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Unravelling the secrets of the universe

The story so far: On Tuesday, October 8, the royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced that the Nobel Prize in Physics would go to three people: One half of it would be shared by Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz of the University of Geneva, for discovering for the first time a planet outside our solar system orbiting a Sun-like star; the other half would go to James Peebles, Princeton University, for his contribution to physical cosmology. The scientists were awarded for discoveries that added “new perspectives on our place in the universe”.

What are exoplanets? Since when have people been ...

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