National Centre of Competence in Research PlanetS
Gesellschaftsstrasse 6 | CH-3012 Bern | Switzerland
  Tel. +41 (0)31 631 32 39
18 Feb 2019
Earth’s solid surface and clement climate may be in part due to a massive star in the birth environment of…
19 Dec 2018
Researchers at the Universities of Zurich and Cambridge have discovered a new, exotic class of planets outside our solar system.…
13 Dec 2018
"But where did the hot Neptunes go?" This is the question astronomers have been asking for a long time, faced…
12 Dec 2018
While testing their new subsystem on the SPHERE planet-hunting instrument, a team lead by Hans Martin Schmid, professor of ETH…
27 Jan 2019
Researchers from UNIGE and members of the NCCR PlanetS have found helium in the atmosphere of an exoplanet, swollen like…
30 Nov 2018
Planets start out with a bang. During the last stage of planet formation, planetary embryos collide with other protoplanets, causing…
27 Jan 2019
ESPRESSO has been opened to the astronomical community and finally started operations on the 24th of October 2018. Since, it…
28 Nov 2018
"When last year the organizers of the Cité des Métiers asked us whether the astronomy department of the University of…
28 Nov 2018
SAINT-EX is a 1 meter robotic telescope under construction at the National Astronomical Observatory of Mexico in San Pedro Martir.…
24 Nov 2018
The CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite, CHEOPS, will target 15 October to 14 November 2019 for launch as the European Space Agency…
19 Nov 2018
Astrophysicists of the University of Zürich, ETH Zürich and the NCCR PlanetS show how the icy moons of Uranus were…
09 Nov 2018
The Laboratory for Astronomical Instrumentation at ETH Zürich has shipped its first cryogenic wheels that were developed for the new…
25 Oct 2018
BepiColombo blasted off to investigate Mercury. Nicolas Thomas, Co-Principal Investigator of the instrument BELA and Director of the Physics Institute…
25 Oct 2018
The smallest planet in our Solar System has a large iron core. How come? According to the most popular theory,…
25 Oct 2018
After a long tour through Europe, the CHEOPS satellite is back at Airbus Defence and Space Spain in Madrid. On…
25 Oct 2018
When astrophysicists of the NCCR PlanetS at the University of Zürich analyzed their computer simulations they were amazed: The formation…
09 Oct 2018
Researchers of the NCCR PlanetS at the University of Zürich have analyzed the composition and structure of far-away exoplanets using…
28 Aug 2018
The research satellite CHEOPS was developed jointly by the University of Bern and the European Space Agency ESA. At an…
27 Aug 2018
Researchers of the Universities of Bern and Zürich and of ETH Zürich show how Jupiter was formed. Data collected from…
23 Aug 2018
The MiARD project (Multi-instrument Analysis of Rosetta Data) was a 30-month international research project led by the University of Bern…
23 Aug 2018
When the NASA science director comes to Bern, a full lecture hall is guaranteed. This was naturally the case on…
22 Aug 2018
[caption id="attachment_28905" align="alignright" width="559"] In front of the dome housing the Swiss 1.2-metre Euler Telescope in La Silla, after a…
22 Aug 2018
30 members of PlanetS gathered on the 9th of July 2018 in Bern for a workshop with the title “Exoplanet…
27 Jan 2019
Metal vapours have been detected in the atmosphere of an “ultra-hot Jupiter” by a team of astronomers led by the…
31 Jul 2018
Just about 4.5 billion years ago, our sun went through an active phase during which it shone much more brightly…
19 Jul 2018
The method of transits, consisting of detecting a dip in the luminosity of the host star at the time the…
12 Jul 2018
Together with the CHEOPS space telescope 2748 miniaturized drawings will fly into space in the first half of 2019. The…
12 Jul 2018
The Japanese space probe Hayabusa2 has reached the asteroid Ryugu. Hayabusa means peregrine falcon in Japanese, Ryugu is the name…
27 Jan 2019
The Workshop Mechanical workshop of the astronomy department of the University of Geneva: It is in this workshop that some of…
12 Jul 2018
Tackling humanity’s biggest challenges with Artificial Intelligence: Uni Bern scientist at NASA’s Frontier Development Lab [caption id="attachment_28300" align="alignright" width="785"] The…
