High Accuracy Radial velocity Planetary Search (HARPS)

High Accuracy Radial velocity Planetary Search (HARPS) is a program to detect exoplanets by the radial velocity method using the 3.6-m telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile. The detection equipment is capable of radial velocity measurements accurate to about 1 meter per second for a slowly rotating star. In September 2011, astronomers announced the discovery of 50 new exoplanets using the HARPS instrument, doubling overnight the number of planets known that are closer to Earth in mass than they are closer to Jupiter in mass. One of these new planets (HD85512b) is a super-Earth which orbits within the habitable zone of its star. In October 2012, a team of astronomers reported finding an Earth-sized planet around Alpha Centauri B.