscillations detected in this star

Read the complete news on Paris Observatory's website

08/2013: Pulsating star sheds light on exoplanet

A team of researchers has improved the knowledge on an exoplanet by studying the internal properties of its host star through asteroseismology.
The research, which appears in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), was conducted by a multi-national team of scientists. The researchers examined HD 52265-a star approximately 92 light years away and nearly 20 percent more massive than our Sun. More than a decade ago, scientists identified an exopanet-a planet outside our Solar System-in the star's orbit. HD 52265, then, served as an ideal model for both measuring stars' properties and how such properties can shed light on planetary systems.

Artistic rendering of HD 52265 and its orbiting Jupiter-like planet. Image courtesy of MPI for Solar System Research/Mark A. Garlick (
Artistic rendering of HD 52265 and its orbiting Jupiter-like planet.
Image courtesy of MPI for Solar System Research/Mark A. Garlick (

Read the complete news on New York University's website

06/2013: Mission accomplished for Corot satellite

After a mission twice longer than scheduled, CNES Corot satellite, able to listen to the music of the stars and to hunt exoplanets, will be retired.

Corot successes led CNES and its partners to extend its mission a first time in 2009, then a second time in 2012. But after 6 years of intense bombing by high energy particles which travel through space, Corot instrument ceased to transmit data on November 2, 2012, probably a casualty of one of them. After several months of investigations and testing on ground as well as onboard, CNES and CNRS technical teams homed in on the probable cause of the event, without being able to turn back on the equipment from the ground. A set of operations will now take place to lower CoRot's orbit, to realize technological experimentations then to passivate the satellite. Corot travel will then end when it will burn in the Earth's atmosphere.

Read the complete news on CNES' website (in French).
Read also the CNES' Press Release

01/2013: Mission still interrupted

Following the anomaly that occured on the photometric chain n°2 of the instrument, the scientific mission of Corot has been interupted since November 2nd, 2012. The operations achieved in december 2012 to reconfigure the satellite bus did not succeed in restarting the instrument. The group of experts in charge of the investigation is currently analyzing new assumptions to explain the anomaly. These will be tested on-ground using a bench representative of the instrument which is located at the Corot Mission Centre in Toulouse. New attempts on-board the satellite could follow afterwards.

2012 events

11/2012: Interruption of the mission

The Corot instrument has stopped producing scientific data since the 2nd of November. The first indications show that the photometric chain n°2 does not communicate with the spacecraft computer any longer (the chain n°2 has been the only one in use since a failure occured within the chain n°1 in March 2009). Several attempts to restart the instrument have been unsuccessful. Investigations to understand the reason of the anomaly are going on and in parallel, the operationnal team in Toulouse is preparing a reconfiguration of the spacecraft with new attempts to revive the instrument. The operations are planned mid of December.

10/2012: Proposal for a 3 years extension for Corot mission

02/2012: Be stars have a larger core than predicted

Once again, asteroseismology - this art of sounding stellar interiors by studying their global oscillations - opens a completely new window on the physical processes that transport energy from the nuclear core of these stars to their luminous atmosphere.
Two continuous observations, during 27 and 157 days by the Corot CNES space mission, of the light oscillations of two late Be stars has revealed the size of their convective core, which appears larger than the one predicted by static models of such stars, also known as standard models. Those extremely rapidly rotating stars (their angular velocity is 20 times larger than the solar one, i.e. one rotation in 1.5 day, and their surfacic equatorial velocity is 140 times the solar one) are about 4 times more massive and 7 times larger than the Sun. This result constitutes an important step for the understanding of the structure and evolution of massive stars, which are at the origin of the heavy elements in the Universe, and particularly for the physics of Be stars. It can be explained by the internal dynamics related to the convection in the stellar core and to flows generated by the rapid rotation in their external envelope. This dynamics has been simultaneously understood and constrained thanks ro a combination of Corot observations with a study of the magnetism of these stars with the 2-meter Bernard Lyot Telescope at the Pic du Midi (France) and the modelling of their oscillations and of their deep hydrodynamics.

Read the complete article on the Paris Observatory web site.

01/2012: 5th anniversary for Corot

Poster 5 years of exploitation for CorotTo celebrate the 5th anniversary of Corot and the mission extension request, the project team organises with the scientific community a conference,

    on Thursday February 2, 2012
    in room Léonard de Vinci at Toulouse Space Center
    from 13h45 to 16h00.

    The event is organised as an animated "plateau", alternating questions and answers in the room with diffusion of short interviews.

    Several themes at the heart and the frontiers of Corot science mission will be broached :
    the exoplanets, the complementary observations from the ground, the stellar activity, to the borders of the Galaxy, ...

    Contact points to access the site:

    Marie-Claire Raymondis
    Olivier Vandermarcq

    2011 events

    11/2011: A Christmas tree for Corot

    An International Campaign will combine 4 space observatories: Corot, Spitzer, Chandra and MOST and several ground based telescopes, in particular the ESO's Very Large Telescope in Chile from the beginning of Decembre to mid-January.

    Corot SatelliteSpitzer SatelliteChandra SatelliteMOST MicroSatelliteVery Large Telescope in Chile

    This campaign will target a young star cluster (10 million years), not very far from us only at 1800 light years, with the barbarian name of NGC 2264 also nicely called the Christmas tree. These instruments will observe nearly continuously during this period, about four thousands stars with very different masses, at every stage of their formation and youth, in different wavelengths going from infrared to X-rays.

    Image of NGC 2264 cluster taken by VLT - © ESO
    Image of NGC 2264 cluster taken by VLT - © ESO

    Corot (CNES + European countries + Brazil) will observe thousands of stars including the faintest ones, while MOST (Canada, Austria) will focus on a few dozen very bright objects, unobservable by Corot.
    Spitzer (NASA) will detect the infrared radiation emitted by the envelopes and the internal part of the accretion discs which surround the stars during their contraction.
    Chandra (NASA) will observe the most external regions of these discs, X-ray sources and more particularly very short and explosive phenomena.
    Spectroscopy using ground based telescopes will add information on chemical composition, velocities of flows and their variability during this campaign.

    The main studies will concern the interaction between the star already formed and the surrounding matter, the rotation and the magnetic activity of the cluster members as well as their distribution, the detection of their inner structure by using the seismology techniques, the search for planetary and stellar eclipses in young stars. It will enable to determine the proportion of these multiple objects, binary stars and planetary systems in this specific region.

    For the first time it has been possible to organise such a coordinated campaign, involving many large facilities, with very different instruments, which will enable to link the observed phenomena in the different regions of these objects, and the interaction with their environment.

    Corot already observed this cluster in 2007 and the results show the richness of the data, and are the subject for 6 publications as well as numerous presentations in international symposia.