26 Jun 2018
Astrophysicists of the NCCR PlanetS contributed to a series of NASA papers that lay out strategies to search for signs…
25 Jun 2018
At the University of Bern, astrophysicists of the Center for Space and Habitability (CSH) teamed up with medical technology researchers…
20 Jun 2018
Each exoplanet revolves around a star, like the Earth around the Sun. This is why it is generally impossible to…
27 Jan 2019
[caption id="attachment_27773" align="alignright" width="580"] The Gva HELIOS team: Xavier Dumusque, Thibaut Pirson, François Wildi and Thibault Wildi (Photo UniGe)[/caption] The…
21 May 2018
[caption id="attachment_27826" align="alignright" width="704"] Formation of Atlas, one of the small inner moons of Saturn. Its flat, ravioli-like shape is…
27 Jan 2019
For the first time, an international team of astronomers including members of PlanetS has detected helium in an exoplanet’s atmosphere.…
07 May 2018
The Mars camera CaSSIS on the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter has returned its first colour images of the red planet.…
11 Apr 2018
With an instrument at the Very Large Telescope in Chile scientists of ETH Zurich and NCCR PlanetS observed planet-forming disks…
05 Apr 2018
Construction of the space telescope CHEOPS is finished. The engineers from the Center for Space and Habitability (CSH) at the…
09 Apr 2018
Christopher Broeg is project manager of the CHEOPS mission. A consortium of more than 100 scientists and engineers in eleven…
05 Apr 2018
NASA plans to launch a new exoplanet satellite called TESS on 16 April 2018. It is expected to discover thousands…
05 Apr 2018
Christophe Lovis, a member of NCCR PlanetS at the University of Geneva, received the "La Recherche" prize at the beginning…
05 Apr 2018
On 28 March 2018, the exhibition "Expedition Sonnensystem – Mit der ETH auf Forschungsreise durchs All" opened to the public…
11 Apr 2018
Worldwide Science Slam series «Astronomy on Tap» lands in Bern If talking about astronomy and space science over drinks in…
29 Mar 2018
[caption id="attachment_27289" align="alignleft" width="667"] The winning entry of the fairing sticker competition designed by Denis Vrenko. (Credit: ESA/D. Vrenko)[/caption] A…
05 Mar 2018
Comets which consist of two parts, like Chury, can form after a catastrophic collision of larger bodies.  Such collisions may…
27 Jan 2019
The membres of the ESPRESSO team announced that the first light of ESPRESSO with the four VLT 8.2-meter Unit Telescopes…
05 Feb 2018
Researchers at the University of Bern are providing the most precise calculations so far of the masses of the seven…
15 Feb 2018
With two prestigious awards, conferred at the end of 2017, Kevin Heng started an exciting year. The professor at the…
27 Jan 2019
Astronomers members of PlanetS, discovered that the GJ436b, nicknamed “the comet-like exoplanet” because it evaporates like a comet, follows a…
27 Jan 2019
The new ultra-high resolution spectrograph developed by a consortium led by Francesco Pepe professor at the Department of Astronomy of…
07 Dec 2017
The Council of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) has elected Willy Benz, Professor at the University of Bern, as its…
12 Dec 2017
[caption id="attachment_24045" align="alignleft" width="413"] The Swiss 20 franc note. (Image SNF)[/caption] There is a good chance that you are carrying…
07 Dec 2017
What do the images of Mars, Comet Chury or other celestial bodies really show? For a reliable answer researchers at…
07 Dec 2017
Planetary formation starts with small dust grains in disks surrounding young stars. But dust growth is hindered by collisional fragmentation…
17 Nov 2017
A temperate Earth-sized planet has been discovered only 11 light-years from the Solar System by a team including member of…
15 Nov 2017
To directly image exoplanets, coronagraphs are usually used to block the light from the host star. Instead of using a…
15 Nov 2017
[caption id="attachment_23102" align="alignright" width="617"] Prof. Michel Mayor, Officer of the National Order of the Legion of Honour. (Photos PlanetS)[/caption] „Professor…
07 Dec 2017
