Probing Nearby Planetary Systems
The detection and characterization of extrasolar planets has completed a transition from the fringe to the mainstream of Astronomy. Hundreds of planets have been identified in orbit around nearby stars, and it is clear that planetary systems are extremely common in our galaxy. The Earthbound Planetary Search is dedicated to using cost-effective state-of-the-art ground-based techniques to identify and study nearby worlds. We are striving to find potentially habitable planets orbiting the Sun's closest stellar neighbors.
Our group has pioneered the design and construction of high dispersion echelle spectrometers and lodine absorption cells to decrease uncertainties in stellar Doppler velocity measurements from 300 m/s to less than 1 m/s over the past 20 years.
We are currently using the Keck telescope in Hawaii, the AAT telescope in Australia, and the Magellan telescope in Chile to monitor a catalog of several hundred nearby stars, and we are obtaining fascinating, indeed, startling results.
We are constructing a dedicated 2.4-m Automated Planet Finding (APF)telescope at Lick Observatory in California, and two 0.8-m robotic photometry telescopes in Chile.
Additional information, including images and movies, is available at the following sites: