Tag Archives: doppler shift

Doubling up pays dividends in exoplanet hunt

“Twice the resolution and all the photons,” is Prof Chris Tinney’s new catchphrase. It refers to new equipment being commissioned on the Anglo-Australian Telescope to hunt for planets beyond our Solar System (exoplanets). Chris, from the University of New South Wales, is a leader of the Anglo-Australian Planet Search (AAPS), which has found 32 exoplanets, almost 10% of the worldwide total, since 1998.

Artist’s impression of an exoplanet with moons, orbiting the star HD70642 (photo credit: David A. Hardy, astroart.org (c) PPARC)

A Doppler shift in a star’s light spectrum often indicates the presence of planets. Unlike previous equipment, which frequently missed some of that light, the new system uses a cluster of optical fibres to gather all the starlight, boosting efficiency and doubling the Doppler precision.
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