On a spectacular spring day in early May 1999, the domes at the Observatoire de Haute-Provence (OHP) stand gleaming through the scrub brush and small pines. All nine are scattered along the top of a small Provencal mountain, which, in truth, is little more than a long rolling hill within striking distance of the Luberon region in southern France. The air is redolent with lavender and thyme; evenings are almost perfect; the days clear and bright. But despite the languid atmosphere of the countryside, nothing can dissuade the French from following their rigid mealtimes. Their dinner bells could be used to calibrate sidereal clocks. So, like clockwork, Swiss astronomer Michel Mayor, Director of Geneva Observatory, and his wife Françoise arrive at the OHP’s main dining room for lunch. There they take their places alongside a coterie of other astronomers, who are literally checking their watches.
KeywordsStellar Spectrum Parent Star Doppler Spectroscopy Stellar Companion Star Coloration
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