Swiss scientists Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz, along with Canadian-American James Peebles, have been jointly awarded the Nobel Physics Prize for their work in cosmology.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the prize in Physics, to Swiss scientists Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz, together with Canadian-American cosmologist James Peebles, for their work to helped us understand the neighborhood outside our own solar system.
This may lead to the answer to the question about whether or not there is other life out there somewhere in space.
Here’s what the Nobel Foundation’s press release says:
“In October 1995, Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz announced the first discovery of a planet outside our solar system, an exoplanet, orbiting a solar-type star in our home galaxy, the Milky Way. At the Haute-Provence Observatory in southern France, using custom-made instruments, they were able to see planet 51 Pegasi b, a gaseous ball comparable with the solar system’s biggest gas giant, Jupiter.”
“This discovery started a revolution in astronomy and over 4,000 exoplanets have since been found in the Milky Way. Strange new worlds are still being discovered, with an incredible wealth of sizes, forms and orbits. They challenge our preconceived ideas about planetary systems and are forcing scientists to revise their theories of the physical processes behind the origins of planets. With numerous projects planned to start searching for exoplanets, we may eventually find an answer to the eternal question of whether other life is out there.”
“This year’s Laureates have transformed our ideas about the cosmos. While James Peebles’ theoretical discoveries contributed to our understanding of how the universe evolved after the Big Bang, Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz explored our cosmic neighbourhoods on the hunt for unknown planets. Their discoveries have forever changed our conceptions of the world.”