    10/2011: Corot and asteroseismology: Watching the pulsations of the heart of the stars

    Who remember that Corot (Convection, Rotations et Transits planétaires) was at first an asteroseismology mission? When the first proposal was submitted to CNES, during the scientific prospective seminar at Saint-Malo in 1993, the first exoplanets had not yet been detected... Back to the stellar physics discoveries produced by Corot and its American counterpart Kepler in the Novembre issue of the Pour La Science magazine (in French).

    More information... (in French)

    07/2011: Back to CoRot 9b

    On Monday 4th of July, the Corot satellite was again pointed towards the star Corot 9. Located at 1500 light years from Earth, this star, relatively similar to the Sun but a little colder, was already observed by the Corot satellite during summer 2008, observation which enabled to detect a planet in transit around it. Named Corot 9b, the planet revealed to be a "temperated Jupiter" because its mass and its composition are near Jupiter's ones and because its 95 days revolution period, located it at a distance a little further from the star than most of the detected exoplanets which are very near their stars and thus very hot. Corot 9b surface temperature is thus estimated between 250 and 430 K (or -23°C and 157°C).

    Of the 3 Corot 9b transits of the year 2011, only the 4th of July one could be observed by Corot. The mission was thus adapted to insert, between the two summer 2011 programmes, this short observation, object of high attention for the exoplanets specialists. The Corot 9b transit monitored by Corot in the visible domain should also be monitored by Spitzer observatory in the near infrared. Scientists hope to discover new details, about the physical characteristics as well as Corot 9b planet composition; is it surrounded by moons or rings, is its orbit disturbed by the presence of other planets, are a few of the questions that the scientists will try to answer after analysis of the precious measurements collected by Corot telescope.

    07/2011: Stars and Planets on the menu of the 2nd Corot Symposium

    Corot symposium in June 2011The Second Corot Symposium took place from June 14th to 17th, 2011 at the Palais des Congrès in Marseille. Nearly 200 researchers in stellar physics and exoplanetology where gathered to exchange their results and analyses, obtained in particular with the space photometry satellite Corot and its American "big brother" Kepler. Pioneer studies on extrasolar planets in transit before their star and on interior of all kinds of stars have been shown and discuted by experts in these two research domains.

    Ten new planets discovered by Corot and measured by complementary observations from the ground have been announced by the Corot team (in addition to the 15 already known). Out of about 400 identified candidates in Corot light curves, the observations from the ground have already established the nature of about 200 systems.

    Beyond the new results of the Corot mission, it can be noticed that, since the first Symposium (February 2009 in Paris), the scientists dedicated their time to the in depth interpretation of the properties of the stars and planets observed by Corot. It clearly appeared that connections between stars and planets had numerous and varied aspects that Corot and Kepler space missions enable to study in details.

    These connections where at the center of this second Symposium, and the meeting of the two scientific communities, which most often work separately, was a big success during this week. The planets properties are majorly influenced by the star near which they formed and evolved: the tides interactions and the magnetic connections begin to be constrainted by the observations obtained by Corot and Kepler, for example the superposition of a transiting planet and a set of dark spots on the surface of the star. The evolution models which until now where separated between stars and planets, begin to be understood in a combined way. The star variability, which characteristics are extremely complexes (the Sun appears to be a lowly variable star), influence the detection of the planets around them, and the in depth understanding of these phenomena is a requirement for today and future researches of planets similar to the Earth. Beyond Corot, the space instruments of the future PLATO and ECho, under study at ESA, should extend to mid term these inter-connected analyses of the stars and planets.

    06/2011: Corot discovers 10 new extra-solar planets

    14 June 2011 -- The satellite Corot has identified through transit 10 new exoplanets, that were confirmed with follow-up observations from the ground. Seven are hot Jupiters, with sometimes unusual properties, and three have smaller masses: one is slightly smaller than Saturn, and two are Neptune-sized planets orbiting the same star. These discoveries were announced at the second Corot Symposium, held this week in Marseille.

    Read the complete press release on the Paris Observatory website

    05/2011: 2nd Corot Symposium will be held in Marseille, France, in June 2011, from 14 to 17th

    More information about the symposium at the dedicated website:

    04/2011: The astronomers aim at the heart of red giants

    An international team including scientists from LESIA (Observatoire de Paris, CNRS, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Université Paris Diderot), from AIM (CEA-Irfu, CNRS, Université Paris Diderot) and from IAS (CNRS, Université Paris-Sud 11) succeded in measuring oscillations that directly probe the heart of red giants. With Nasa's Kepler and CNES' Corot satellites data, astrophysicists now access directly the heart of these stars, a domain up to now impenetrable to analysis. The scientists used stellar sismology, which consists in analyzing the very faint variations of light from a star, which reflect oscillations of its structure. They could distinguish where nuclear fusion reactions are located, depending on cases at the heart itself of the star or in the more external layers: a major discovery for the understanding of the red giant stars, because until now nothing enabled the isolation of these two particular steps in the life of a star. The results are published in Nature, March 31, 2011.

    More information on the INSU website (in French)
    Also read the article in Nature

    2010 Events

    11/29-12/01/2010: The 4th Corot Brazil Workshop took place at the Hotel Ocean Palace, Natal, Brazil

    Preliminary programme:

    • Corot Mission status
    • Scientific programme for the 3 next years
    • Planets and circumstellar environment
    • AcroCoRoT: activity, rotation, convection
    • Seismology (essentially hot stars)
    • Future projects: mainly PLATO

    More information and registration at:

    08/2010: Corot Reveals a Magnetic Activity Cycle in a Sun-Like Star

    Thanks to the data from CNES satellite Corot (Convection, Rotations and planetary Transits), an international team, including French scientist from CEA, the Midi-Pyrénées Observatory and the Paris Observatory, detect in a star located at 100 light-years a magnetic activity cycle similar to the Sun one. This result, obtained for the first time by the stellar seismology technique, was publiched on august 27, 2010 in Science.

    More information on the INSU web site (in French)

    Publication in the review Science

    06/2010 : Rich exoplanet harvest for Corot

    Rich exoplanet harvest for Corot

    Today, the Corot team announces the discovery of 6 new planets with diverse characteristics and one brown dwarf.
    CoRoT, a space telescope operated by the French space agency CNES, discovers exoplanets when they pass in front of their stars, via the so-called transit method. Once Corot detects a transit, additional observations are made from the ground, using a number of facilities all over the world. Although astronomers cannot see the planets directly, they can use space- and ground-based data to measure indirectly the sizes, masses, and orbits of these new planets very precisely. This is is only possible for transiting planets, which is why, among all known exoplanets, these yield the most complete information about planetary structure, and also the formation and evolution of these new worlds...

