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COROT is a French astronomical satellite, with major participation by ESA and other European astronomers, that was launched by a Soyuz 2 rocket from Baikonur at 14:23 UT on 27 December 2006. The 650 kg craft carries a 27 cm aperture telescope to scan the optical brightness of about 100,000 stars in the Galaxy. Every 512 seconds it will monitor about 10,000 stars through a set of four CCD arrays in the focal plane. Every 150 days, it will aim at a different field of view, to complete the mission in 2.5 years. The brightness of a star will drop by one percent or less when a planet transits in front of it. Another cause of brightness variation is stellar, acoustic seismic waves that culminate in patches of dimness/brightness on the photosphere due to standing waves. The COROT mission is believed to provide enough information so that a future such mission can distinguish the rocky (and potentially life-sustaining) planets among them. COROT is reported to be an acronym for COnvection ROtation and planetary Transit.

Alternate Names

  • 29678
  • COnvection ROtation and planetary Transit

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2006-12-27
Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 2
Launch Site: Tyuratam (Baikonur Cosmodrome), Kazakhstan

Funding Agencies

  • Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (France)
  • European Space Agency (International)


  • Astronomy

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Mr. Malcolm FridlundProject ScientistESA-European Space Research and Technology
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