Podcast - Réflexions - S1 Ep6

Exoplanets and life in the Universe (FRENCH)

As part of the conference given by Didier Queloz at ULiège


In Research

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A sixth episode (in FRENCH) dedicated to the discovery of the first exoplanet 51-Pegasi b by Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz in 1995, and the search for life elsewhere in our universe since.

The possibility of discovering life elsewhere in the universe remains a fascinating subject. Ever since the Copernican revolution in the 16th century, through to the discovery of the first exoplanet in 1995 and the recent launch of the JWST telescope, the search for life elsewhere in the universe has aroused growing interest.

In 1995, Didier Queloz and Michel Mayor, then researchers at the Geneva Observatory, discovered a planet outside our solar system, orbiting the star 51 Pegasi. Located at a distance of around 51 light-years from our Sun, this planet, named 51-Pegasi b , was the first exoplanet to be discovered.

Since then, more than 5,000 exoplanets have been discovered - including the now famous TRAPPIST-1 system by Michaël Gillon's team (ULiège) - thanks to ground- and space-based telescopes deployed by organisations such as NASA, ESA and other international institutions active in the space sector. These technologies, which are increasingly advanced and developed, are still trying to answer the fundamental question: are we alone in the universe?

About this episode

The speakers:

Didier Queloz, astrophysicist and Professor at ETH Zurich and Cambridge University. Together with his colleague Michel Mayor, he is responsible for the discovery of the first exoplanet 51-Pegasi B. His discovery won him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2019. Didier Queloz has also set up the Centre for Origin and Prevalence of Life, a new research and teaching centre whose aim is to explore the origin and prevalence of life on Earth and beyond.

Anne-Sophie Libert, mathematician, director of the NaXys Laboratory (Namur Institute for Complex Systems) at the University of Namur. Her research focuses on the dynamics of planets and the formation and evolution of extrasolar systems, with an emphasis on exobiology, the study of the factors and processes, particularly geochemical and biochemical, that could lead to the appearance and evolution of life.

Michaël Gillon, astrophysicist, FNRS Research Director and Director of the Exotic Laboratory at the University of Liège. Your research focuses on detecting and investigating planets outside our solar system. In fact, you and your team were behind the discovery of the TRAPPIST-1 system, which was revealed at a NASA international press conference in 2017.

At the presentation:

Julie Louis, Head of the Research Communication Unit at the Communication Service of the University of Liege


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