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Seeing in the Dark

September 19th, 2007

This evening (Sept. 19th) the US Public Broadcasting Service is running a documentary on amateur astronomy which will include a section on extrasolar planets. The production is called Seeing in the Dark and it looks like it should be a very interesting and well done program.

Featured in the film are my friends and collaborators Ron Bissinger and Debra Fischer. Ron (whose day job is CEO of Alpha Innotech) has been a core member of Transitsearch.org from the beginning, and has consistently obtained great observations of transiting planets. Debra (an astronomy professor at SFSU) has, among her many accomplishments, discovered literally scores of extrasolar planets using the radial velocity technique. Both Ron and Debra’s work has been the focus of many past posts on this website.

So tonight, set your telescopes to acquire HD 185269, enable the robotic photometric observing mode, and sit down in front of the tube with a bowl of popcorn!

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  1. September 20th, 2007 at 15:48 | #1

    I not only enjoyed watching the program while eating my popcorn, but I recorded it as well. This is the first program on astronomy that I have ever seen in which amateur astronomers were featured.

    I’ve been a fan of Timothy Ferris for many years, and have read just about everything his has written.

    I also have been an admirer of the work of Robert Gendler for many years and even have a link to his site in my site.

    It was really cool seeing Debra Fischer with her Apple laptop. I did noticed on her screen the same RV/JD chart that we use on our consoles to monitor the data stream. I really got a kick out of that.

    I also enjoyed listening to Ron Bissinger talking about his work in exoplanet transits. And, I got a kick out of seeing our sister site, Transitsearch.org mentioned in the program. It was kind of mind-blowing hearing about this stuff while at the same time knowing that I’m also actively involved in it.

    I’m so glad I recorded this program (although I may still get the DVD), because this is a program that I could watch over and over again and not get bored. Timothy Ferris did a wonderful job in producing, this program. I would recommend it to anyone.


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