The COROT space telescope doesn’t start scientific observations until February, but the protective cover of the 30 centimeter instrument has now been opened. So far so good. A preliminary calibration exercise — using the constellation of the Unicorn near Orion — delivers data of excellent quality. This news from the European Space Agency should keep exoplanet hunters primed as the search for transiting worlds takes to space. A diagram of COROT’s interesting orbit can be found here.
In Centauri Dreams, Paul Gilster looks at peer-reviewed research on deep space exploration, with an eye toward interstellar possibilities. For many years this site coordinated its efforts with the Tau Zero Foundation. It now serves as an independent forum for deep space news and ideas. In the logo above, the leftmost star is Alpha Centauri, a triple system closer than any other star, and a primary target for early interstellar probes. To its right is Beta Centauri (not a part of the Alpha Centauri system), with Beta, Gamma, Delta and Epsilon Crucis, stars in the Southern Cross, visible at the far right (image courtesy of Marco Lorenzi).
- Talking to Starglider
- A Resonant Sub-Neptune Harvest at HD 110067
- Cometary Impacts: Looking for Life in the Right Places
- Tightening Proxima Centauri’s Orbit (and an Intriguing Speculation)
- The Odds on Alpha Centauri
- Is Interstellar Flight Inevitable?
- Eavesdropping on the Neighbors
- Mars Agriculture – Knowledge Gaps for Regolith Preparation
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