SPACE PHOTOS THIS WEEK: New Planet, Midnight Mars, More

SPACE PHOTOS THIS WEEK: New Planet, Midnight Mars, More
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July 24, 2008—The COROT satellite, which has been aloft for nearly 600 days, has discovered an exoplanet orbiting a star slightly more massive than the sun, scientists announced.

The craft, seen above in an artist's rendering, boasts a powerful telescope—10.6 inches (27 centimeters) in diameter—which is pointed at distant star systems.

The French National Space Agency mission searches for the inner structure of stars by observing the distinctive starquakes that ripple across their surfaces.

It has already observed more than 50,000 stars, data that will add to scientists' knowledge of the cosmic bodies.

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—Image by CNES/D Ducros
 
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