Since 1995, Dr. Geoffrey Marcy of the University of California, Berkeley has been at the forefront of the hunt for extrasolar planets. He and his colleague Dr. R. Paul Butler of the Carnegie Institution of Washington in Washington, D.C., have discovered dozens of planets. The duo's finds include the first multiple-planet system, the only planet thus far found to transit a host star and two sub-Saturn mass planets.
Together Marcy and Butler conceived a novel technique for detecting stellar wobble and deducing from it the mass and orbit of its companion planet. After eight years of hard work, they announced their first planet discoveries in 1995, shortly after a Swiss team reported the first tentative detection of an extrasolar planet. Since then Marcy, Butler and their colleagues have continued observations at the Lick telescope in Mt. Hamilton, California and have extended their planet search to the more sensitive Keck telescopes in Hawaii, operated by a consortium of the University of California and Caltech.
Marcy was born in Detroit, Michigan. He earned a bachelorís degree in physics and astronomy from the University of California, Los Angeles where he graduated with honors, and he obtained a doctorate at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Before joining the UC Berkeley faculty in 1999, Marcy was a professor of physics and astronomy at San Francisco State University. Prior to that, he was a fellow at the Carnegie Institution of Washington. Marcy is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, which awarded him the prestigious Henry Draper Medal in 2001.
Marcy is principal investigator for NASAís Space Interferometry Mission, one of the missions designed to detect planets. He was named California Scientist of the Year in 2000.