What's New in the World
  Volume 2: Issue 4                      Last Updated: Dec. 15.1996

By Ron Hipschman
It's been a little over a year since the first announcement of a planet orbiting a star other than our sun. That first observation, made by the Swiss team of Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz, was quickly confirmed by Geoff Marcy and Paul Butler at San Francisco State University. About one year ago I interviewed Geoff Marcy about his stunning observation. You can hear this RealAudio interview by clicking here .

Since then (actually since 1987...), Marcy and Butler have been busy studying the spectra of 120 sun-like stars to see if they also have planets. In the past year they have discovered six more planets!

This year I managed to catch not only Geoff, but also Didier Queloz both in the same place for an Exploratorium exclusive, first-time ever interview of the two astronomers who started it all! Click the icon below to listen to this interview.

G. Marcy and D. Queloz interview , RealAudio.

How do you look for planets you can't see?

To find a planet that even the most powerful telescope can't see is quite a challenging task. Since we can't see the planet itself, we look at something nearby that may be affected by the presence of a planet.

To continue the story click more

Try This! The Science Explorer Hands-On Activity

Check out the Bubble Bomb activity and the new online home for our new book The Science Explorer!

Exploratorium Visitors Give Their Points of View

The responses are in! Read what our visitors had to say about about genetics and the Human Genome Project.

LAST MONTH: "Whirling in the Wind: From Windmills to Whirligigs", "Depth Spinner" and "Squirming Palm" downloadable exhibits, "Palace of Fine Arts Historic Footage video stream" NOVEMBER 1996 ISSUE.


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About this month's issue
This month's issue is a special one, not just because we have an exclusive interview with Geoffrey Marcy and Didier Queloz, but also because this issue will be our December / January issue. The next issue of "What's New" will be posted on February 15th and we will then resume creating monthly issues.

We hope to see you in February with a new issue and a special story from the Amazon river basin! As always, feel free to email us with your comments.

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