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You too can find a planet

This activity will walk you through the steps of discovering a planet with the "radial velocity" method.
Over the past several years, astronomer Debra Fischer and her colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley, have discovered dozens of extrasolar planets. Because exoplanets can't yet be seen directly, the group uses an indirect technique called the radial velocity method to look for "wobbles" in a star's spectrum. If the star appears to be moving toward and away from us on a regular basis, it suggests that an unseen planet with that period is orbiting the star, using its gravity to tug o...

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