The first exoplanet to be identified was 51 Pegasi b. The discovery of a planet orbiting a sun-like star changed ideas about our own solar system. The CHEOPS mission will examine known exoplanets and address the question: Is there life out there?
The CHEOPS satellite will study planets in nearby solar systems to measure their size and determine if they have an atmosphere. Scientists hope this could provide vital clues about the origins of our lives on Earth.
A Soyuz rocket carrying ESA's CHEOPS mission has taken off from Kourou. CHEOPS will investigate known exoplanets in more detail. This way we can learn more about their mass, density and perhaps even their atmosphere.
James Peebles, Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz and have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics for their research on exoplanets and cosmology.
Between the deeply mystifying, intangible stuff — dark energy and dark matter — and the similarly complex, yet tangible findings — exoplanets — 2019's winners bring us ever closer to grasping our place in the universe.
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