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A pair of lonely planet-like objects born like stars

A pair of lonely planet-like objects born like stars

An international research team led by the University of Bern has discovered an exotic binary system composed of two young planet-like objects, orbiting around each other from a very large distance. Although these objects look like giant exoplanets, they formed in the same way as stars, proving that the mechanisms driving star formation can produce […]

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CHEOPS had to avoid space debris

CHEOPS had to avoid space debris

Space debris increasingly threatens rockets, the international space station and satellites. At the beginning of October, the CHEOPS space telescope had to make an evasive manoeuvre due to a piece of Chinese space debris. Such approaches can be extremely dangerous, because objects in Earth orbit shoot through space at many times the speed of a […]

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Drink coffee and learn about space

Drink coffee and learn about space

They say that the most important substance in the universe is water. Because you need water to brew coffee. And some people like a shot of coffee cream with it. Anyone who is a coffee connoisseur and space fan will be doubly delighted in the coming weeks. Since a few days now, one of Switzerland’s […]

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CHEOPS: Computer onboard booted

CHEOPS: Computer onboard booted

Before Christmas, on 18 December 2019, a Soyuz Fregat rocket was launched in Kourou, French Guyana, and put ESA’s CHEOPS space telescope into a precise polar orbit. Now the engineers test all systems aboard. Today, the computer was successfully booted. Since CHEOPS is in Orbit, its systems have been gradually ramped up. So far, ESA […]

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Dancing with the Enemy

Dancing with the Enemy

While testing their new subsystem on the SPHERE planet-hunting instrument, a team lead by Hans Martin Schmid, professor of ETH Zürich and member of PlanetS, was able to capture the sharpest image ever of the binary star R Aquarii. Installed on ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile, SPHERE and its component ZIMPOL were developed to […]

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Switzerland in pole position in ESA’s new mission

Switzerland in pole position in ESA’s new mission

ESA launches Europe’s largest exoplanet research mission, with partners from the Universities of Geneva and Bern. PLATO, the largest European exoplanet research mission, was adopted today by the European Space Agency at the ESA Scientific Programs Committee meeting. Switzerland, through the Universities of Geneva (UNIGE) and Berne (UNIBE), is heavily involved in this mission, which should enable […]

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CHEOPS will ride on a Soyuz rocket

CHEOPS will ride on a Soyuz rocket

Now it is clear: the space telescope CHEOPS – CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite – will be launched with a Soyuz rocket from Europe’s spaceport in Kourou in French Guyana. The European Space Agency (ESA) has announced the decision today Thursday, 6 April 2017 The exact launch date remains to be confirmed. It is clear, however, that […]

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