Space telescope CHEOPS, designed to study exoplanets, has successfully completed a three-month stage of commissioning and are preparing to start full-scale observations at the end of April. The Observatory had already observed a few stars with exoplanets and specified size of the hot Jupiter KELT-11b, it is reported on the website of the European space Agency.
Task space telescope CHEOPS (Characterising Exoplanet Satellite) is the study of exoplanets by the method of transit photometry , the Observatory monitors small changes in brightness of the star during the passage of the planet on its disk, which allows you to more accurately determine their size and approximate density. The main objectives of the observations are planets with masses between Earth and Neptune.
The launch of the Observatory in space was held on December 18, 2019, and at the end of January, he successfully launched the optical system. For three months experts have conducted flight testing of the telescope, which watched well-studied stars, to understand how precisely it is induced by the target and is able to keep her in sight. Tests have shown that for several hours until the Observatory moves along its orbit, the image of the star always remains in the same group of pixels in the detector, which is considered a very good result.
In the last two weeks of the test period CHEOPS observe two stars, which previously were discovered exoplanets. One of the goals was yellow subgiant HD 93396, located at a distance of 320 light-years from the Sun, which is three times more than our sun. Around this star is drawn swollen hot Jupiter KELT-11b, which is much closer to its star than mercury to the Sun. The telescope was able to observe an eight-hour transit of the planet across the stellar disk, on the basis of these data the scientists have very accurately determined the diameter of the planet, which was 181600 ± 4300 kilometers. The astronomers concluded that the accuracy of the data received by the telescope, is five times higher than in the case of ground-based observations.