Nobody who was there at the time, from the most seasoned astrophysicist to the most inexperienced science reporter, is likely to forget a press co n ference at the American Astronomical Society's winter meeting in San Antonio, Texas, in January 1996. It was there that Geoffrey W. Marcy, an observer then at San Francisco State University, announced that he and his observing partner, R. Paul Butler, then at the University of California, Berkeley, had discovered the second and third planets ever found orbiting a sunlike star. The first such planet, 51 Pegasi b, had been announced by Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz of the University of Geneva a few months earlier—but a single detection could have been a fluke or even a mistake. Now Marcy was able to say confidently that it had been neither. “Planets,” he told the crowd, “aren't rare after all.”