CubeSat exploring exoplanets
The Colorado Ultraviolet Transit Experiment (CUTE) CubeSat mission launched in September 2021. The 6U satellite hosts a novel designed near-ultraviolet (NUV) transmission spectrometer to characterize the composition and mass-loss rates of exoplanet atmospheres. CUTE measures how NUV light from the host star changes as the exoplanet transits in front of the star and passes through the planet’s atmosphere. Transit lightcurves created from CUTE observations will provide constraints on the composition and escape rates of these atmospheres, and may provide the first concrete evidence for magnetic fields on extrasolar planets.
Launch Date: September 27, 2021
Prime Mission: 1 year
Lead Institution: LASP
Lead Funding Agency: NASA Astrophysics
Partners: NASA Astronomy, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Arizona, Space Research Institute of the American Academy of Science in Graz, Austria, Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, the University of Toulouse, France, and the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.