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Cheops... ready to go!

 


The Christmas of exoplanets


 

Cheops 

The launch of CHEOPS, the first satellite of the European Space Agency dedicated to the study of planets outside our Solar System, is scheduled for next December 17th. 130 students and their teachers will follow the live launch from the Città della Scienza auditorium, together with the researchers involved in the mission.
During the morning the boys and girls will be guided to discover the extrasolar planets, participate in interactive games and decorate the Città della Scienza Christmas tree with Christmas exoplanets to celebrate together the "Christmas of the exoplanets".

Quando e dove: 

 17 Dicembre 2019

Città della Scienza

Via Simeto 24

Catania

 

The launch of CHEOPS, the first satellite of the European Space Agency dedicated to the study of planets outside our Solar System, is scheduled for next December 17th. CHEOPS will be launched with a Soyuz rocket from the European spaceport in French Guyana.

130 students and their teachers will follow the live launch from the Città della Scienza auditorium, together with the researchers involved in the mission.

During the morning the boys and girls will be guided to the discovery of the extrasolar planets, they will attend the launch, scheduled at 9:54, they will follow the first phases of flight until the satellite is separated from the rocket, they will participate in interactive games and decorate the tree Science of Christmas with Christmas exoplanets to celebrate together the "Christmas of the exoplanets".

The event is organized by the INAF-Astrophysical Observatory of Catania, whose director is the scientific responsible for Italian participation in the mission, from the Sicilian Center for Nuclear Physics and Structure of Matter, from Città della Scienza - University of Catania and from the Department of Physics and Astronomy "Ettore Majorana" of the University of Catania.

 

The discovery, 24 years ago, of 51 Peg b, the first planet in orbit around a star other than the Sun, has earned the Nobel Prize2019 for Physics to its discoverers: the astronomers Michel Mayore Didier Queloz. From 1995 onwards, thanks to increasingly sensitive tools, the researchers discovered more than 4,000 exoplanets. The CHEOPS mission is in this scenario.

CHEOPS - Characterising ExOPlanet Satellite - is a small satellite for the study of extrasolar planets. Proposed in 2012 in response to a call from the European Space Agency (ESA) under the Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 program, it was selected from dozens of competing projects.

The satellite, 1.5 meters high and with a hexagonal base of maximum width 1.6 meters, weighs 280 kilos, including the propellant. It carries a Ritchey-Chrétien mount telescope, with a 32cm diameter main mirror and a f / 8 focal ratio. The telescope sends the image on a Teledyne e2v CCD detector with 1024 × 1024 pixels and a 13 µm pixel pitch, cooled to 233 K with a stability of 10 mK.

The optical project of the telescope, formulated by the researchers of the National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF) of Catania and Padua, is innovative for the requirements of unusual compactness, due to the limited space available, and the extreme reduction of the diffused light, to obtain the measurement accuracy required by the scientific objectives of the mission. The telescope was therefore built in Italy at Leonardo s.r.l. laboratories, with the contribution of Thales Alenia Space and Medialario, under the supervision of the Italian Space Agency and the scientific coordination of INAF researchers.


CHEOPS will be placed in orbit by a Soyuz carrier, whose launch will take place at 09:54 - local time in Italy - next December 17th.

Together with CHEOPS, the Italian spacecraft COSMO-Skymed Second Generation (SSG) of the Italian Space Agency will be launched with the same carrier, as well as some small cubesat satellites.

The first to leave the rocket, once out of the atmosphere, will be Cosmo SSG.
We will have to wait about two hours, around 12:20 for the separation of CHEOPS from the Soyuz. Another 30 minutes and there will be the first acquisition of the CHEOPS satellite signal.

CHEOPS will observe more than 7 thousand stars in its 3 and a half years of nominal duration. This mission is dedicated to the characterization of exoplanets already known and passing in front of their star. The accurate measurement of the planetary ray - obtainable with CHEOPS - combined with the measurement of the mass - obtained with the method of radial velocities from ground-based telescopes - will allow us to determine the internal structure of a planet or to understand whether it is rocky, gaseous or ice and therefore to establish if there are such conditions to host life.

The CHEOPS mission is born from the collaboration of scientists and engineers, research institutes, universities and industries, from eleven European countries led by the European Space Agency (ESA) and from Switzerland.

Researchers from the National Institute of Astrophysics in Catania and Padua, with the support of the Italian Space Agency, played a key role in the design of the telescope, and joined the industry - Leonardo sr.l. with the collaboration of Thales Alenia Space and Medialario - in the construction and test phases.

The scientific team of INAF and the University of Padua has contributed to the preparation of the scientific program and is now ready to receive the data and proceed with their analysis and interpretation.

 

Event Program

➔     09:00 - 09:15 Welcome and Institutional greetings

➔     09:15 - 09:35 Extrasolar planets and Cheops

➔     09:35 Connection with Kourou spaceport

➔     09:54 Soyuz take-off

➔     10:15 – 11:15 Refreshment and decoration of Christmas tree with extrasolar planets

➔     11:15 - 12:15 Games and exoplanets

➔     12:19 Separation of Cheops

➔   ~12:50 First opportunity acquisition of the signal from Cheops

➔   ~13:00 The End!

 

 

SPEAKERS

Alessia Tricomi - Delegate of the Rector to the coordination of the Third Mission, to Città della Scienza and to the Public Engagement and Director of the Sicilian Center for Nuclear Physics and of Matter Structure

Isabella Pagano - Director of INAF, Catania Astrophysical Observatory and Scientific Director of CHEOPS in Italy in connection with the Italian Space Agency, Rome

 ➢ Elena Geraci - Delegate of the Department of Physics and Astronomy "Ettore Majorana" at the Third Mission

 ➢ Giuseppe Cutispoto - Outreach & Education Office Manager - INAF, Catania Astrophysical Observatory

 ➢ Giuseppe Leto - INAF Catania Astrophysical Observatory, CHEOPS team

 ➢ Gaetano Scandariato - INAF Catania Astrophysical Observatory, CHEOPS team

 ➢ Giovanni Bruno - INAF Catania Astrophysical Observatory, CHEOPS team

 ➢ Daniela Sicilia - UNIPD & INAF Catania Astrophysical Observatory, CHEOPS team

 

IN CONNECTION FROM KOUROU (to be confirmed based on connection availability)

➢ Roberto Ragazzoni - Director of INAF Padova and responsible for the optics of the CHEOPS telescope

➢ Giampaolo Piotto - Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Padua, Member of the Scientific Council of Cheops

 

SUPPORT

➢   Giancarlo Bellassai (INAF), Flavia Calderone (INAF), Livio Caruso (CSFNSM), Letizia Giuffrida (CSFNSM), Gabriella Guarino (CdS-UniCT)

 

 

 

 

Protagonisti:

INAF-OACT, CSFNSM, Città della Scienza, DFA, UNICT

Tipologia progetto: diretta streaming del lancio, presentazioni, giochi e attività creativa
Edizione: 2019
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