Discoverer of first exoplanet to visit Armenia

Michel Mayor
Michel Mayor

Photo: eso.org

Yerevan /Mediamax/. On May 29-31, Armenia will host world-renowned Professor Michel Mayor, the discoverer of the first extrasolar planet.

Director of Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory Areg Mikayelyan informed Mediamax that Professor Mayor will conduct a public lecture at the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia on May 31, which will be followed by the first ever workshop “Extrasolar planets and astrobiology” in Armenia.

“The idea of the workshop is to give great meaning to research in these modern directions and facilitate their development in Armenia. This is a cooperation opportunity for astronomers and biologists,” Areg Mikayelyan said.

Swiss astrophysicist, Professor at the Astronomy Department of the University of Geneva Michel Mayor discovered the first exoplanet in 1995. Other exoplanets were discovered and classified throughout the next 22 years. At present, there are over 3600 known exoplanets, many of which don’t differ much from the Earth in terms of size and mass. That makes scientists hope that the humankind is on the verge of discovering the Earth’s twin planet.

In 2010, Michel Mayor was awarded Victor Hambardzumyan International Prize together with Garik Israelian and Nunu Santos. The prize was established in 2009 by the President of Armenia and is considered one of the most important awards in astronomy, astrophysics and related sciences.

It’s worth reminding that exoplanets were discovered in February of 2017 as well: NASA Spitzer space telescope found 7 exoplanets that revolve around the ultra-cool dwarf with 8% of the Sun’s mass.

“Discovery of the second Earth is a matter of “when”, not “if”,” stated NASA Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate Thomas Zurbuchen.


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