Corot-9b: Did COROT discover a Pandora-like world?


I was in Europe last month to attend a workshop on asteroid size and shape and also to visit my colleagues at the observatoire de Paris. It was a very useful trip and the timing was perfect since the COROT consortium announced the discovery of a very interesting exoplanet named COROT-9b. It took me a while to write this post, but since this is an important discovery, I could not avoid to write about.

Five exoplanets discovered by Kepler – a discussion and a movie

I mentioned on this blog on several occasions (see “the first light“) the Kepler mission which aims at detecting exoplanets through the transit method (a.k.a the small attenuation of light due to the passage of the exoplanet between us and the host star). Last week, during the AAS  (say “double ‘A’ ‘S'”) conference, the Kepler team announced the discovery of the first 5 exoplanets.

Kepler first light – the birth of a new space telescope


Today NASA announced the successful first light of the Kepler Telescope. I did not describe yet this mission in my blog so that’s a very good opportunity. The Kepler mission is dedicated to monitor 100,000 stars in the sky to search for Earth-size exo-planets. The Kepler spacecraft was launched successful on March 6 2009 and since then the telescope and the spacecraft are being tested.

Visit at AMNH (what is that?) :-)

Last week I mentioned that after attending the LPSC conference, I went to New York City to give a talk at the AMNH. The AMNH which stands for American Museum of Natural History, is a very place that most of the people which visit New York City has seen on the map and maybe took the time to visit.  Located in the Upper West Side, this museum contains a large number of exhibitions about biology, evolution, meteorites, and fossils. In 2000, a new building dedicated to astronomy was opened to the public. It contains a state-to-the-art planetarium, an exhibition dedicated to astronomy, but also a department of astronomy.