From the 11th to the 13th of September, thirty-three PhD students and postdocs, members or associates of PlanetS met together…
06 Nov 2017
Thanks to a new instrument developed in part by the Geneva Observatory, an international team of astronomers discovered a giant…
23 Oct 2017
Ewine van Dishoeck is a pioneer in astrochemistry and one of the most famous female astronomers in the world. Invited…
27 Sep 2017
The airborne Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) observed a mini-eclipse of the extrasolar planet GJ 1214b. The goal was…
07 Nov 2017
Our campaign to collect CHEOPS children drawings is completing a major milestone as the first plaques have been engraved. The…
27 Sep 2017
According to theory, the moon was created during a gigantic collision between the earth and another celestial body called Theia.…
27 Sep 2017
The Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System (CaSSIS) was built at the University of Bern. As part of ESA’s Trace…
27 Jan 2019
After almost 10 years of studies, construction, problems, efforts and sleepless nights, the ESPRESSO spectrograph left at the end of…
27 Sep 2017
The characterization of habitable or even inhabited exoplanets is one of the ultimate goals of modern astrophysics. Reviving the concept…
28 Sep 2017
On September 11, around 140 invited guests celebrated the 50th anniversary of space research at the University of Bern. Among…
14 Sep 2017
Astronomers members of PlanetS have discovered a comet-like exoplanet that trails an enormous coma of gas behind it. Astronomers from…
27 Jan 2019
The NIRPS (Near Infra Red Planet Searcher) instrument will be installed on the 3.6 m telescope at ESO’s La Silla…
01 Sep 2017
An international team of astronomers led by Vincent Bourrier member of PlanetS used the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to estimate…
31 Aug 2017
During ten days in August 2017, the CHEOPS telescope had to withstand various tests on the shaker at the University…
31 Aug 2017
Some members and associates of PlanetS were lucky to be able to watch the solar eclipse in the US on…
31 Aug 2017
NASA has just appointed Kevin Heng, director of the Center for Space and Habitability (CSH) at the University of Bern,…
03 Aug 2017
Scientists have found unmistakable evidence for a stratosphere on an enormous planet outside our solar system, with an atmosphere hot…
12 Jul 2017
In our previous update, we reported on the delivery of the CHEOPS telescope from Florence to Bern. While the scientific…
07 Jul 2017
An international team of astronomers, including PlanetS members and associates at the universities of Bern and Geneva, and at ETHZ…
21 Jun 2017
ESA launches Europe’s largest exoplanet research mission, with partners from the Universities of Geneva and Bern. PLATO, the largest European exoplanet research…
14 Jun 2017
The Center for Space and Habitability at the University of Bern (CSH), the University of Geneva (UNIGE), and their partners…
14 Jun 2017
With his bright red colored hair Konstantin Batygin looks more like a rock musician than an astrophysicist. In fact, he…
27 Jan 2019
SPIRou is a near infra red instrument mainly designed to detect exoplanets by measuring radial velocities of M dwarf stars…
08 Jun 2017
The avatar of Michel Mayor which will be implemented in the video game Eve Online is ready. CCP, the firm…
22 May 2017
After 60 hours of non-stop work, researchers at the University of Bern being part of an international team reached their…
16 May 2017
The Next-Generation Transit Survey (NGTS) project is dedicated to finding Neptune sized transiting exoplanets around bright southern hemisphere host stars.…
16 May 2017
April the 7th of 2017 will remain as a special day for Michel Mayor. Indeed, he found himself alone on…
04 May 2017
At the end of April 2017, an eagerly-awaited cargo from Italy arrived at the University of Bern: the telescope flight…
20 Apr 2017
An international team of astronomers, including researchers from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and the NCCR PlanetS, discovered a rocky…
06 Apr 2017
Now it is clear: the space telescope CHEOPS - CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite - will be launched with a Soyuz rocket…