    Read the complete CNES and mission partners' Press Release

    Publications associated to the 7 discoveries of June 14th

    03/2010: Corot satellite discovers Corot-9b, a temperate giant planet

    By combining 145 days of CNES' Corot satellite measurements to ESO's HARPS spectrograph measurements, an international team discovered a new planet - Corot-9b – with a probable surface temperature of about 100°C, which dimensions are near Jupiter's ones, turning around a star similar to the Sun in the Serpent constellation, at about 1,500 light-years from the Earth.

    Corot-exo-9b planet and its Sun
    (download - size 26 Mb)

    CNES and the mission partners Press Release
    Other article about this discovery on CNES website (in French)
    ESA press release about Corot 9b
    Article about Corot-9b published in Nature

    2009 Events

    10/2009: Corot satellite discovers Corot-9b, a temperate giant planet

    By combining 145 days of CNES' Corot satellite measurements to ESO's HARPS spectrograph measurements, an international team discovered a new planet - Corot-9b – with a probable surface temperature of about 100°C, which dimensions are near Jupiter's ones, turning around a star similar to the Sun in the Serpent constellation, at about 1,500 light-years from the Earth.

    CoRoT-exo-9b planet and its Sun
    (download - size 26 Mb)

    CNES and the mission partners Press Release (in French)
    Other article about this discovery on CNES website (in French)
    ESA press release about Corot 9b
    Article about Corot-9b published in Nature

    10/23/2009: Corot, 3 years more for the exoplanets hunter satellite

    CNES, together with its national partners (CNRS and Observatoire de Paris) and international partners (Austria, Germany, Belgium, Brazil, ESA, Spain), has extended the operations of the Corot mission for three additional years, until 31 march 2013. The decision was taken on Friday October 23rd.

    CNES and the mission partners Press Release

    10/2009: A&A special feature: "The Corot space mission: early results"

    This week, Astronomy & Astrophysics is publishing a special issue devoted to the early results obtained with the Corot space mission. It includes 55 articles dealing with the primary goals of the Corot mission, that is, exoplanet hunting and asteroseismology, and also with other topics in stellar physics.

    Astronomy & Astrophysics Press Release

    23/09/2009: Corot 1000 days, 100 000 stars

    Launched on December 27, 2006, Corot spent 1000 days in orbit! Data from over 100,000 stars have been acquired. Being of an exceptionnal quality, they distil beautiful scientific results...

    Happy anniversary Corot!

    09/2009: Corot-7b is actually the first telluric exoplanet

    Corot is at the origine of the discovery of the smallest extrasolar planet ever detected, Corot 7b; this discovery was announced during the Corot symposium in february 2009. It required, in complement to Corot satellite data, observation campaigns of "Corot 7" star realised from ground telescopes.

    The science release by ESO and relayed by ESA, was written in conclusion of the observations made by La Silla observatory. These measurements complete our knowledge of Corot 7b: planet radius and distance between the planet and its star, two parameters obtained thanks to the satellite measurements. The ground measurements bring an estimation of the mass of the planet; now we know that Corot 7b density is near the Earth's one thus the "telluric" nature.

    Moreover, ESO's observations enabled to detect the presence of a seconde planet nammed Corot 7c.
    It really seems that for the first time a system with two "super Earth" (a supper Earth is a planet which mass is < 10 times the mass of the Earth) planets have been found.

    CoRoT-exo-7 solar system
    (download - size 205 Mb)

    ESA press release about Corot 7b
    CNES press release about Corot 7b (in French)
    Paris Observatory, LESIA press release
    INSU press release (in French)
    AFP press release (in French)

    08/2009: 3D visualisation tool of Corot satellite, its movement in orbit and its attitude

    Here is the application that enable to reproduce and visualise the Corot satellite in 3 D, its movement in orbit and its attitude, from real data acquired since the launch. You can reach it on the "3dview" server updated of the ephemerides, quaternions and GS data from the beginning of the mission. It can be accessed by using this link:

    For the tutorial, see the following page:

    The server is now updated every week by the CMC.

    05/21/2009: Corot detects non radial modes with long lifetimes in giant stars

    In about 5 billion years, our Sun will expand to become a red giant star. This evolutionary status is common to stars like the Sun after they have burned their combustible, hydrogen, in their core. Thus, these stars are particularly interesting objects to test our theories about late stages of stellar evolution.
    The analysis of the high-performance photometric data obtained by the CoRot space mission made by an international team, including researchers of Paris Observatory, reveals the richness of their oscillations spectra opening the prospect of applying asteroseismic techniques to probe the interior of red giants.

    Power density spectrum of the red giant candidate Corot-101034881
    Power density spectrum of the red giant candidate Corot-101034881 showing a frequency pattern with a regular spacing

    Read the complete article...

    04/07/2009: Corot back on track

    Following the loss of communication between the photometric chain n°1 of the instrument and the satellite bus, which happened the 8th of March 2009, the scientific exploitation of Corot satellite has resumed beginnig of April. The operations for the satellite reversal maneuver, the pointing and the configuration of the instrument towards the new LRc03 stellar field were achieved successfully, between the 30th of March and the 7th of April. The LRc03 stellar field, located in the constellation named Serpens Cauda has been optimized for the search of planet transitions. The 3 month expected observations are using the instrument chain 2, based on the measurements provided by A2 (Seismology) and E2 (Exoplanet search) CCDs only. The performances of Corot remain unchanged and only the field of view has been reduced by a factor of 2. In the meanwhile, an enquiry related to the anomaly with chain n°1 is going on. Chain n°1 is now "OFF" and the A1 and E1 CCDs are not operated.

    03/02/2009: Space conversations with Pierre Barge, responsible of the Corot exoplanet research programme at Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille

    The new worlds of Corot
    Since its launch in december 2006, CNES' Corot satellite discovered no less than 7 planets around stars other than the Sun.
    What are their characteristics?
    What can we learn about planets formation in the Universe from them?

    Read the complete article (in french)...

    02/03/2009: Corot discovers the smallest exoplanet yet, with a surface to walk on, announced in Paris

    Corot has found the smallest terrestrial planet ever detected outside the Solar System. The amazing planet is less than twice the size of Earth and orbits a Sun-like star. Its temperature is so high that it is possibly covered in lava or water vapour.

    Corot-exo-7 solar system
    (download - size 205 Mb)

    Read the complete article...

    Another article about this discovery (in french)

    02/02-02/05/2009: 1st international symposium dedicated to the scientific results of Corot, in Paris

    For more information (registrations, submissions...)
    Abstract Submission on this web site is now opened

    01/2009: The 1st Corot data are now fully accessible to the entire scientific community.

