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Dan2nd
27-12-2006, 07:07 PM
I saw this on BBC news and found the article on the internet



Mission Guide: Corot
The French-led Corot mission has taken off from Kazakhstan on a quest to find planets outside our Solar System.
The space telescope will monitor about 120,000 stars for tiny dips in brightness that result from planets passing across their faces.

The multinational mission will also study the stars directly to uncover more about their interior behaviour.

Corot blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 1423 GMT, carried into a polar orbit on a Soyuz-2-1b vehicle.

A European Space Agency (Esa) spokeswoman said the take-off had gone smoothly.

However, officials would not know until later whether the satellite had separated from its launcher correctly, she said.


See a diagram of the Corot spacecraft
From its vantage point 827km (514 miles) above the Earth, Corot will survey star fields for approximately 2.5 years.
The French space agency, Cnes, is working with six international partners: Esa, Austria, Spain, Germany, Belgium and Brazil.

'Chance' observation

Ian Roxburgh, professor of astronomy at Queen Mary, University of London, UK, is the Esa scientist on the mission.

"The exciting part of this mission is to look, or to try to find, planets that are similar to the Earth," he told the BBC.


Finding a transit will involve a bit luck
"That is, they'll be somewhat bigger than the Earth, but they'll be made of rocky material able to sustain an atmosphere, and probably provide the sort of environment in which life could form.

"And of course subsequently, many years downstream, we will have more sophisticated measurements, instruments that will look for signatures of life. But at this stage, we need to understand how often there are planets like the Earth around other stars."

Corot will monitor the brightness of stars, looking for the slight drop in light caused by the transit of a planet.

This is a rare event - it relies on the chance alignment of the star and the planet with Earth. As a consequence, Corot must keep an eye on more than 100,000 stars.

Star tremors

With Corot, astronomers expect to find between 10 and 40 rocky objects slightly larger than Earth, together with tens of new gas giants similar to our Jupiter, in each star field they observe.

Every 150 days, Corot will move to a new field and begin observing again.

Its first target field is towards the centre of our galaxy, the Milky Way. Its next will be in the direction of the constellation Orion.

Corot's instrumentation is also designed to detect the subtle variation in a star's light caused by sound waves rippling across the surface. These waves are the equivalent of seismic waves on the Earth.

By studying these "starquakes", astronomers can gain a detailed insight into the internal conditions of the star.

Corot stands for "Convection Rotation and planetary Transits".

The satellite is the first of a number of spacecraft that will hunt and study distant planets over the next few years.




So what do you think they will find?

hit-by-a-car
27-12-2006, 07:23 PM
Its great, but i think theyll mostly find gas giants like juipter, you dont find many other exstra solars nowadays.

StainCast
27-12-2006, 08:17 PM
Aww i want a planet names after me.. :(

Planet Jo. ;o

We could send all the wierd people there. ;o

Ner.

@K
27-12-2006, 08:35 PM
I want to see if they actually fid anymore planets in our solar system because this sort of stuff interests me.:D

Plank
29-12-2006, 07:11 PM
if they find a planet similar to ours, could there be life on it? animals like us? it would be cool if there was

CrabRacket
29-12-2006, 07:13 PM
if they find a planet similar to ours, could there be life on it? animals like us? it would be cool if there was

Agreed!

Though it will probably take a long amount of time to find anything!

Jazza
03-01-2007, 08:52 AM
With red shift still occuring, any planets being discovered could have been destroyes millenia ago and we wouldn't know it until light catches up.......

Dan2nd
03-01-2007, 04:42 PM
With red shift still occuring, any planets being discovered could have been destroyes millenia ago and we wouldn't know it until light catches up.......

I remember learning about red shift it was very confusing

Jazza
04-01-2007, 07:13 AM
My simplified definition:

Redshift is a change in the visible spectrum when a light source is moving further away from you. The faster the light source is travelling, the darker the light is, whe you look at far away galaxies you can tell how fast they are moving using this method. (btw they are moving because of the big bang) If you imagine 3 cars in a lane, we are the middle car travveling at 20 mph, the one in the first lane is going at 10mph and the third lane is going at 30mph, now they will both appear to be moving away from us which can be called redshift just on an un-noticeable scale.

Understand it now lol?

(I didn't copy that from a site, I sat here and typed it)


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/14/Redshift.png/200px-Redshift.png

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