15 May 2017
[caption id="attachment_20107" align="aligncenter" width="1154"] The participants of the PlanetS workshop. (Photo PlanetS)[/caption] A workshop on planets in binary stars was…
24 Mar 2017
[caption id="attachment_20005" align="aligncenter" width="904"] Pictures of Venus from the Earth between December 2016 and March 2017. (Credit: Serge Brunier)[/caption] On…
22 Mar 2017
The discovery of seven earth-like planets around an ultracool star made headlines worldwide. How does the so called TRAPPIST-1 system…
22 Mar 2017
Hubble's successor, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is complete. It still has to undergo a battery of tests before…
28 Mar 2017
Just as you can tell where your friend spent his holidays based on the tan of his skin, scientists can…
22 Mar 2017
The American business magazine Forbes is famous for its annual ranking lists of young influential people in different categories. Among…
22 Mar 2017
In the next months, engineers at the University of Bern will assemble the CHEOPS space telescope integrating parts arriving from…
22 Mar 2017
The Icelandic firm CCP teamed up with Michel Mayor, renowned exoplanet astronomer and honorary professor at the University of Geneva,…
13 Mar 2017
PlanetS researchers observed Trappist-1 and its planets with the Hubble Space Telescope to find out if life was possible on…
01 Mar 2017
[caption id="attachment_19520" align="alignleft" width="529"] Dr. Julia Venturini studies mini-Neptunes. (Photo: Sylviane Blum)[/caption] For her work about planet formation Julia Venturini…
23 Feb 2017
An international team of astronomers has discovered a compact analogue of our inner solar system about 40 light-years away. Brice-Olivier…
14 Feb 2017
At the University of Bern, the CHEOPS team integrated all electrical and electronic parts into a model of the space…
27 Jan 2019
[caption id="attachment_18952" align="alignright" width="600"] Francesco Pepe, head of ESPRESSO, in the new clean room of the Astrotech building. (Photo: Alessandro…
06 Feb 2017
An international team of astronomers led by Dan Bayliss of the Observatory of the University of Geneva and member of…
03 Feb 2017
As science director of NASA, Thomas Zurbuchen is one of the world’s most influential scientists. In January 2017, he visited…
27 Jan 2019
[caption id="attachment_18566" align="aligncenter" width="806"] David Ehrenreich explains how exoplanets are detected. (Image: Euronews)[/caption] The multilingual news channel Euronews visited the…
01 Feb 2017
Professors Michel Mayor (Faculty of Sciences UNIGE) and Didier Queloz (Faculty of Science UNIGE / Cambridge University) both members of…
27 Jan 2019
In an article published in A&A early January, a team led by Christophe Lovis of PlanetS shows that it would…
04 Jan 2017
A team of astronomers including Christophe Lovis, member of PlanetS, confirmed in a press release distributed by ESO that Proxima…
20 Feb 2017
What's more motivating for a student than to participate in research and perhaps make a real discovery. This is what…
08 Dec 2016
Brice-Olivier Demory is looking for earth-sized, potentially habitable exoplanets. Part of his research strategy is building a telescope in Mexico.…
08 Dec 2016
On 24 November 2016, the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne opened the new space exhibition. A few days later,…
27 Jan 2019
On Thursday 17 November the European Research Council (ERC) announced to David Ehrenreich, leader of NCCR PlanetS sub-project 3.2 in…
29 Nov 2016
The Mars Camera, CaSSIS, on the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter captured its first high resolution images of the Red Planet…
08 Dec 2016
"Launches are inherently dangerous," said Nicolas Thomas, when he waited at Baikonur Cosmodrome for ExoMars to lift off in March…
09 Nov 2016
Based on computer simulations, Astrophysicists at the University of Bern conclude that the comet Chury did not obtain its duck-like…
02 Nov 2016
[caption id="attachment_17191" align="aligncenter" width="904"] Caroline Dorn filmed by an Arte camera team. (Photo: Arte TV)[/caption] A TV documentary called „The…
27 Oct 2016
