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Stories by John Matson

Space

Exoplanet Hunters Get a Technology Boost in Search for Earth-like Planets

The European Southern Observatory already has one of the world’s best planet-hunting tools in the HARPS spectrograph. Installed at the 3.6-meter La Silla telescope in Chile, HARPS is an instrument that can detect the extremely subtle wobbles in a star’s motion that may be induced by the gravitational pull of an orbiting planet.But the wobble, or radial-velocity, method most readily turns up large exoplanets, some of them many times more massive than Jupiter, that orbit quite close to their host star...

May 30, 2012 — John Matson
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