Posted 12 February 2020 - 01:13 AM
Posted 12 February 2020 - 03:45 AM
Information I can find is similar - 13".
It is given as ESA S-Class mission and it seems from another page that "S" = "Small". So maybe they have decided to pull back from ever larger systems.
Seems to be the "First of their Small Class Missions" so would expect more to get the go ahead in time.
Maybe an unfair question but I wonder if the state of the JWST has caused them to consider physically smaller systems and missions. Could they launch say 3 or 4 small systems that simply come out less complex as individual separate missions.
Another aspect is the EU politics. Each country involved in financing HAS to have an involvement in building. ESA are trying to spread out the experience and knowledge and not have it in one or a few places also.
CHEOPS has a .ch page which is Switzerland as the mission home page. So a mission center in Switzerland now. Next may be another country in the EU.
So numerous small missions in a way makes that easier to accomplish. They could plan and launch 5 missions and have a mission center therefore in 5 different countries. Keeps the financiers happy - reasonably.
- m1618 likes this
Posted 15 February 2020 - 02:45 PM
CHEOPS is designed for precision photometry of known and candidate exoplanet host stars. According to their website, they will be looking at data from stars brighter than mag 9 for detection of atmospheres on Earth-size to Neptune-size planets, and brighter than mag 12 for radii measurements of hot Neptunes. So it doesn't need a big scope, and its probably defocused to smear out the image over an area of pixels to improve linearity and signal-to-noise. If I understand correctly, its objectives are somewhere between the Kepler and TESS missions, which were/are transit surveys, and JWST and large ground observatories that will examine objects in detail for atmospheric composition and other data. My guess is that if it is successful we may see other similar instruments launched to obtain better light curves than what the survey missions are designed for. --Keith
Posted 16 February 2020 - 08:37 AM
I keep think of a pyramid when I see this for some strange reason...
- kw6562 likes this