A TAU astrophysicist is part of an international team that discovers seven new planets
An artist's illustration showing the extrasolar planets discovered by CoRoT. (CNES)
Prof. Tsvi Mazeh of Tel Aviv University's Physics and Astronomy School was the only Israeli on an international team that recently discovered seven new planets outside of our solar system, The Jerusalem Post reported last week.
Prof. Mazeh and his partners found the planets through the use of the CoRoT space telescope, launched on December 27, 2006, by the National Space Studies Center in France and CNRS French laboratories. The planets were detected by measuring small black spots visible on the surfaces of their respective suns as the planets passed in front of them.
Each new planet is a "new world about which we had no idea before the CoRoT observations," Prof. Mazeh told The Jerusalem Post. "We are like Columbus, who sailed his ships beyond the horizon to worlds that excited the imagination. But unlike Columbus, who found countries whose nature and weather were similar to what he left behind, in our case the planets are so different and so distant. Surprises beyond our telescopes can rise above our imaginations."