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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
The new worlds of CoRoT
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.
For more information (registrations, submissions...)
The data can be retrieved from the web address: http://idoc-corot.ias.u-psud.fr/index.jsp