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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 10:29 am 
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Location: Lancashire
In the space of two months, three space observatories - Herschel, COROT and GALEX - have become defunct, and with Kepler still in intensive care with a "wheel" problem.
Launched by the ESA ( European Space Agency ) in 2006, COROT discovered over 30 exoplanets, including the first rocky class, and about a hundred possibles.
In November, CORT's main computer developed problems and on June 24 the space observatory was shut down.
Exoplanet searches will now be done by ground-based telescopes until 2017, when Nasa and the ESA will place new planet-seeking instruments into space.
Nasa's ultraviolet GALEX telescope has spent a decade observing hundreds of millions of galaxies: "It discovered a comet-like tail trailing behind Mira, and caught a black hole in the act of swallowing a star" ( NEW SCIENTIST, 6 July, 2013 ).

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 1:10 pm 
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"Exoplanet searches will now be done by ground-based telescopes until 2017".

I suspect that the scientists involved with the GAIA craft would disagree with you there.

Among its objectives are the determination of the positions, distances, and annual proper motions of 1 billion stars with an accuracy of about 20 µas (microarcsecond) at 15 mag, and 200 µas at 20 mag and the detection of tens of thousands of extra-solar planetary systems.

It should be launched this Autumn.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 2:31 pm 
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Good point Stella, but here's what the current NEW SCIENTIST ( p.4 ) says: "Ground telescopes will now carry out all exoplanet searches until 2017".

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