Observatoire de Paris
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Oscillations of a star
Crédit : Paris Observatory / UFE

CoRoT has two main scientific objectives :

  • To "observe" the interior of the stars, detecting and studying their oscillations with the methods of sismology.
  • To search for extra-solar planets, detecting their passage in front of the stars around which they orbit.

To do that, it measures with a very high accuracy the brightness variations of selected stars, during very long periods.

CoRoT will gather an exceptional amount of data, with a very high accuracy, on the slight brightness variations of thousands of stars. Besides its two main objectives, CoRoT also will contribute to a better understanding of numerous other subjects. It will also study a wide range of other phenomena which manifest themselves in star brightness variations.

For instance :

  • To determine with a high precision the features of the variable stars.
  • To detect a large number of binary systems, and draw up statistics
  • To understand how the magnetic activity depends on the type of the star
  • To find comets around other stars
  • To detect Kuiper objects on the outer edges of the solar system.