In the 6th century BC, the Greeks imagined the Earth as a disc resting on “solid pillars.” Over the centuries, knowledge of the universe increased, and by the 16th century, Copernicus and Galileo showed that the Earth rotated on its axis and revolved around the Sun. In the late 17th century, Newton discovered the law of universal gravitation which explained how all particles were attracted to each other and why the Moon stayed in orbit around the Earth without colliding into it.
In the 20th century, the rate of discoveries accelerated. The limits of the Universe were constantly expanded as the means for studying them were perfected and diversified. The planet Pluto was discovered, along with the moons of several planets, and even new galaxies. And the stars, which had long been perceived simply as points of light, began to reveal their true complexity.
The CoRoT satellite is designed for astronomy and is studying the vibratory performance of stars to determine their internal structure, age and composition. The goal is fundamental research, since the stars, at different stages of development, produce all the chemical elements of the Universe. Seeking out new planets is the mission’s second objective.
CoRoT was launched successfully on 27 December 2006. The first image taken during the night of 17-18 January 2007 and processed at the CoRoT mission centre at CNES, delighted the scientists. Since that time, the satellite goes on demonstrating its exceptional performances. To date, CoRoT has discovered no fewer than 7 15 planets, all of them very different, orbiting stars outside our solar system. It has also detected many vibration modes in widely varying stars. The scientific results up to now are of such importance that the mission has been extended for three more years.
(COnvection, ROtation and planetary Transit)
|Origin||Saint-Malo space science seminar (1993)|
|Participants||France, Autriche, Espagne, Brésil, Allemagne, Belgique et ESA|
|Objectives||Study the internal structure of stars and seek out extrasolar planets around nearby stars|
|Launch date||27 December 2006|
|Launcher||Soyuz ST/2-1-b (From Baïkonur, Kazakhstan)|
Last updated: August 2010
- Discovering new worlds - Space Talk - March 2009 - Interview by Pierre Barge, Corot project leader at the Astrophysics Laboratory of Marseille
- A New World beckons for Corot - Space talk - December 2006 - Interview by Laurent Boisnard, Corot System manager.
- Rosetta, the Rosetta stone of the Universe
- Discovering new worlds - Space talk March 2009
In the news
- CoRoT discovers 7 new planets - 14 June 2010
- CoRoT makes tantalizing new discovery - 17 March 2010
- CoRoT mission extended for three more years - 27 October 2009
- CoRoT - Exoplanet revealed in February is Earth-like - 16 September 2009
- CoRoT discovers “super Earth” - 9 february 2009
- A busy 2 years in space for CoRoT - 13 January 2009
- A busy 2-years in space for Corot - 13 January 2009
- Corot detects oscillations in 3 distant stars - 23 October 2008
- Corot discovers a new stellar oddity - 6 October 2008
- Corot discoves unusual exoplanet - 21 August 2008
- Corot discovers at least 2 new exoplanets - 30 May 2008
- Corot set sights on Milki Way - 9 August 2007
- Corot discovers its first exoplanet - 3 May 2007
- Corot moves up a grade - 30 March 2007
- Corot science observations underway - 5 February 2007
- Corot all set to begin science mission - 2 February 2007
- A studious start to the year for Corot - 10 January 2007
- Corot enters home straight - 20 December 2006
- Corot fuels up - 4 December 2006
- Corot arrives safely in Baïkonour - 16 November 2006
- Corot launch preparation campain - 12 April 2006