National Centre of Competence in Research PlanetS
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External Newsletter

A thousand days of CHEOPS

A thousand days of CHEOPS

After a thousand days in orbit, the CHEOPS space telescope shows almost no signs of wear. Under these conditions, it could continue to reveal details of some of the most fascinating exoplanets for quite some time. CHEOPS is a joint mission by the European Space Agency (ESA) and Switzerland, under the aegis of the University […]

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“You have to be patient and persistent.”

“You have to be patient and persistent.”

The discovery of the first planet outside our solar system in 1995 gave an enormous boost to planetary research and the search for Earth-like planets. With the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) PlanetS, which brings together researchers from the Universities of Bern, Geneva and Zurich and ETH Zurich, Switzerland is at the forefront […]

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The man with the instruments in space

The man with the instruments in space

Nicolas Thomas wants to understand Mars, comets and the icy moons of Jupiter. To do so, he builds instruments that fly through space on of board space probes. By Brigit Bucher When asked how he came up with the idea of becoming an astrophysicist, the answer comes lightning-fast: “Quite clearly: because of the first moon […]

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Open Days at the Observatory of Geneva

Open Days at the Observatory of Geneva

The Observatory of Geneva celebrates its 250th anniversary with a year of activities for the public between June 2022 and June 2023. To launch these festivities, the Observatory of Geneva opens its doors for a special weekend on 18th and 19th June 2022. Come and discover the researchers of the astronomy department of the University […]

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A closer look at Jupiter’s origin story

A closer look at Jupiter’s origin story

Researchers of the University of Zurich (UZH) and the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) PlanetS have investigated Jupiter’s formation history in great detail. Their results suggest that the giant planet migrated far from its origin and collected large amounts of material on its journey. One of the most important open questions in planetary […]

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The astronomer in your class room

The astronomer in your class room

“How many planets has she been to?”, the 8- and 9-year-old pupils asked their teacher. “Well, she’s a scientist, not an astronaut, and scientists generally stay on Earth,” the teacher replied. Despite the disappointment that I could not tell them about my adventures on other planets, the pupils of the Bernese primary school were very […]

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How Switzerland contributes to PLATO

How Switzerland contributes to PLATO

ESA’s next-generation planet-hunting mission received the green light to continue with its development after the critical milestone review concluded successfully in January. Switzerland plays a key role in this special undertaking.  How many rocky, Earth-like planets are there, out there vastness of the cosmos? How many orbit a star similar to our Sun? How many […]

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