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First Light for COROT

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.

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  • ljk February 6, 2007, 12:57

    Astrophysics, abstract

    From: Christopher Broeg [view email]

    Date: Mon, 5 Feb 2007 18:29:31 GMT (1410kb)

    Theoretical planetary mass spectra – a predition for COROT

    Authors: C. Broeg

    Comments: 6 pages, 3 figures, MNRAS letter, accepted 2007 February 1

    The satellite COROT will search for close-in exo-planets around a few thousand stars using the transit search method. The COROT mission holds the promise of detecting numerous exo-planets. Together with radial velocity follow-up observations, the masses of the detected planets will be known.

    We have devised a method for predicting the expected planetary populations and compared it to the already known exo-planets. Our method works by looking at all hydrostatic envelope solutions of giant gas planets that could possibly exist in arbitrary planetary nebulae and comparing the relative abundance of different masses. We have completed the first such survey of hydrostatic equilibria in an orbital range covering periods of 1 to 50 days.

    Statistical analysis of the calculated envelopes suggests division into three classes of giant planets that are distinguished by orbital separation. We term them classes G (close-in), H, and J (large separation). Each class has distinct properties such as a typical mass range.

    Furthermore, the division between class H and J appears to mark important changes in the formation: For close-in planets (classes G and H) the concept of a critical core-mass is meaningless while it is important for class J. This result needs confirmation by future dynamical analysis.


  • ljk May 3, 2007, 12:53

    COROT discovers its first exoplanet and catches scientists by surprise

    COROT has provided its first image of a giant planet orbiting another star and
    the first bit of ‘seismic’ information on a far away, Sun-like star- with
    unexpected accuracy.

    More at:


  • ljk May 4, 2007, 8:57

    Could we identify hot Ocean-Planets with CoRoT, Kepler and Doppler velocimetry?

    Icarus, In Press, Accepted Manuscript, Available online 1 May 2007,

    F. Selsis, B. Chazelas, P. Bordé, M. Ollivier, F. Brachet, M. Decaudin, F. Bouchy, D. Ehrenreich, J.-M. Grießmeier, H. Lammer, et al.

    1.5 Mb PDF preprint