- 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...
- 3rd CoRoT-Brasil Workshop in Natal, November 25-28, 2007
You will find more pictures of this campaign in the "MEDIA GALLERY" menu
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 ...
- CoRoT Mission Center Key Point, on 24 July 2007
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.
- Success of the first CoRoT satellite observation: First exoplanet and first stellar oscillations, on 3 May 2007
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.
- 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!
- 21st CoRoT Scientific Committee, at Paris Observatory, on 13 February 2007
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 "MEDIA GALLERY" menu.
- The CoRoT space telescope started its first observing run, on 3 February 2007
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).
- Transition to fine pointing mode, on 30 January 2007
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...
- 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.
- Acquisition of the first CCD dark image, on 3 January 2007
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.