    The data can be retrieved from the web address:

    2008 Events

    11/2008: Corot detects oscillations in 3 distant stars

    CNES's Corot spacecraft has turned up 3 distant stars surprisingly similar to our own Sun. The discovery is the subject of an article this week in the prestigious American review Science.

    Light curves of the 3 stars observed by COROT
    Light curves of the 3 stars observed by Corot. Credits: LESIA.

    10/2008: Corot discovers a new stellar oddity

    CNES's space telescope has discovered a new object so exotic that astronomers aren't sure whether to call it a planet. Named Corot-Exo-3b, the oddity is about the size of Jupiter, only 20 times more massive.

    CoRoT-Exo-3b planet
    CoRoT-Exo-3b is about the size of Jupiter but much more massive. Credits: OAMP

    10/06-10/10/2008: International Young Astronomers School dedicated to Corot took place at Meudon and at Sèvres.

    Detailed information and the presentations are available on Paris Observatory web site

    07/2008: The latest scientific results of Corot

    Corot has now been for more than 575 days orbiting around the Earth. The satellite, the instrument and the ground segment perform very well. Five observations have been already completed. The sixth and current observation which started on April 14th will end in September, after almost 150 days of fixed pointing. In autumn, the programme will continue with two shorter sessions of approximately 25 days each. The latest scientific results are shortly presented below both on the Exoplanet and Seismology programmes.
    The results...

    05/2008: Communiqué from the Corot Team

    The Corot team annonced three new discoveries at the IAU (International Astronomical Union) Symposium 253 Boston (may 19-23, 2008) dedicated to planetary transits.

    Besides the discovering of two new gas giants, the presentation of a new type of object immediately caused debates in the Corot team and between the 200 international astronomers present at the meeting. The estimated characteristics of this object (mass = 20 JupiterM, radius = 0,8 JupiterR), called Corot-exo-3b, place it between a brown dwarf and a planet denser than twice Platinum!

    Corot is not out done on the side of finding small planets, it has picked up signals as small as 5 parts in ten thousand. If it is the transit, the planet's radius would be 1.7 times the radius of the Earth.



    For the record: Since 510 days, the Corot spacecraft and the telescope are working very well. The mission is operated from the Centre Spatial de Toulouse by the joint work of the Mission Center and the Control Center teams. Orbit correction maneuvers have been realised in april to optimise the future observation fields. The sequence of these operations with the planned ones went perfectly and enabled to begin the observations of the 6th field of view on April 15th. It is the third Run of long duration observation; it will enable to collect 5 month non-stop simultaneous recording of 12000 stars.

    2007 Events

    12/2007: Corot one year after launch

    Light curve for the parent star of Corot-exo-2b

    The Corot satellite (for Convection, Rotation and planetary Transits) has completed its first year in Space. It was launched by a Soyuz rocket from the Baïkonour Cosmodrome on 27 December 2006 and began to collect scientific data on 2 February 2007. What is there to report after more than 300 days of observations?

    For more information...

    11/25-11/28/2007: 3rd Corot-Brasil Workshop in Natal

    You will find more pictures of this campaign in the "Multimedia Gallery" menu

    10/2007: 300 days in orbit

    Corot celebrates its 300 days in orbit, since its launch on december 27th from Baïkonour.

    It started to collect scientific data on the February 2nd, and it works in normal scientific operations since 2 April 2007. It just finished its first very long sequence of observation (150 days) towards the region of the galactic centre and has turned towards the anticentre direction in order to keep the Sun in its back on the 15th of October. Operations have been conducted from the centre de Mission in CNES Toulouse. It has then started its new long observation on October 23rd, which will last till next March. More ...

    07/24/2007: Corot Mission Center Key Point

    After an initial observing run towards the galactic anticenter in January and February, then a shorter one of three weeks duration at the end of April towards the center, the Corot mission is now in the middle of its first long duration run of observation. Indeed, the telescope has been pointed since mid-May towards a zone of the galactic center, within Aquila constellation, which it will observe continuously until mid-October.

    A progress key point of the Corot mission center activities was held on July 24 at CNES in Toulouse, with all the actors concerned. The objectives of the key point have been achieved successfully, and at this occasion it was raised that:

    • The satellite works always remarkably well
    • The level-0 products delivered by CNES to scientific laboratories, as well as the level-1 data under production at LESIA laboratory, confirm the excellent performances of the instrument. A complete set of twelve thousand lights curves, corresponding to one month of observation, has already been generated.

    At the end of October the satellite will be pointed again towards the direction of the galactic anticenter, to start a new long run of observation.

    05/03/2007: Success of the first Corot satellite observation: First exoplanet and first stellar oscillations

    The Corot satellite has been busy carrying out both in-orbit verification and its first scientific observations. The on-board systems are all working at least as well as predicted and in some cases significantly better than expected, which will have an enormous impact on the results of the mission. While, the systematic and scientific evaluation of the results that are streaming in will yet take some time, we can today present some preliminary results that demonstrate the quality of this impressive spacecraft.
    Press release for more information

    Transit of the first exoplanet as observed by Corot (Corot – Exo-1b)

    Relative light variations of a bright solar type star as observed by Corot.
    Harmonic analysis shows clearly the seismic signature.

    03/2007: Flight Acceptance Review on 21st and March 22nd in Cannes at Thales Alenia Space, and the 26th in Toulouse at CNES

    The Corot telescope has been pointed since February 3rd towards a field of view in the galactic anti-centre. The in-flight acceptance review which was held last week, led to establish an assessment of launching, LEOP phase, station acquisition, and to focus on the behaviour of the satellite and of the ground segment since February 3rd.
    The presentations allowed to notice an excellent behaviour of the Proteus platform, as well as for the instrument. For stellar seismology channel, compared to a specification of 0.6 ppm in 5 days, one obtains 0.74 ppm before applying all the corrections. For planet search channel, compared to a specification of 7.10-4 in 1 hour of integration, one obtains 7.5.10-4 before correction of noise level. Once all the corrections will be applied, the specifications will be reached and most probably exceeded. The accuracy of injection has led to burn only 8 grams of hydrazine which gives hope for a great longevity of the mission.
    On April 2nd, the telescope will have completed its "initial run" (IR1) towards the galactic anti-center, and will be rotated towards the centre to begin a "short run" (SRc01) until May, then to start its first "long run" (LRc01) of five months towards the galactic centre. A great harvest of data in prospect!


    02/13/2007: 21st Corot Scientific Committee, at Paris Observatory

    The members of the Scientific Committee were invited today, in Paris, for a first debriefing by the project team of seven weeks of commissioning in orbit.
    The observing run IR1 is going on in a perfect way. The reversal maneuvers are scheduled on 2 April.
    The Scientific Committee has now to precise the observation program which shall be performed in summertime, toward the galactic center.

