Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Lift off for Eddington Mission to look inside the stars and search for planets like Earth

28.05.2002


"It is not too much to hope that in the not too distant future we shall be competent to understand so simple a thing as a star" (Arthur Eddington 1926)



Following a press conference this morning (Monday 27 May 2002) in Paris, the European Space Agency confirmed the establishment of the Eddington Mission as part of its new Science programme. Astronomers, led by Professor Ian Roxburgh of Queen Mary, University of London, proposed the mission in 2000, and the Eddington Satellite is to be launched in 2007/8.

Named after the British astronomer, Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, who laid the foundations for our understanding of how stars work, the Eddington Mission aims to answer the question Eddington asked himself in 1926:


"What appliance can pierce through the outer layers of a star and test the conditions within." (AS Eddington, Internal Constitution of the Stars, 1926). Almost eighty years later, we have the answer.

The Eddington satellite (consisting of four telescopes) will gaze at different regions of the sky for intervals of about two months each, observing over 200,000 stars, measuring changes in light of one part of one million, and thus allowing astronomers to work out what stars are like inside (asteroseismology). Asteroseismology is the appliance Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington sought. This will enable astronomers to understand how stars work and to use this knowledge to measure the age of stars and components of our galaxy, and to understand how elements were formed.

The Mission will then search for Earth-like planets orbiting other stars, pointing continuously at one region of the sky for three years, measuring light from over 100,000 stars and detecting the tiny decrease in light as a planet passes in front of the star. In addition the Eddington Mission will discover many larger planets and give astronomers the information to understand how the solar system was found.

Professor Ian Roxburgh, Science Co-ordinator of the Mission, said:

"The approval of the Eddington Mission is great news. I am very, very happy! I first started working on such a mission in 1982, and this is the culmination of a lot of work by a lot of scientists. At last we will be able to find planets like the Earth around other stars and to understand how stars work and how they change as they get older. Discovering the existence of planets like the Earth, with properties similar to those on Earth, is a first step towards searching for signs of life elsewhere in the Universe."

Over fifty research groups around Europe are involved in the Eddington Mission, including eight from the UK. Ian Roxburgh, Keith Horne (University of St Andrews) and Gerry Gilmore (University of Cambridge) are part of the Eddington Science Team that has been developing the Mission. It is under the overall direction of the European Space Agency Study Scientist Fabio Favata.

Kate Hunter | alphagalileo
Further information:
http://www.qmul.ac.uk

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Hubble sees Neptune's mysterious shrinking storm
16.02.2018 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht Supermassive black hole model predicts characteristic light signals at cusp of collision
15.02.2018 | Rochester Institute of Technology

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

Im Focus: Autonomous 3D scanner supports individual manufacturing processes

Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).

Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fingerprints of quantum entanglement

16.02.2018 | Information Technology

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers

16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Hubble sees Neptune's mysterious shrinking storm

16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>