This artist's view shows the COROT satellite, consisting of a 27-centimetre space telescope. A mission led by CNES with ESA participation, it was launched in December 2006.
COROT uses its telescope to monitor closely the changes in a star’s brightness that comes from a planet crossing in front of it.
When looking at stars, COROT is able to detect ‘starquakes’, acoustical waves generated deep inside a star that send ripples across a star’s surface, altering its brightness. The exact nature of the ripples can allow astronomers to calculate the star's mass, age and even chemical composition.