Posts made in January, 2016


By Kevin Wagner Searching for planets outside of our own solar system is one of the great challenges in modern astronomy. The problem consists of measuring the brightness of a planet that is more than a million times fainter than its host star, while being so close to the star that even to the world’s largest telescopes the two appear as one due to the blurring of the Earth’s atmosphere – akin to trying to detect a firefly next to a...

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We, Min Fang and Ben Rackham, are on a five-night observing run at the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope (VATT), where we are collecting spectra of young stars. This post gives some of the highlights of our trip so far. The VATT is located in southeastern Arizona at the Mount Graham International Observatory (MGIO) near Mount Graham, the highest peak of the Pinaleño Mountains. The Pinaleños are one of the largest of the “Sky...

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