ESA title
Star field observed by COROT
Science & Exploration

COROT started its science mission

09/02/2007 1224 views 1 likes
ESA / Science & Exploration / Space Science / COROT

COROT, the satellite to probe into the interiors of stars and to look for extra-solar planets, has completed its in-orbit verification and started its science observations on 3 February this year.

The science operations started after the COROT team verified the excellent performance of the fine-pointing mode (that uses the satellite telescope as a 'super' star sensor to precisely target stars), and the performance of the optical channel responsible for the asteroseismology observations and of the so-called 'exo-channel', responsible for the search of exoplanets.

Stars observed by COROT
Stars observed by COROT

"The performance of the instruments and of the spacecraft is simply excellent. It is actually exceeding our expectations, with pointing capabilities truly remarkable and the performance of the ESA-built telescope baffle about 60 percent better than foreseen," said Malcolm Fridlund, ESA Project Scientist for COROT. "Such success has allowed the satellite verification to last only 5 weeks from launch, and the science mission to start some time in advance."

The first phase of the COROT observations will last until 2 April, when the spacecraft will have to be rotated by 180° due to the Sun illumination conditions, and target a different area of the sky. The first star fields to be observed by COROT represent a first-choice target for stellar seismology and present an ideal star density for the exoplanets hunting.

Zoom-in of previous image
Zoom-in of previous image

The main objective of this first observation phase is to fine-tune the processing chain for the light-curves to be obtained from stars in the stellar fields surveyed by COROT.

The retrieval of light curves is at the very core of the COROT mission, as it allows to determine the entity of the oscillations of the surface of stars (asteroseismology) as well as to detect the presence of planets orbiting them (exoplanets search).

Note for editors

Star images from COROT's 'exo-channel'
Star images from COROT's 'exo-channel'

COROT is a CNES-led mission with ESA participation. The other international partners are: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Germany and Spain.

For more information

Malcolm Fridlund, ESA COROT Project Scientist
Email: malcolm.fridlund @ esa.int

Related Links

Science & Exploration

COROT factsheet

1540 views 5 likes
Read
Star field observed by COROT
Science & Exploration

COROT started its science mission

09/02/2007 1224 views 1 likes
Read
Artist's impression of COROT
Science & Exploration

COROT enters fine-pointing mode

05/02/2007 1121 views 0 likes
Read
COROT’s first light
Science & Exploration

COROT sees first light!

24/01/2007 1400 views 0 likes
Read
Artist's impression of COROT
Science & Exploration

COROT on its way

27/12/2006 1310 views 1 likes
Read
Artist's view of COROT satellite
Science & Exploration

Europe looks forward to COROT launch

19/12/2006 951 views 0 likes
Read
Fabio Favata
Science & Exploration

The European dimension of COROT: An interview with Fabio Fa…

11/12/2006 2285 views 2 likes
Read
Snowy launch pad in Baikonur
Science & Exploration

COROT launch postponed

07/12/2006 539 views 0 likes
Read
Opening of the COROT shipping container
Science & Exploration

COROT fuels up

04/12/2006 604 views 1 likes
Read
Baikonur cosmodrome
Science & Exploration

COROT started its launch campaign in Baikonur

16/11/2006 333 views 0 likes
Read
COROT in orbit around Earth
Science & Exploration

COROT and the new chapter of planetary searches

14/11/2006 1040 views 2 likes
Read
Artist's view of the COROT telescope
Science & Exploration

Europe goes searching for rocky planets

26/10/2006 1525 views 0 likes
Read
Artist's impression of exoplanet around a star
Science & Exploration

How many planets are outside our Solar System?

14/11/2006 20448 views 41 likes
Read
Planet transit
Science & Exploration

How to find an extrasolar planet

54146 views 52 likes
Read
Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz of Geneva Observatory, Switzerland
Science & Exploration

Planet discoverer: An interview with Didier Queloz

18/06/2002 1051 views
Open item