UC planet hunters search the galaxy's centre

23 February 2017

A team of University of Canterbury astronomers is helping answer some of the great unknowns about the planets in our galaxy.


A team of University of Canterbury astronomers have eyes on the universe – 24/7 (weather permitting).

With the help of international researchers and three identical telescopes in Chile, Australia and South Africa, the UC Physics and Astronomy team is helping answer some of the great unknowns about the planets in our galaxy.

For example, how many planets are there around different stars? Do all stars have planets? What type of planets are they? Where are they found in relation to their parent stars?

Using a technique called microlensing, the researchers are able to detect planets orbiting stars near the centre of the galaxy – thousands of light-years away. A Marsden grant of $870,000 is assisting them with this stellar work.

Associate Professor Michael Albrow, Physics and Astronomy, University of Canterbury, discusses his research project, Counting the Number and Distribution of Planets in the Galaxy, in the video above.

For further information please contact:
Margaret Agnew, Senior External Relations Advisor, University of Canterbury
Phone: +64 3 369 3631 | Mobile: +64 275 030 168 | margaret.agnew@canterbury.ac.nz
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