'Scolding' software to speed planet hunt


By Zeeya Merali SCOLDING software could speed the hunt for Earth-like planets by punishing robotic telescopes that don’t perform as well as promised. Last week, astronomers reported spotting the first multiplanet system orbiting another star, thanks to a network of robotic telescopes dotted around the world (see “One-hit-wonder planet-spotting technique adds a new feather to its cap”). Each telescope runs software that allows it to alert the entire network as soon as it spots something interesting. The telescopes then bid for the chance to carry out follow-up observations, citing their assessment of their equipment,
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