The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Physics 2019 “for contributions to our understanding of the evolution of the universe and Earth’s place in the cosmos” with one half to James Peebles, Princeton University, USA “for theoretical discoveries in physical cosmology” and the other half jointly to Michel Mayor, University of Geneva, Switzerland and Didier Queloz, University of Geneva, Switzerland, University of Cambridge, UK, “for the discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a solar-type star”
James Peebles’ insights into physical cosmology have enriched the entire field of research and laid a foundation for the transformation of cosmology over the last fifty years, from speculation to science. His theoretical framework, developed since the mid-1960s, is the basis of our contemporary ideas about the universe.
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.
Press release: The Nobel Prize in Physics 2019. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Media AB 2019. Thu. 31 Oct 2019. https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/physics/2019/press-release/