February 25, 2013
World's Smallest Space Telescopes to Hit Orbit Today
By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer
With all the developments going on out at Mobile World Congress (News - Alert) today, it's easy to forget that there are other places with other technology events happening. One of these involves two new tiny satellites that will be in orbit before the end of the day, specifically, the two smallest space telescopes ever, sent on a mission to study the brightest stars in the sky.
The Bright Target Explorer (BRITE) satellites, developed by Canada's University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies, were loaded into an Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle at 7:20 this morning, Eastern time. They were then sent up from the Satish Dhawan Space Center located in Sriharikota, India. The BRITE satellites will be pointed outward toward bright stars that commonly adorn the night sky, like those found in the constellation Orion.
Once trained on their target, they can monitor stars to note changes in brightness over time, which can find things like spots on the stars themselves, any planets that may be in orbit around said stars, or what are known as "starquakes," caused by oscillations within the stars themselves... Read More