    You will find more pictures of this campaign in the "Multimedia Gallery" menu.

    02/03/2007: The Corot space telescope started its first observing run

    After analysis and characterization of the first images of the exoplanet channel, the Corot instrument was switched to the scientific observing mode for a 2-month period of time, until 2 April.
    Saturating magnitude, focus and chromatic dispersion, line of sight modelling: all the parameters are nominal or compliant with adjustment precision.
    Three days of operations have been devoted to generate and check with care the set of aperture masks uploaded to calculate on board the light curves of the 12 000 stars selected.
    These light curves will be subsequently corrected from the instrument noises, and be distributed to the scientific community as level-1 products.
    It will take several weeks to accurately isolate these noises and optimize the correction algorithms. The Corot labs are already at work....

    You can download the movie presenting the portrait gallery of the stars of the exoplanet channel (2.5 Mb mpeg format).

    01/30/2007: Transition to fine pointing mode

    After the opening of the cover (17 January) and a program of calibrations relative to the instrument line of sight (from 18 to 23 January), the windowing of the seismology channel was uploaded on 24 January, allowing to start the delivery of angle error measurements, in open loop. This day, the satellite successfully entered fine pointing mode, the Proteus platform being from now on fed with a set of attitude angles coming from the payload processing unit.
    The optical performances of the seismology channel prove to be excellent (shape and stability of the image spots), with a distortion incredibly close to the modelling before flight.
    Inside the images collected to calibrate the seismology channel, Corot has detected a first junk object: a piece of a Delta 1 rocket launched in 1984, which has left on the CCD a small smear visible in the middle of the stellar field. The movement of the object inside the CCD image fits well with the trajectory elements computed by the NORAD...


    01/18/2007: Corot sees first light on 18 January 2007

    In the night between 17 and 18 January 2007, the protective cover of the Corot telescope was successfully opened, and Corot saw its first light coming from stars.
    Surveying vast stellar fields to learn about star interiors and to search for extra-solar planets is the goal of this unique mission, whose scientific observations will officially start at the beginning of February this year.
    The first light detected by Corot comes from the constellation of the Unicorn near Orion, the great 'hunter' whose imposing silhouette stands out in the winter nights. This nice image, taken during the in-orbit calibration exercise, shows that the quality of this preliminary data is basically as good as the computer simulations. "This is an excellent piece of news", commented Malcolm Fridlund, ESA Project Scientist for Corot.
    On 18 January, the telescope was carefully aligned with the region to be observed, facing away from the centre of our Galaxy. This setting that will be maintained until April, when the Sun's rays will start to interfere with the observations.
    Corot will then rotate by 180 degrees and will start observing the opposite region towards the centre of the Milky Way. In the meantime the Corot scientists are preparing for the science phase to start in February, continuing a thorough examination of the data and the information collected so far.


    01/03/2007: Acquisition of the first CCD dark image

    After the payload electronics was set to ON, the first image of the exoplanet channel with the cover closed was downloaded by the Mission Center this morning.
    Video offsets, dark currents, CCD cross-talk, all the parameters of the dark signal comply with the requirements.
    The thermal regulation of the focal unit slowly converges toward the setpoint command. The beginning of life work plan is performed as expected. The orbit reached by the Fregat upper stage being very close to the orbit required, it has been decided to give up the inclination correction maneuvers initially foreseen. Some satellite propulsion capacity is thus saved for the future orbit drift operations!
    The CNES project team wishes all its partners a happy new year and all the best to the scientific community for the Corot space telescope mission.


    2006 Events

    12/27/2006: Successful launch of the Corot satellite

    The Corot satellite was launched today and is now on its polar orbit, at the altitude of 896 km. The Soyuz 2-1B performed its maiden flight in a perfect way, with a separation of Corot over South Pacific 50 minutes after lift-off. The very first telemetry data show that the Proteus bus is in good shape. The satellite is in a BBQ AOCS mode, with Sun in the back. All the equipment (GPS, gyros, star trackers, reaction wheels) will be set to ON tomorrow, with a start of the inertial pointing mode on 29 December. The system and satellite teams are on deck to perform this phase of early operations.

    You will find more pictures of this campaign in the "Multimedia Gallery" menu.

    12/24/2006: Soyuz launcher ready for flight

    At dawn on this Christmas Eve, the Soyuz launcher was erected on the launch pad #6 in the Baikonour cosmodrome. Corot will take off over the Kazakh steppe on Wednesday 27 December at 14:23 UT: a great thrill for the Satellite Mission Director and his team, located at 400 meters from the launch table in the customer bunker. Talking with the Main Control Room in Toulouse through a satellite link, they will here perform the countdown activities for 10 hours.
    Separated after 50 minutes at the altitude of 900 km, Corot will fly over the ground station of Hartebeesthoek 28 minutes later. The telemetry received by the Control Center in Toulouse will make it possible to give a first diagnosis of good health, after solar wings deployment (automatic sequence). Two hours later, the Fregat upper stage will reenter the atmosphere, ending the launcher mission.

    You will find more pictures of this campaign in the "Multimedia Gallery" menu.

    12/18/2006: Integration of the upper composite

    Today, the Corot satellite coupled with the Fregat upper stage were tipped down into horizontal position for encapsulation.
    Tomorrow evening, the upper composite will leave by train the MIK 112 to get to the MIK 40, the launch pad facility hosting the Soyuz tri-stage vehicle.
    The mission logo will then be sticked on the fairing!

    You will find more pictures of this campaign in the "Multimedia Gallery" menu.

    12/14/2006: The combined activities are going well

    The Corot spacecraft, coupled with the launch vehicle adaptor (CASA), is now ready for stacking. Once mounted on the Fregat upper stage (imminent step), the battery will be connected and the no-flight items will be removed. The Nose Module (Fregat, adaptor, satellite) will be tipped down for encapsulation. Today, the Soyuz fairing arrived at UCIF for cleaning in the airlock.

    You will find more pictures of this campaign in the "Multimedia Gallery" menu.

    12/11/2006: Corot Flight Operations Readiness Review

    The ORR, convened at the Toulouse Space Center on 11 December 2006, had the objective to end the system qualification phase and to authorize the launch and commissioning operations.
    A final dress rehearsal will take place on 21 December from the Main Control Room in Toulouse and with Baikonour cosmodrome (launch pad) and Fregat Flight Monitoring Center in Moscow.


