Finding the Earth’s “close relatives” and decoding the universe’s “growth diary”

Hey, the universe, where do we come from? Is there any other planet like Earth in the universe that has evolved life? Three scientists shared the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics for their exploration of these two basic issues. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences issued a press release on October 8th, saying that James Peebles from the United States was awarded for cosmology-related research, and Michelle Mayor and Didier Quiroz from Switzerland first discovered the solar system. Planet awards, this year’s winners changed our view of the universe and helped “we understand the evolution of the universe and the position of the Earth in the universe.” The communique said that Peebles’ insight into cosmology enriched the study of the entire field and became the foundation of contemporary cosmology.

Mayor and Quiloz explored the unknown planets in our cosmic neighborhood, and their research points to an eternal question: Is there still life outside the Earth? Many scientific pioneers have predicted that among the stars, there must be many stars that also have planets that orbit them. However, those planets are too far away from the Earth, and the reflected light is too weak. It is not easy to “see” them.

Until 1995, Mayor and Quiloz announced the discovery of a planet outside the solar system for the first time based on the theory that stars would oscillate slightly due to changes in planetary gravity. The planet, which runs around the 50-year-old Pegasus-like stellar “Pegasus 51”, is named “Pegasus 51b,” a gaseous planet similar to the solar system’s largest planet, Jupiter. The result was published in the internationally renowned academic journal Nature. Some people think that the discovery of this planet brings new hope to human beings to find partners in the universe; others say that Mayor and Kyuloz are “discoverers of the new world” and believe that this discovery is comparable to Columbus’s discovery of the New World.

The discovery of “Pegasus 51b” ignited the “star fire” explored by exoplanets. Thanks to the rapid advancement of various types of observation technology, the number of planets discovered by scientists in the Milky Way has exceeded 4,000. A variety of new celestial bodies are still being discovered, and their size, shape, and track are incredible. They challenge our existing understanding of planetary systems and force scientists to correct the theory of planetary origin. Humanity also has an eternal proposition of “where to come from.” It is the foundation laid by a group of scientists represented by Peebles from the 1960s that made cosmology a modern science and ushered in the “golden age” of 50 years.

Peebles continued to perfect his theoretical framework and ultimately helped shape our basic understanding of the formation and evolution of the universe since the Big Bang. About 14 billion years ago, the universe was hot and dense at the beginning of the big bang. Since then, the universe has continued to expand and cool. About 400,000 years after the big bang, the universe began to become “transparent” and light was able to shuttle through it.

In this early radiation, the secrets about the birth and evolution of the universe were recorded. Using the theoretical tools and algorithms he created, Peebles successfully “decoded” the “spirits” left at the beginning of the universe. According to his theory, 95% of the universe is mysterious dark matter and dark energy, and the common material we usually observe is only 5%. Dark matter is now considered one of the most challenging topics in cosmic research. Understanding dark matter has the opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of the vast universe and its origins.

As a result, scientists around the world have long been searching for dark matter and have initiated many large-scale experimental projects, such as the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer and the Large Hadron Collider. China’s first dark matter particle detection satellite, Wukong, which was launched in 2015, is also expected to be high. The Chinese project team recently published the second batch of scientific results in the US Science Progress magazine. “Wukong” used space experiments for the first time to accurately map high-energy proton cosmic ray energy spectra and observed new energy spectrum structures. “Capture” dark matter.