As we seem to slowly emerge from all the restrictive measures associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, we rediscover not only our offices but also the coffee-breaks and the smiles on the faces of our colleagues. Everyone is eager to dive again at full speed together with her/his colleagues into a busy but exciting research life.
This doesn’t mean that we haven’t used technology to our benefit to communicate and brainstorm together in the interim. In this issue of the Observer you will read about two years of CHEOPS activities performed primarily at the home office! You will also discover that planetary systems represent a real zoo where nature has always been more creative in diversity than theorists. Planets have been discovered in places previously thought to be impossible. Another planet, exposed to the tidal stresses of its host star, looks like a rugby-ball. An exotic cocktail has been discovered in the atmosphere of a planet so close to its star that it reaches a temperature of 3200 degrees Celsius! Uranus in our own solar system and its moons appear to be uniquely tilted on their side.
Learning about and recognizing diversity as a potential for greater understanding is an important step in all that we do, including science. I wish you an entertaining reading!