. 24/7 Space News .
The Most Stable Source of Light in the World
by Staff Writers
Geneva, Switzerland (SPX) Oct 02, 2015

The CHEOPS satellite instrument.

In order to be able to detect planets comparable to Earth, the CHEOPS satellite, which will be sent into orbit at the end of 2017, must be able to measure the luminosity of a star with inimitable accuracy. In order to test CHEOPS detectors researchers need a stable source of light.

However there was no instrument capable of producing a light source with sufficient stability to be used as a reference... until today. A team from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, has just filed for a European patent.

Designed by Swiss researchers and built by the University of Berne, the CHEOPS satellite's mission will be to study exoplanets that have already been identified and which are located close to our solar system.

Thanks to high-precision photometry, the satellite will detect the passage (transit) of a planet in front of its star, by measuring the latter's diminishing luminosity at that precise moment. Scientists will thus be able to deduce the diameter of the exoplanet under observation.

In order to detect planets similar to planet Earth, the satellite must therefore be able to measure the luminosity of a star with exceptional stability (0.002%). CHEOP's sensors must be tested using a source of light whose stability is ten times superior than that demanded by the satellite itself.

Since no existing light source could guarantee this level of stability, UNIGE engineers and technicians and the PlanetS national research center designed a brand-new instrument, which produces the most stable light source in the world. Unlike other procedures, which stabilize light at its source, the system developed in Geneva modifies the intensity of a beam of light.

By activating a "mobile finger", which more or less obscures the beam of light, the intensity and finally the stability of the light can be modulated.

"We have presented our instrument to the American leaders of the TESS mission, a satellite researching exoplanets, and they were so enthusiastic that they ordered one from us," said Francois Wildi, engineer in UNIGE's Department of Astronomy, and member of PlanetS.

Having proved themselves in the laboratory setting, thanks to the stable light source, the CHEOPS detectors will then be tested - using the same source, in space conditions, in a University of Berne simulation tank whose temperature variations reflect those that the satellite will encounter in space.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only


Related Links
Lands Beyond Beyond - extra solar planets - news and science
Life Beyond Earth

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
Earth-class planets likely have protective magnetic fields, aiding life
Seattle WA (SPX) Sep 29, 2015
Earth-like planets orbiting close to small stars probably have magnetic fields that protect them from stellar radiation and help maintain surface conditions that could be conducive to life, according to research from astronomers at the University of Washington. A planet's magnetic field emanates from its core and is thought to deflect the charged particles of the stellar wind, protecting t ... read more

Russian scientist hope to get rocket fuel, water, oxygen from Lunar ice

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's Dance with Eclipses

China to rehearse new carrier rocket for lunar mission

NASA's LRO discovers Earth's pull is 'massaging' our moon

NASA's Big Mars Story

Mars water find boosts quest for extra-terrestrial life

Rover's Current Location Makes Communications a Challenge

NASA Confirms Evidence That Liquid Water Flows on Today's Mars

Down to Earth and walking the line

Next stop for the Perlan 2 Glider: The edge of space

India PM heads to Silicon Valley chasing a digital dream

Airbus Defence and Space builds first hardware for Orion space vehicle's service module

The First Meeting of the U.S.-China Space Dialogue

China's new carrier rocket succeeds in 1st trip

China launches new type of carrier rocket: state media

Long March-2D carrier rocket blasts off in NW China

NASA Selects Five New Flight Directors to Lead Mission Control

Space fish detail effects of microgravity on bones

Fire in the Hole: Studying How Flames Grow in Space

US astronaut misses fresh air halfway through year-long mission

Spaceflight Purchases SpaceX Falcon 9 Flight For Small Satellite Industry

Assembly begins for the Ariane 5 to orbit Arabsat-6B and GSAT-15 in Nov

After Astrosat success, India set to launch 23 foreign satellites

ULA Selects Orbital ATK to Provide Solid Boosters for Atlas V and Vulcan Launch Vehicles

The Most Stable Source of Light in the World

Earth-class planets likely have protective magnetic fields, aiding life

Stellar atmosphere can be used to predict the composition of rocky exoplanets

Watching an exoplanet in motion around a distant star

Latvia orders Sentinel 3-D radars

Benign by design

Pentagon delays JSTARS acquisition

Oculus proclaims dawn of 'virtual reality era'

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.