Searching and Characterizing Exoplanets with CHEOPS, ARIEL, and PLATO
NASA’s Kepler mission and its successor TESS are not the only space telescopes dedicated to finding exoplanets. The European Space Agency (ESA) has embarked on the challenge of finding and characterizing those planets in orbit around stars other than our Sun. We’ll discuss several of these missions in this special SETI Talks with leading European-based astronomers. The CHEOPS mission (CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite) is the first of the newly created “S-class missions” (small class missions with an ESA budget of less than 50 million), and its goal is to characterize exoplanet transits. The mission recently reached a new milestone and has been declared ready for science. The space telescope targets stars known to have a transiting exoplanet and focuses on better characterizing Earth-like and super-Earth exoplanets. Willy Benz, Professor at the Physics Institute at the University of Bern and Principal Investigator of CHEOPS, will tell us about the mission and its goals. PLATO (PLAnetary Transits and Oscillations of stars) is the third medium-class mission in ESA's Cosmic Vision program. Its objective is to find and study a large number of extrasolar planetary systems, with an emphasis on the properties of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone around solar-like stars. PLATO will carry out high precision, long (months to years), uninterrupted photometric monitoring of terrestrial exoplanets to characterize their bulk properties, including planets in Sun-like habitable zone stars. Heike Rauer, principal investigator of PLATO, will tell us how the mission could discover terrestrial exoplanets, some in the habitable zone of solar-type stars, and characterize them. Such analysis will pave the way for future missions that could one day image another Pale Blue Dot. ARIEL (Atmospheric Remote-sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey) aims to answer fundamental questions about how planetary systems form and evolve. ESA has selected it as its next medium-class science mission, due for launch in 2028. During its 4-year mission, ARIEL will observe more than 500 exoplanets ranging from Jupiter- and Neptune-size down to super-Earths in various environments. We invited Giovanna Tinetti, Head of the Astrophysics Group, UCL Department of Physics & Astronomy and Principal Investigator of ARIEL, to discuss this mission’s future goals and the technological challenges of building a mission capable of analyzing the light of exoplanets with transits. These researchers will tell us about their missions and what to expect in the coming years from the highly accurate, and multi-color, transiting light curves provided by those space telescopes. They'll also discuss ESA's future contributions in discovering and characterizing exoplanets to better understand the formation of planetary systems and enable planetary science far beyond the Solar System's boundaries.
Interview: ESA's Kate Isaak on how CHEOPS will study exoplanets
The European Space Agency's CHEOPS mission is currently studying planets orbiting distant stars, known as exoplanets. We spoke to CHEOPS Project Scientist Kate Isaak to find out more. The links Kate refers to in the interview can be found here: https://esa.int/cheops
CHEOPS, a European Mission to Characterize Transiting Exoplanets
Join us for a SETI Live with Laetitia Delrez (@LaetitiaDelrez) from the University of Liege and Kate Isaak, Project Scientist at ESA on CHEOPS. The CHEOPS mission (CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite) is the first of the newly created “S-class missions” of ESA (small class missions with an ESA budget of less than 50 million), and is dedicated to characterizing the transits of exoplanets. The mission has recently reached a new milestone, since it has been declared ready for science. Researchers will tell us the goals of the mission and what to expect in the follow years from this highly accurate transiting light curves provided by the space telescope. Overview of CHEOPS at ESA:
which includes details about the building phase of the project https://cosmos.esa.int/web/cheops
aimed at scientists interested in CHEOPS
for people interested in applying for observing time on CHEOPS Also, mission webpages from the CHEOPS Mission Consortium:
https://cheops.unibe.ch/ The CHEOPS data, once public, will be available through the CHEOPS mission archive at:
https://cheops-archive.astro.unige.ch/archive_browser/ And for fun: a paper model to keep people busy building their own CHEOPS:
Europe's new exoplanet hunter has begun star observations
The European Space Agency's Cheops (Characterising Exoplanet Satellite) mission launched in December 2019. Since then, it was run through a series of tests and star observations have begun. -- Europe's planet-hunting CHEOPS telescope spies its 1st alien worlds: https://www.space.com/cheops-space-telescope-first-exoplanet-discoveries.html Credit: ESA
Cheops: Planning a perfect mission
Teams of scientists and engineers are simulating the launch, early orbit phase and commissioning of the CHEOPS mission ahead of its launch period in the last quarter of 2019. The simulations are taking place at the CHEOPS Mission Operations Centre at Torrejón de Ardoz, just outside Madrid in Spain.
