Skip to comments.ESA's new satellite to study super-earths in 2017
Posted on 10/20/2012 1:02:42 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
London: Researchers will be focussing on studying planets around other stars will in a new small Science Program mission, Cheops that is expected to launch in 2017, ESA has announced.
Cheops -- for CHaracterising ExOPlanets Satellite -- will target nearby, bright stars already known to have planets orbiting around them.
Through high-precision monitoring of the star's brightness, scientists will search for the telltale signs of a 'transit' as a planet passes briefly across its face.
In turn, this will allow an accurate measurement of the radius of the planet. For those planets with a known mass, the density will be revealed, providing an indication of the internal structure.
These key parameters will help scientists to understand the formation of planets from a few times the mass of the Earth -- 'super-Earths' -- up to Neptune-sized worlds.
It will also identify planets with significant atmospheres and constrain the migration of planets during the formation and evolution of their parent systems.
Cheops is the first of a possible new class of small missions to be developed as part of ESA's Science Program.
"By concentrating on specific known exoplanet host stars, Cheops will enable scientists to conduct comparative studies of planets down to the mass of Earth with a precision that simply cannot be achieved from the ground," Professor Alvaro Gimenez-Canete, ESA Director of Science and Robotic Exploration, said.
(Excerpt) Read more at zeenews.india.com ...
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Here is six minute video about super earths. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6KAFLqqv_8
I have started the new CHEAP space program. I hook up a bungee cord between two tree branches in the back yard and shoot you into the air. It doesn’t work so good, but it’s only twenty bucks. For an extra five bucks, I’ll even do a countdown for you.
:’) “This way to the egress.”