Wednesday, December 27, 2006

COROT on its way


Launched today from Kazakhstan, the unique astronomy mission COROT is on its way. Its twin goals are to detect exoplanets orbiting around other stars and to probe the mysteries of stellar interiors as never before. COROT is a French national space agency (CNES)-led mission to which ESA and European partners are adding a particularly strong international flavour.

Read More European Space Agency ESA release 27th December 2006

Europe goes searching for rocky planets

Of the rocky worlds, COROT is most sensitive to those with orbits of 50 days or less. That would place them closer to their parent star than Mercury is to the Sun. In most cases, such proximity to a star would scorch them beyond habitability. However, if such a world were discovered around a red dwarf star, it could be placed at exactly the right distance for liquid water to exist on its surface.

COROT will target at least fifty specific stars for a detailed study in this way. By choosing stars of different sizes and behaviour, COROT will supply astronomers with the most complete picture of stellar evolution to date.

Stellar physics is not a 'done deal'.
In fact, we are really just beginning with it.
The Pelican Nebula from Astronomy Picture of the Day
Cosmic Spider is a good mother from Science Daily 11 April 2006
Portrait of a dramatic Stellar Crib from Science Daily 26 Dec 2006
The geometrics behind a supernova and its history by Plato
Famous Quotes Peace begins with a smile. Mother Teresa

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