We were sitting at the control console of a brand new $2.5-million telescope, staring at a list of seemingly inauspicious stars. Atop a barren mountain at the southernmost tip of Chile’s Atacama desert, there were just the three of us: Michel Burnet, a Geneva Observatory electronic engineer, Hernán Julio, an ESO press liaison, and I, and if we had all collapsed and died in mid-sentence it’s certain no one would have come knocking. But isolated as it is, the site is a shrine to technology and the Internet. One of a string of PCs that lined the room was permanently tuned to an observatory weather station, which confirmed what we already knew: it was cloudy, cold, and deadly quiet.
KeywordsRadial Velocity Parent Star Doppler Spectroscopy Short Orbit Barren Mountain
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- 1.Burnet, Michel, electronic engineer, Geneva Observatory. Interviewed on July 12, 1999, at La Silla, Chile.Google Scholar
- 2.Marcy, Geoffrey, astronomer, University of California at Berkeley. Interviewed on May 25, 1999, at Dana Point, California, and on August 6, 1999, at Hapuna Beach, Hawaii. Follow-ups took place on September 8, 2000, May 10–12, 2001, and June 3, 2001.Google Scholar
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