Planet Pi

CPS members recently teamed up with astronomers from McDonald Observatory to discover and characterize a Jovian exoplanet on an eccentric (egg-shaped) orbit, which we affectionately call “Planet Pi.”* The CPS team has been observing the star HR 5183 for over 20 years as part of a radial velocity (RV) survey looking for giant planets with long orbital periods. RV astronomers look for planets around a star by measuring its speed…

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orbitize!

CPS team member Sarah Blunt recently led a paper documenting orbitize!, an open-source software package for fitting the orbits of directly imaged planets. One of the perks of directly imaging exoplanets is that we can directly watch them moving along their orbits. However, only the most widely-separated exoplanets can be seen over the glares of their primary stars. These wide separations translate to orbital periods that take decades or longer,…

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Hackathon in Hawaii

The California Planet Search group has just finished a great week on Oahu! Starting on Tuesday, we gathered at the Institute for Astronomy to start building new database for our radial velocity observations. Over the course of three full days, we worked in teams to design a database structure, populate it with RV observations, and generate visualizations of our work. Many of us had never worked with Django before, or…

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