    • Report of the system qualification tests
    • Preparation of commissioning phase (LEOP, beginning of life calibration, cover opening, station acquisition phase, first observing run)
    • Proofreading of operational documents and file checks
    • Status of the scientific processing chain
    • System assurance quality

    11/30/2006: After several days of preparation, the satellite's tank is full

    Today, the satellite's tank (40 l) was filled with hydrazine. This operation, particularly dangerous (hydrazine is highly poisonous), was carried out by the Alcatel fuelers (in protective suit below).
    The surrounding area at HPF had been scrupulously secured before, and great care has been taken to ensure drums and fuelling lines were completely tight.
    The Corot satellite is now set to be transferred to UCIF for mating.

    You will find more pictures of this campaign in the "Multimedia Gallery" menu.

    11/28/2006: The preparation operations for launch are going well in Baikonur

    Following a series of successful health functional tests, the spacecraft was transferred to HPF, a highly monitored clean room dedicated to fuelling operations (hydrazine).
    In the meantime, the dispatching of the electrical hardware is going on, at MIK 40 and on the launch pad. A first countdown system test with Main Control Room in Toulouse is scheduled this week.
    It has been snowing for a few days in Baikonur, and the temperature has dropped to -23°C. But the project team is facing up!

    You will find more pictures of this campaign in the "Multimedia Gallery" menu.

    11/14/2006: Shipment of the satellite to the Baikonur Space Center

    The loading operations of the spacecraft container on board the Antonov 124 (at Nice airport) gave the signal to start the launch campaign.
    The satellite container, arrived at Baikonur the following day after customs clearance in Moscow, was transferred by train to the MIK 112 building, where will take place the launch preparation operations for the next 4 weeks. Launch date of 21 December 2006 has been confirmed by Starsem.

    You will find more pictures of this event in the "Multimedia Gallery" menu.

    09/11/2006: Official opening and press conference of the exhibition Planets elsewhere, at Marseilles Natural History Museum

    The exhibition Planets elsewhere, with CNES participation, tells the story of the scientific exploration of our Solar System and the discovery of the first extrasolar planets. A thematic room is devoted to the Corot mission, reminding in particular the role played by LAM in the conception of the telescope. The objectives of the mission and the level of performance to reach for terrestrial planets' detection from space are there explained and illustrated for public. A series of conferences with scientists working in search for exoplanets or exobiology is proposed during all the exhibition (till 14 January 2007).

    You will find more pictures of this event in the "Multimedia Gallery" menu.

    For more information about this event, please visit the Natural History Museum web site.

    09/05-09/07/2006: Flight Acceptance Review, in Cannes

    This review board meeting, jointly organized by CNES and Thales Alenia Space teams, had the objective to pronounce technical qualification of the Corot satellite before moving to Baikonour. This major milestone took place after the spacecraft has completed all environmental and functional system testing successfully and shown that the telescope works well together in harmony with the vehicule operations.


    • Inventory and review of qualification tests
    • Technical status of on-board functional chains
    • Launcher interfaces
    • Shipment operations and spacecraft final preparation on launch site
    • Product assurance

    06/05-06/09/2006: 10th Corot WEEK in Nice

    For more information about this event, please visit the Nice Observatory web site.

    04/11-04/13/2006: First system validation tests at the Corot Mission Center, in Toulouse

    You will find more pictures of this event in the "Multimedia Gallery" menu.

    The Corot Mission Center software, accepted in Madrid, on April 7th 2006, run for the first time at the Toulouse Space Center during this week of system tests. These tests consisted in performing the station acquisition operations of the telescope as they will be done in orbit. They called the complete set of software tools developed to calibrate, command and control the instrument. The on-board photometric chains to acquire and process the images were simulated by the payload test bench, delivered and installed by LESIA at the beginning of this year. The bench is presently intensely used for operability tests, as well as for the scientific validation of the on-board software.

    04/03-04/07/2006: Safety trip to Baikonur

    You will find more pictures of this event in the "Multimedia Gallery" menu.

    The purpose of this trip (the third one) of the project team to Baikonur was to focus on the safety questions, as a preliminary to the preparation of the satellite launch campaign.

    02/10-04/04/2006: Mechanical qualification tests, in Cannes

    You can also download the following movie about these tests.

    During this test campaign, the Corot spacecraft, firstly on a shaker then in an acoustic chamber, was submitted to the mechanical environment existing when launched.
    The satellite was mechanically and electrically coupled with the launch vehicle adapter (CASA) for fit-check and separation test.
    On 4 April, a test consisting in deploying the solar wings (using the pyrotechnic release mechanism) was successfully performed.

    You will find more pictures of this event in the "Multimedia Gallery" menu.

    01/31/2006: System Validation Preparation Review

    This key-review, convened at the Toulouse Space Center on 31 January 2006, has authorized the project team to start the system validation phase.


    • Report of the compatibility test phase
    • Status of the components
    • Integration/validation of the CMC
    • System tests specification and planning
    • Operation/staffing plan
    • Preparation for launch and commissioning
    • Assurance quality

    01/06/2006: Beginning of the Corot satellite validation/integration phase

    You will find more pictures of this event in the "Multimedia Gallery" menu.

    Two days after its delivery in Cannes, the Corot payload was mechanically mated with the Proteus bus. The electrical connection was performed in the next few days. We'll remember this week as the birthday of the Corot satellite, and these activities are the very first ones of the ultimate phase of environment and functionnal tests, which should go on till August 2006. Thales Alenia Space, as industrial architect of the Corot spacecraft, is in charge of these activities.

    2005 Events

    11/25-12/04/2005: Thermal tests of the Corot payload in vacuum chamber, at Intespace

    You will find more pictures of this event in the "Multimedia Gallery" menu.

    The Corot telescope, flying on a polar orbit at 896 km, has been designed to filter the thermal perturbations coming from the Earth environment (day/night cycling during periods with eclipses). Thus, these thermal tests, beyond the basic objective of technical qualification, were crucial to characterize in details the behavior of the instrument and check the overall thermal modelling. As a result of this campaign of measurements in the SIMLES chamber, at Intespace, we are now able to show the excellent thermal performances of the instrument, and in particular thoses of the most critical sub-systems: the afocal telescope, the camera and the upper part of the equipment bay hosting the analogical electronics. These tests also allowed to verify, in vacuum and at -40° C (focal unit regulation temperature), the optical performances and the detector radiometry (noises in the image spots).

    11/15-11/17/2005: Press conference and meeting with members of Parliament

    You will find more pictures of this event in the "Multimedia Gallery" menu.

    The conference with written press, radio and television took place in the Intespace clean rooms, round the Corot payload in progress of being functionnally tested. Annie Baglin, P.I of the mission, was among us to answer journalists' questions. On November 17, the CNES project team went on with this communication event, receiving a delegation of members of Parliament, invited to visit the Toulouse Space Center.
    The Corot instrument has successfully passed a complete set of mechanical tests and must still undergo a series of thermal tests in the vacuum chamber, before delivery to Thales Alenia Space.

