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Sailing among the stars – Gaia's role in discovering distant worlds


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Sailing among the stars – Gaia's role in discovering distant worlds


Have you ever looked up at the night sky and wondered if there are other planets out there beyond our Solar System?

This question remained an enigma for scientists until just over 30 years ago. In fact, despite the existence of planets beyond our Solar System being hypothesised, it wasn't until 1992 that the first definite detection occurred. That year, Aleksander Wolszczan and Dale Frail discovered PSR B1257+12 b. A few years later, in 1995, Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz detected the first planet orbiting a star like our Sun, named 51 Pegasi b. This discovery was crucial as it paved the way for the search for exoplanets in star systems like ours. For the first time, astronomers had the certainty that our Solar System was not unique. The hunt for other planetary systems had begun, and an exciting new field of astrophysics had been born: the science of exoplanets.

Read More: ➡️ ESA

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