Young giant planets are born from gas and dust. Researchers of ETH Zürich and the Universities of Zürich and Bern…
27 Oct 2016
Computer simulations by astrophysicists at the University of Bern of the formation of planets orbiting in the habitable zone of…
03 Oct 2016
At the University of Bern about 300 guests and the Swiss media followed the end of the spacecraft Rosetta that…
28 Sep 2016
On Friday 30 September 2016 the European spacecraft Rosetta will crash into the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Aboard the Rosetta spacecraft is…
28 Sep 2016
Ravit Helled occupies an office in the buildings of the Irchel campus, University of Zurich, Y11 building. She is with…
28 Sep 2016
On 19 October 2016, the spacecraft Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) of the European ExoMars mission will manoeuvre into Mars orbit.…
28 Sep 2016
This interactive page describes the different elements of the optical bench to test and calibrate the entire optics of the…
21 Sep 2016
Hilke Schlichting, Professor at MIT/UCLA, came to NCCR PlanetS as Visiting Scholar for two weeks in September 2016. The Visiting…
25 Aug 2016
A team of astronomers has discovered a planet similar to Earth orbiting Proxima Centauri in just over 11 days. This…
05 Sep 2018
The early phase of star and planet formation can be very violent. Usually, dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of stars…
10 Aug 2016
To kick off its annual "school trip" around the country, the Swiss Federal Council paid the Center for Space and…
21 Jul 2016
Normally computers speed up calculations. But with his new pen-and-paper formula Kevin Heng of the University of Bern gets his…
19 Jul 2016
On 19-20 July, approximately 30 scientists and engineers representing five partner institutions met on the ETH Honggerberg campus to review…
14 Jul 2016
To students, Scott Tremaine is best known as co-author of “the bible of astrophysics”. His textbook “Galactic Dynamics” is one…
01 Jul 2016
Twenty-eight NCCR PlanetS researchers representing six out of the seven research projects met on 7 June at the ETH in…
27 Jan 2019
[caption id="attachment_15074" align="alignnone" width="600"] Astrotech, the new building of the Geneva Observatory with its solar concentrator on the roof.[/caption] [caption…
29 Jun 2016
Water is necessary for life as we know it, but too much water is bad for habitability. Therefore, to study…
29 Jun 2016
"The Universe provides ample scope to use one’s own imagination,” says Anna Lehninger.   The art historian investigates children's drawings as…
07 Jun 2016
Space missions exploring Venus unveiled a Venusian world of active volcanoes, shining mountains, and river valleys carved by torrents of…
20 Apr 2016
Asteroid interiors in the early solar system - from fluffy snowballs to internal magma oceans In the nascent solar system,…
15 Apr 2016
Since its launch on March 14, 2016, the ExoMars probe is on its way to Mars. The spacecraft with the…
07 Apr 2016
Astrophysicists at the University of Bern have modelled the evolution of the putative planet in the outer solar system. They…
31 Mar 2016
Children in Switzerland and all over Europe made thousands of imaginative drawings of stars, planets, rockets, satellites, aliens and CHEOPS.…
24 Mar 2016
The Universities of Bern and Geneva and members of the NCCR PlanetS are involved in one of the instruments for…
09 May 2016
Kappa Andromedae b is one of the few substellar objects outside our Solar System that has been directly photographed. Whereas…
08 Mar 2016
On 14 March 2016, a new Mars mission will be launched from Baikonur in Kazakhstan. Aboard the European spacecraft is…
08 Mar 2016
Members of PlanetS have joined the worldwide race to spot the alleged ninth major object in the outer Solar System.…
09 Mar 2016
How do we define what "habitable" means on another planet and how do we look for life elsewhere in the…
11 Feb 2016
Planet-hunting SPHERE Images First Circumbinary Planet System with Disc HD 106906AB is a double star located in the constellation of…
10 Feb 2016
At the second General Assembly of the NCCR PlanetS the members presented project highlights and discussed future interdisciplinary ventures. “People…
27 Jan 2019
