Monday, December 10, 2007

New major exoplanet announcement from Corot?

The Corot satellite is a French astroseismology/transit/photometry project.
Steinn Sigurðsson over at Dynamics of Cats is pushing rumors of an announcement regarding a whole new bundle of exoplanet discoveries soon, possibly today.

For a sample of Corot data, see this 120-day graph of a star:

Image from CNES
showing various stellar oscillations as well as a periodic transit of something across the face of the star.

More rumors here too, for today.

Stellar Oscillations
Convection cells at the surface of a star create a large acoustic noise. The noise has multiple ways of traveling through the stellar interior, and can interfere constructively on the surface as the star 'rings'. It can also be used to probe the interior of the star just like earthquakes on Earth showed us the existence of the solid inner core and the liquid outer core. And it can be used to see the farside of the Sun! The ringing can have many, many modes--over a thousand. See the cute animated gif of a l=2, m=2 oscillation of a star here.

Transmission of acoustic waves through a stellar interior

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