Veloce – and what it takes to open new discovery phase space for exoplanets, without spending a bomb.

Wednesday November 18th 2020 @12pm, Zoom Colloquium
Prof Chris Tinney UNSW

Email: c.tinney[at]


Breakthrough discoveries in astronomy invariably come through one of two routes – applying established techniques to new classes of objects discovered from new classes of surveys, or pushing established techniques to new levels of precision to make available previously unexplored observational phase space. Examples of the former include the discovery of T and Y-class brown dwarfs from surveys like 2MASS or WISE, or higher and higher redshift QSOs from larger and larger surveys.

Opening new phase space through higher measurement precision has been particularly prominent lately – exoplanets being first discovered by increasing precise Doppler measurements, more exoplanets being discovered by increasing precise photometry from space, or gravitation waves being confirmed by increasingly precise strain meters.

The Veloce instrument on the AAT seeks to push the boundaries of increasingly precise Doppler velocity measurement at a fraction of the cost of competing instruments. I’ll describe what it takes to make your instrument more precise, at lower cost, than other leading brands.