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Nobel Laureate Dr. Queloz Speaks to NTNU about Exoplanet
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The Center of Astronomy and Gravitation, established earlier this year, gathering a group of researchers in different background of earth science, physics, and mathematics. On May 25th, the center invited Nobel Laureate Dr. Didier Queloz to give a virtual speech about the exoplanet revolution. He introduced the audience with the challenges and recent progresses in this new field of research and will touch upon the emergence of a new paradigm for the origins of life on Earth.

Dr. Didier Queloz is a Professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of Cambridge, where he is also a fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, as well as a professor at the University of Geneva. Together with Michel Mayor in 1995, he discovered 51 Pegasi b, the first extrasolar planet orbiting a sun-like star, 51 Pegasi. For this discovery, he shared the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics with James Peebles and Michel Mayor. This has created a trend in astronomy studies. Over the last two decades, more than 4000 exoplanets were discovered in the galaxy.

Professor Queloz first explained the transit method. The transit method is a photometric method that aims to indirectly detect the presence of one or more exoplanets in orbit around a star. In 1995, he and Michel Gustave Édouard Mayor and used the radial velocity method with the ELODIE spectrograph on the Observatoire de Haute-Provence telescope in France and made world headlines with their announcement of discovering 51 Pegasi b. He then answered questions raised by audiences. In responding the possibilities of extraterrestrial life, he thinks it requires scholars from different research field to work together to discover further possibilities.

Director Lin Feng Li expressed his excitement about the talked give by Professor Didier Queloz, thanks to Deputy Director Lee Yueh Ning and Chief of Academic Group Wu Ya Lin, who both are academic acquaintance with Prof. Queloz. He also thanked President Wu for his support of the College of Science and the assistance from the Center Astronomy and Gravitation so that the audiences know better about the recent progresses in this new field.

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