    11/02-11/06/2005: 2nd Corot Workshop in Brazil

    You will find more pictures of this event in the "Multimedia Gallery" menu.

    The 2nd Corot Workshop in Brazil, held in Ubatuba and organized by the University of Sao Paulo, was the opportunity of fruitful exchanges between researchers preparing the Corot mission in Europe and Brazil. Many subjects were discussed : rotation and magnetic field effects inside stars, simulation of stellar activity in light curves, observation of young cluster (PMS stars), dynamics of extrasolar planetary systems, migration and metallicity...
    Some of the Additional Programs short-listed or selected by the 16th Scientific Committee were on the agenda, and the workshop gathered for the first time all PhD students and engineers coming from Brazil to work in France for Corot. Lastly, it has been the first technical meeting between CNES and INPE teams since the signature of the cooperation agreement on June 14. The Alcantara ground station will be on-site, ready for qualification tests, in the next few months.

    10/07-10/18/2005: Campaign of mechanical tests, at Intespace

    You will find more pictures of this event in the "Multimedia Gallery" menu.

    08/16-09/08/2005: Last steps of instrument integration

    You will find more pictures of this event in the "Multimedia Gallery" menu.

    After delivery of the baffle and a series of optical tests, the Corot instrument was integrated in the clean rooms of the Toulouse Space Center, from 16.08 to 08.09.2005. The operations performed by the CNES integration team consisted in setting the camera inside the telescope, then in assembling the optical part with the equipment bay, which is a very touchy operation. The following activities were to put in place the focal unit radiator, the MLI sheets and the probes for the environment tests to be made in the next few weeks. The instrument was transferred to Intespace on 9 September 2005.

    06/21-06/24/2005: Preliminary Cosmodrome Readiness Review (PCRR), in Baikonur

    You will find more pictures of this event in the "Multimedia Gallery" menu.

    This one-week technical trip to Baikonur (Kazakhstan) allowed the satellite teams from CNES and Alcatel to better know the Starsem facilities which will be used for the Corot launch campaign. Among the reviewed subjects : An-124 aircraft offloading, campaign scenario, safety for satellite fueling operations, remote monitoring, launch pad activity. The launch fo Corot is foreseen summertime 2006, by a SOYUZ 2-1B rocket.

    06/14/2005: Signing of the agreement establishing the Brazilian contribution to Corot, at Paris Air Show

    © CNES/E.Grimault
    You will find more pictures of this event in the "Multimedia Gallery" menu.

    During last Paris Air Show, CNES President Yannick d'Escatha and AEB President Sergio Mauricio Gaudenzi signed the agreement establishing the participation of Brazil in Corot. The agreement adresses the reception of the scientific telemetry data by the Alcantara earth terminal and the implication of Brazilian researchers and engineers in the development of the user ground segment. Observatories in Brazil will also contribute to the scientific program of joint ground observations. In return, the astronomers community in Brazil will have a privileged access to the Corot data through several Co-Investigators.

    05/23-05/27/2005: 8th Corot WEEK in Toulouse.

    You will find more pictures of this event in the "Multimedia Gallery" menu.

    This scientific workshop, organized by CNES with the Midi-Pyrénées Observatory, was the opportunity to bring together more than 120 researchers coming from the Corot community.
    The sessions were devoted to the preparation of the first year of in-flight activity:

    • choice of the stellar fields to be observed in the first long runs,
    • call for ideas relative to the additional programs,
    • blind tests (on simulated light curves) for the exoplanet search and seismology,
    • choice of a method to select the aperture photometry reference masks used by the exoplanet channel on-board software,
    • workplan for the joint ground observations.

    Three new thematic groups have been created: DAT (asteroseismology data analysis), Binary Systems, ACROCorot (convection, rotation, surface activity).

    Fifteen months before expected launch date (summertime 2006), this workshop gave the chance to every participant to see the Corot telescope, being integrated in our clean rooms, and also to visit the satellite control center.

    04/19/2005: Technical meeting at the Vienna Observatory

    You will find more pictures of this event in the "Multimedia Gallery" menu.

    In order to improve and secure the reception of Corot scientific telemetry data, the project team starts discussions with the Vienna Observatory on the possibility to share the ground station (3-meter dish antenna) developped and used since July 2003 for MOST telemetry data reception.

    04/14/2005: First light of the Corot telescope (during the night 13-14 April 2005)

    You will find more pictures of this event in the "Multimedia Gallery" menu.

    In the night of the 13th April 2005, the Corot telescope, being integrated in the CST clean rooms, was pointed toward the sky and performed a first set of pictures in the vicinity of the Polaris star.
    The analysis of these images will make it possible to check some optical parameters (geometry and photometry), but the pictures, acquired at room temperature and with air turbulence, are yet a bit far from the instrument final performances, expected in space.

    04/11/2005: Satellite Critical Design Review, at Cannes

    You will find more pictures of this event in the "Multimedia Gallery" menu.


    • Review of the spacecraft detailed definition
    • Performances of the fine pointing mode
    • Integration and validation plan
    • PROTEUS bus qualification
    • Product assurance

    03/30/2005: External baffle final qualification tests

    You will find more pictures of this event in the "Multimedia Gallery" menu.

    These successful tests mark the final qualification of the baffle, after correction (under CSL responsability) of several mechanical anomalies seen during a first series of tests in August 2004. In particular, the feet to fix it to the upper telescope plate have been modified.

    03/21/2005: Beginning of the optical testing of the flight model instrument (afocal and dioptric camera), at CNES


    03/04/2005: System Interface Review


    • Description of the interfaces between main components
    • Progress status of the spacecraft and the ground segment
    • Benches and simulators for system tests and operations
    • Compatibility and qualification tests
    • Management and quality assurance

    01/06/2005: Beginning of the instrument AIT in CNES


    2004 Events

    12/15/2004: Mechanical qualification tests of the camera, at Intespace

    You will find more pictures of this event in the "Multimedia Gallery" menu.

    12/14-12/17/2004: 7th Corot WEEK in Granada (Spain)

    Poster CW7 Grenade Grenade

    For more information about this event, please visit the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalucia (CSIC) web site.

    12/09/2004: Delivery of the Flight Model of the afocal telescope by Alcatel Cannes

    You will find more pictures of this event in the "Multimedia Gallery" menu.

    11/05/2004: Key Point of the Corot Mission Center industrial specifications, in Madrid

    You will find more pictures of this event in the "Multimedia Gallery" menu.

