Stephane Udry gives a talk at ESO on exo-planets

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Long time no see…

Many things happened in between. For instance, my boss Bruno Leibundgut joined the team led by Brian Schmidt in Stockholm, for the Nobel Prize ceremony. I already expressed my feeling related to Brian’s visit to ESO before the Nobel Prize was announced. The account Bruno gave on the Nobel Ceremony was equally stunning.

I rejoice for them, and for astrophysics in general. But I cannot hide, at least not to myself, that I envy them… all the more because I happen to be so close to these people ;-)

Speaking of great deeds, yesterday Stephane Udry gave a great talk at ESO about the exo-planet search. Stephane is one of the world-leading researchers in the field, and one of the closest collaborators of Michele Mayor, the Swiss astronomer who has initiated this whole business. Of course, what makes the field so fascinating (especially to non-astronomers, I’d say) is the philosophical aspects it entails.  But even when you look at it from a more rational point of view, the work they are doing is great. It involves a large investment in terms of telescope time, but also a great amount of stubbornness and perseverance.

When the colloquium is over, ESO astronomer and colleague Jason Spyromilio comments to me: “This is real science, not the Mickey Mouse work we are doing…”. Mind you, Jason is also part of the Nobel Prize winner team led by Brian Schmidt…

And so, what should I say? probably go and hide in some corner ;-)

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