The CoRoT satellite and its surprising exoplanets
Up to now more than 400 extrasolar planets have been discovered, about 60 of them are transiting. Transiting extra-solar planets are particularly interesting, because their masses, diameters, densities and orientations of their orbits can be determined. Observations with the CoRoT Satellite have now turned up 10 transiting extrasolar planets. Although most of them are gas giants, it turns out that each of them is very special, and many of them have surprising properties. An unexpected discovery was for example the detection of emission lines from CoRoT 1b. Other interesting discoveries are CoRoT 2b, a planet orbiting a young star, and CoRoT 3b the first transiting brown dwarf orbiting a main sequence star. While the detection of transiting gas giants is interesting, the ultimate goal of CoRoT clearly was the detection of rocky planets. CoRoT has detected a solar-like star which shows transits that are only 0.03% deep. In this talk it it is demonstrated that this planet is in fact the first planet found outside our solar system from which we can firmly say that it is a rocky planet. New observations of this interesting object even constrain the properties of its exosphere.
About the talk
Thüringer Landessternwarte, Germany