March 25, 2013

Finding the Next Earth Facts

  • In 2006, France was the first to search the skies for another Earth-like planet with a mission called “CoRot.”

  • Rockets have flown from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for over fifty years.

  • The rocket releases CoRot over 500 miles above the Earth.

  • CoRot combines 4 CCD detectors with an eleven-inch aperture. Two of the four are dedicated to finding planets by observing transits.

  • A transit occurs when an object passes in front of one of the many stars being observed, thus dimming the light from the star.

  • CoRot’s orbital speed is almost seventeen thousand miles per hour.

  • About 500 light-years away in the constellation of Monoceros, the CoRot Space Telescope discovers a rocky planet called “CoRot 7b”.

  • Corot 7b is the first rocky planet ever discovered around another star.

  • A year on CoRot7b lasts only 20 hours.

  • Surface temperatures on CoRot 7b average 3,600 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • About 20 light-years away in the constellation of Libra, Dr. Steve Vogt discovers a planet around Gliese 581, which will be called “Gliese 581g”.

  • “Gliese 581g” is considered a Super Earth.

  • Kepler’s array of 42 CCDs is aimed unceasingly at a single patch of sky containing 4 million stars and it has only one purpose, finding the next Earth.

  • Temperatures in space can reach a lethal 460 degrees below zero.

  • Kepler 10b is tidally locked to its sun. One side trapped in everlasting day, the other side in eternal night.

  • The hottest temperatures ever in North America were recorded in Death Valley at 134 Fahrenheit.

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