With 216 square meter of cleanliness, the new clean room of the Geneva Observatory is the largest in the French-speaking…
14 Dec 2015
The formation of Earth-like planets is like billiards: A tiny change in the first collision of the building blocks can…
14 Dec 2015
“Building the world’s largest telescopes at ESO” was the title of Tim de Zeeuw’s talk at the University of Bern.…
15 Dec 2015
In association with the Canadians from the Montreal University and Brasilian colleagues from the Natal University, the Geneva Observatory and…
14 Dec 2015
The video shows the successful baffle cover opening test performed at Airbus Defence and Space (ADS) – Spain after the…
12 Feb 2016
A research team has observed structures racing out from the centre of a young star's debris disk at high speeds.…
15 Dec 2015
To test the accuracy and stability of the CHEOPS photometer, a light source with a variability of less than the…
15 Dec 2015
After the arrival of the vacuum vessel that was installed last October 2014 in a temporary clean room, it is…
23 Sep 2015
Bacterium, virus, fungus: Which one of these three things is not considered to be a living organism? The quiz question…
04 Sep 2015
Planets with a deep, global ocean should be very common. But their habitable zone is much narrower compared to Earth-like…
05 Aug 2015
Astronomers from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and members of the NCCR PlanetS have teased out a secret planetary system…
30 Jul 2015
„To search for anomalies is the best available strategy to discover the forms of life – on Earth and elsewhere“,…
12 Feb 2016
Astronomers of PlanetS have confirmed the existence of a young gas giant planet that is still embedded in the gas…
25 Nov 2016
Astronomers from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and members of the NCCR -for National Centre of Competence in Research- PlanetS…
15 Dec 2015
In 10 years we have learned to improve the performance of optical fibers including giving them an octagonal shape. A…
10 Jun 2015
Rosetta’s target «Chury» and other comets observed by space missions show common evidence of layered structures and bi-lobed shapes. With…
10 Jun 2015
Great honour for Nicolas Thomas from PlanetS at the University of Berne: The scientist was selected as part of the…
10 Jun 2015
  [caption id="attachment_8449" align="alignnone" width="300"] Swiss telescope Euler and 3.6m at La Silla, Chile. (Credit ESO)[/caption] The Arte television channel…
15 Dec 2015
[caption id="attachment_8369" align="alignnone" width="300"] Artist's impression of 51pegb. (Credit ESO)[/caption] 51pegb: 20 years after its discovery, astronomers have managed to…
10 May 2016
In order to show the extraordinary diversity of planetary systems (multiple or single) discovered to date, PlanetS offers once a…
28 Sep 2015
When Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz discovered the first exoplanet orbiting a normal star twenty years ago, they started a…
10 Jun 2015
«Comets give us good clues that the planet formation era was violent and the early solar system very different from…
15 Dec 2015
Studying the atmosphere of an exoplanet, astronomers of the NCCR PlanetS derived a temperature profile with unprecedented precision. Their results…
10 Jun 2015
500 people! Never before hosted the Natural History Museum of Geneva so many people for an opening of a temporary…
10 Jun 2015
An outstanding vacuum chamber in a brand new laboratory is now waiting for the space telescope CHEOPS at the Center…
10 Jun 2015
Are we alone in the universe? «This is one of the questions that drives us forward», says Ellen Stofan, NASA’s…
10 Jun 2015
The NCCR-PlanetS folks meet for the first time ever in Anzère (Vs). All participants pose up for the first group…
15 Oct 2015
The CHaracterizing ExOPlanet Satellite (CHEOPS) has been selected in 2012 as the first S-class mission in ESA's Science Programme. It is…
10 Jun 2015
Geneva astronomers, members of an international team and the Nccr PlanetS, discovered a super-Earth thank to Harps-N and the repaird…
06 Feb 2017
The vacuum tank of ESPRESSO The Geneva observatory received the vacuum tank Stunned for Wins ESPRESSO, DE the new spectrometer…

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