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An Interview with Yiannis Tsapras

16 Jan 2012, 20:47 UTC
An Interview with Yiannis Tsapras
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This week’s interview is with Yiannis Tsapras. Jessica Barton: What is your job title? Yiannis Tsapras: Research Astronomer. I am currently the only LCOGT research astronomer not based in California.JB: What does your work at LCOGT involve? YT: I am looking for planets orbiting distant stars using a method called microlensing. Since we cannot directly observe the actual planets due to their faintness relative to their host stars, we use this method to infer their presence from gravitational effects. When we are looking in the direction of a distant background star, there is a small chance that we may observe a lensing effect, generated by the gravity of an intervening star as predicted by Einstein's theory of relativity. If the intervening star happens to host a planet, it can also be detected under certain circumstances.JB: Could you tell us a little bit about yourself - your education, interests, past work experiences. YT: I finished high school in Greece and then moved to England where I did a BSc in Physics with Computer Science. I quickly developed an interest in cosmology so it seemed appropriate to continue with an MSc in Radioastronomy studying the cosmic microwave background. That was around the ...

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