CHEOPS (CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite) is a powerful telescope that will obtain measurements from stars outside our Solar System that have known planets. This information will tell us more about the nature of these exoplanets and whether they have the right conditions for life. The mission is a partnership between ESA and Switzerland with additional contributions from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. This film contains contributions from Diana de Miguel, Airbus Defence & Space; and David Modrego, ISDEFE. Learn more: http://sci.esa.int/cheops/ ★ Subscribe: http://bit.ly/ESAsubscribe and click twice on the bell button to receive our notifications. Check out our full video catalog: http://bit.ly/SpaceInVideos
Follow us on Twitter: http://bit.ly/ESAonTwitter
On Facebook: http://bit.ly/ESAonFacebook
On Instagram: http://bit.ly/ESAonInstagram
On Flickr: http://bit.ly/ESAonFlickr We are Europe's gateway to space. Our mission is to shape the development of Europe's space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. Check out http://www.esa.int/ESA to get up to speed on everything space related. Copyright information about our videos is available here: http://www.esa.int/spaceinvideos/Terms_and_Conditions #ESA
Vibration test of the CHEOPS satellite
The CHEOPS satellite is mounted on a longitudinal shaker that forces it to vibrate at different frequencies. At the beginning of the test, performed at RUAG Space in Zurich, Switzerland, low-frequency sine-wave vibrations of 5 Hz are applied. As the test progresses, a sweep, using sine waves of increasing frequency, is performed up to the maximum of 100 Hz. Credit: ESA/Airbus/RUAG More information about this video can be found at http://sci.esa.int/cheops/60585-vibration-test/
CHEOPS Children's Drawings
Together with the CHEOPS space telescope more than 2700 miniaturized children's drawings will fly into space. The video shows how physicist Guido Bucher produced the plaques with the drawings at Berner Fachhochschule in Burgdorf.
Timelapse video of the CHEOPS instrument installation
Timelapse video of the installation of the CHEOPS instrument onto the platform. The instrument is lifted using the custom designed strongback onto the top panel of the spacecraft. After successful placement the mounting feet of the the telescope are securely bolted. Credit: Airbus Defense and Space, Madrid.
CHEOPS satellite integration
Integration of ESA's CHEOPS science instrument (top) with the spacecraft platform (bottom) in the cleanroom at Airbus Defence and Space in Madrid, Spain. The science instrument, which includes among other elements the telescope and detector, was built and tested at the University of Bern, Switzerland. It was shipped to Spain in April to be integrated with the spacecraft platform for further tests and launch preparations. Once in orbit, CHEOPS will observe transits of known exoplanets around bright stars to characterise these planetary systems. Credit: Airbus Defence and Space Spain More information about this video can be found at http://sci.esa.int/cheops/60328-cheops-satellite-integration/
The space telescope CHEOPS (CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite) instrument has left a clean room in Switzerland, where it was assembled and tested, and is now in Madrid for further launch preparations. The telescope will study hundreds of known exoplanets using the transit method - measuring the dip in light as a planet transits its parent star. CHEOPS will herald a new era of discovery. Its precision measurements will give more detailed information about a planet’s structure, atmosphere and surface temperature. It was built at the University of Bern and the mission is a partnership between ESA and Switzerland with additional contributions from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Integration and testing of the CHEOPS spacecraft is ongoing and the project is on track to reach flight readiness by the end of 2018. This film contains soundbites from Willy Benz, CHEOPS principal investigator, ESA/University of Bern and Andrea Fortier, Cheops Instrument Scientist, ESA/University of Bern. ★ Subscribe: http://bit.ly/ESAsubscribe Learn more: bit.ly/ESACHEOPS
CHEOPS - getting ready for calibration at the University of Bern
CHEOPS space telescope getting ready for calibration at the University of Bern in January 2018.
CHEOPS – getting ready for calibration
CHEOPS space telescope getting ready for calibration at the University of Bern in January 2018.
Cheops: how to build a planet-watcher model
Print out and build a paper model of Cheops, the CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite, a space science mission to study known exoplanets orbiting bright, nearby stars. Cheops will measure accurate sizes of Earth- to Neptune-sized planets. By combining this information with existing mass measurements, it will be possible to establish the bulk density and to put constraints on the composition of these planets. It is a Small-class mission in ESA’s Science programme in partnership with Switzerland, with important contributions from other ESA member states. Cheops paper model: http://sci.esa.int/jump.cfm?oid=59851 Building the model requires scissors and glue. Remember to take into account ample time to cut out all the pieces.
Video about CHEOPS Mission
CHEOPS Mission ohne Text
Video about CHEOPS Mission (without Text)
CHEOPS Vibration Test
Vibration test of the CHEOPS telescope at the University of Bern, 15 August 2017.
CHEOPS Telescope Arrival
The flight hardware of the CHEOPS telescope arrived at the University of Bern and was inspected in the clean room in May 2017.
CHEOPS-Testlabor in Bern
Zu Besuch im CHEOPS-Testlabor an der Universität Bern
CHEOPS – assembly at Airbus Defence and Space
This film clip, produced by platform contractor, Airbus Defence and Space ( EADS CASA Espacio S.L, Spain), is a
compilation of CHEOPS AIV and test activities in the six month period starting in Summer 2015, undertaken at facilities
in Spain, Switzerland and the Netherlands.
CHEOPS vibration test at RUAG
Vibration testing of the CHEOPS Structural Model at RUAG Space in Zurich, Switzerland. (Credit: RUAG Space, Switzerland)
RUAG Cheops V02 Original 11176