    10/29-11/02/2004: First Corot workshop in Brazil

    Organized by José Renan de Medeiros and Eduardo Janot Pacheco, Brazilian Co-Investigators of the Corot mission, this Workshop in Natal has been the opportunity, in a warm and welcoming atmosphere, to present in details the Corot experiment to the future Brazilian users' community, to go through the research activities held in Brazil in seismology (mainly, behaviour of young stars) and mechanics of the planetary systems as well as to give a report on the scientific and technical Brazilian contributions.

    You will find more pictures of this event in the "Multimedia Gallery" menu.

    During this workshop, the CNES project team was invited by INPE to visit the site in Natal for the installation of the Corot secondary ground station.
    This earth terminal will be used to increase the amount of scientific telemetry data during the observing runs, to reach 1.5 Gbits per day instead of 1 Gbits. This additional telemetry will make it possible to download the complete set of asteroseismology targets and to oversample up to 500 stars of the exoplanet channel.

    10/05/2004: Corot mission presentation during the 55th International Astronautical Congress (Vancouver BC, Canada)

    Download the paper presented during the congress: Corot Mission Engineering: cost-effective solutions for stellar photometry in low earth orbit.

    09/30/-10/04/2004: Corot team visited the University of British Columbia (Vancouver BC, Canada)

    The MOST and Corot project teams met to start the technical and scientifical exchanges decided by the 12th Corot scientific board.
    The MOST satellite is a canadian microsatellite dedicated to the photometric study of the stellar microvariability. The instrument, whose concept is very different from Corot (15 cm telescope with Fabry lenses network), was developed under the responsibility of Jaymie Matthews, professor at UBC. MOST was launched in June 2003 by Rockot and has already observed over 40 stars.

    You will find more pictures of this event in the "Multimedia Gallery" menu.

    The scientific cooperation between the two projects aims at in particular:

    • The exchange of astrophysical models and stellar signal analysis tools.
    • The delivery by MOST of telemetry data to test the Corot calibrations and to validate the models of satellite interaction with Earth's environment (for ex: radiation effects in the South-Atlantic anomaly, Earth magnatic field effect on the attitude control system, orbital and seasonal variations of the straylight from the Earth).
    • Information exchange about the expected behaviour and the actually observed behaviour of the main star types to be studied by Corot, before their final selection. Within this framework, in the next months, MOST could observe some of the Corot targets located in the Milky Way center zone.

    Click on the logo to visit the
    University of British Columbia MOST web site:
    Logo MOST

    08/25/2004: First pictures of the EM camera at IAS

    You will find some pictures of this event in the "Multimedia Gallery" menu.

    You can stay up-to-date with the camera news on the LESIA web site.

    Sismology image spot

    Exoplanet image spot

    08/17/2004: First mechanical qualification tests of the upper baffle at CSL

    You will find some pictures of this event in the "Multimedia Gallery" menu.

    07/09/2004: Qualification model delivery of the upper baffle at ESTEC

    You will find some pictures of this event in the "Multimedia Gallery" menu.

    06/24/2004: Ground control segment definition key point

    06/08/2004: Venus transit before the Sun

    Pictures taken in Toulouse, in the CNES, © Sébastien Rouquette

    During the morning of the 8th of June 2004, Venus passed between the Earth and the Sun, thus inducing the apparition of a small black spot which moved across the surface of the Sun from one side to the other.
    This phenomenon, very rare, lasted 6 hours and was visible anywhere in France, with the condition that you have sufficiently protected your eyes.
    This event, called transit, illustrates perfectly the method used by Corot for its exoplanets research program. It is the periodical attenuation of the light signal of the observed stars by Corot that will reveal the presence of planets, each time that the orbit plane of those planets is in the observation direction of the satellite.

    For more detailed information you can visit the following sites: (ESO web site)

    06/2004: During the Venus transit before the Sun, the Ministre délégué à la recherche, M. François d'Aubert, came to visit the Meudon Observatory.

    Mr François d'Aubert and Mrs Annie Baglin had the opportunity to discuss the technical and scientific stakes of the Corot mission.


    05/26/2004: Mechanical qualification tests of the equipment bay at CSL

    You will find some pictures of this event in the "Multimedia Gallery" menu.

    05/17-05/19/2004: 6th Corot WEEK in Orsay

    For more information about this event, please visit the IAS web site.

    05/11-05/12/2004: Instrument Critical Design Review


    • Organization and parteners
    • Architectures definition file
    • Inssurance and product management
    • Specifications arborescence
    • Justification file and performances assessment
    • Interfaces with the platform
    • Plan de développement
    • Performances validation
    • AIT and tests means

    You will find some pictures of this event in the "Multimedia Gallery" menu.

    05/06/2004: User Ground Segment Preliminary Design Review


    • Missions and interfaces of the CMC and CDC
    • Organization and engineering principles
    • CMC functions presentation
    • Operations concept and chronologies
    • Software Architecture
    • Development plan
    • Management and quality insurance
    • Scientific data use

    03/10/2004: Delivery by Thales Alenia Space of the telescope structure. Beginning of the afocal integration

    You will find some pictures of this event in the "Multimedia Gallery" menu.

    03/09/2004: Delivery by SONACA of the equipments case structure

    You will find some pictures of this event in the "Multimedia Gallery" menu.

    01/27/2004: Satellite Preliminary Design Review

    2003 events

    1210-12/12/2003: 5th Corot WEEK December 2003 in Berlin.

    1203-12/05/2003: Mission in Brazil à at INPE

    10/14-10/15/2003: System Preliminary Design Review in CNES Toulouse.

    06/02-06/06/2003: 4th Corot WEEK

    Workshop for the Scientists participating to the Corot mission.

    2002 events

    05/13-/05/16/2002: 2nd Corot WEEK

    Workshop for the Scientists participating to the Corot mission.

    04/15-04/17/2002: Mission in Brazil

    Proposition of a cooperation in the Corot project for the ground segment.

    2001 events

    10/24-10/26/2001: Key Point in the de Midi-Pyrenees Observatory in Toulouse.

    04/02-04/03/2001: 6th Scientific Committee, The meeting was held at the Observatoire de Paris

    2000 events

    12-2000: Contract between CNES and french laboratories.

    10-2000: Decision from the Board of Directors to engage the phases C and D of the project.

    03-2000: Recommandation from the SPC to carry out Corot after JASON 1 and CALIPSO, with a launch in 2004.

    Older events

    09-1999: Research for news European partners.

    03-1998: Decision to begin the satellite B phase.

    03-1998: Complement of the System Conception Review.

    06-1997: System Conception Review.

    12-1996: The SPC (CNES Scientific Programs Committee) choose Corot to be carried out on PROTEUS.