Didier Queloz

Didier Queloz

Swiss astronomer and winner of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics.

Didier Queloz is Professor of Physics at the Cavendish Laboratory and Geneva University. He is at the origin of the exoplanet revolution in astrophysics. Until recently, the Solar System has provided us with the only basis for our knowledge of planets and life in the universe. In 1995 Prof Queloz has dramatically changed this view with the discovery he made with Michel Mayor of the first giant planet outside the solar system. This seminal discovery has spawned a real revolution in astronomy both in terms of new instrumentation and understanding of planet formation and evolution. Since then Prof Queloz has been involved in a successful series of developments of precise spectrographs, considerable improving the precision of the Doppler technique.

In 2007, in the emerging area of planetary transit detection, he established a successful international collaboration with the WASP team from UK, providing the spectroscopic confirmation and precise photometry follow-up to confirm and characterize planetary candidates. He also took an active part in the Corot mission, pioneering planet transit detection from space. He conducted a part of the work that led to the first transit detection of a rocky planet (Corot-7b).

In 2012 he received with Michel Mayor the 2011 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award of Basic Sciences for developing new astronomical instruments and experimental techniques that led to the first observation of planets outside the Solar System.


February 23, 1966

Didier Queloz was born in Switzerland.



Further reading


A Jupiter-mass companion to a solar-type star

Michel Mayor & Didier Queloz

Academic peer-reviewed scientific journal article

Nobel Prize in Physics Awarded for Studies of Earth's Place in the Universe

Kenneth Chang and Megan Specia


October 8, 2019

Documentaries, videos and podcasts





December 18, 2019
CHEOPS will focus on 100 extrasolar planets to see if there's an Earth-like planet capable of sustaining life
December 17, 2019
Houston Chronicle
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - European space officials on Tuesday postponed the launch of a three-year mission to study planets in other solar systems shortly before it was due to blast off. The European Space Agency announced that the launch from Kourou, French Guiana, of the Characterising ExOPlanets Satellite (CHEOPS) mission would be delayed by at least a day. It had been scheduled for 0854 GMT (3:54 a.m. EST). ESA Director of Science Guenther Hasinger wrote on Twitter that "a software error in the Fregat upper stage" of the Soyuz rocket was responsible for the postponement. "With this complex mission, we will not take any risks," he added, advising people to "keep fingers crossed for (a launch) tomorrow" at the same time. Europe's Arianespace, which has been operating Russian Soyuz rockets from Kourou since 2011, said during the countdown "the Soyuz launcher's automated sequence was interrupted at 1 hour 25 minutes before liftoff." The launcher was put into a safe standby mode, it added. "The new target launch date will be announced as soon as possible," the agency said in a statement. The mission will focus on 100 of the more than 4,000 extrasolar planets - ones beyond our own solar system - discovered so far, partly to determine if there's a possibility of an Earth-like planet capable of sustaining life, Swiss astronomer and Nobel Physics Prize winner Didier Queloz, who heads the CHEOPS science team, told The Associated Press. "We are one planetary system among many," he said. "It's all about our place in the universe and trying to understand it." A space telescope will analyze the exoplanets' densities and radii and determine whether they have atmospheres, Queloz said. "We know nothing, except that they are there," he...
Invalid Date
Mayor was a professor at Geneva University and Queloz was his doctorate student, when they made the discovery which started a revolution in astronomy. Since then over 4,000 exoplanets have been found in our home galaxy.
Michael Cowley
October 9, 2019
This year's Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to three researchers for their contributions to two unique fields.
Science X staff
October 9, 2019
ESA congratulates 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics laureates Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz, who have been awarded the prestigious prize for the first discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a solar-type star, and James Peebles, honoured for the theoretical framework of cosmology used to investigate the Universe on its largest scales.
October 8, 2019
Houston Chronicle
STOCKHOLM (AP) - The Latest on the Nobel Prize in Physics (all times local): 6:10 p.m. Michel Mayor, who shared the Nobel Prize in Physics, says he found out he was one of the winners "by chance" when he logged onto his computer after leaving his hotel in San Sebastian, in northern Spain. Though he knew he had been nominated several times before, the Swiss professor said he was "absolutely not expecting this." He told reporters after arriving at Madrid airport that the award follows "a long, long period of work, with colleagues. It's a huge honor." Mayor, 77, and Didier Queloz, 53, both of the University of Geneva, were honored for finding an exoplanet - a planet outside our solar system that orbits a sun-like star. It could help us figure out whether life exists elsewhere in the universe. Mayor says that "maybe we can discover some form of life, we don't know what kind of form." He says scientists have now identified more than 4,000 exoplanets. Mayor says scientists "are absolutely certain that a lot of these planets have good conditions for life." Mayor was scheduled to speak later this week at scientific events in Spain. ___ 3:15 p.m. Princeton University cosmologist James Peebles says he answered a 5:30 a.m. phone call on Tuesday thinking "it's either something very wonderful or it's something horrible." His fear quickly gave way to fulfillment: Peebles had won a Nobel Prize in Physics for his theoretical discoveries in cosmology. The 84-year-old Canadian-American said "there was a formality" to the call as he was asked, "Will you accept this award?" He did. Hours later, a clearly delighted Peebles giggled throughout an interview with The Associated Press. He said "I've always loved Bob Dylan" and referred to...
Henry Bodkin
October 8, 2019
The Telegraph
A Cambridge University planet hunter yesterday said mankind could detect alien life within the next 30 years, after winning the Nobel prize.
October 8, 2019
The Hindu
This year's Nobel Prize in Physics rewards new understanding of the universe's structure and history, and the first discovery of a planet orbiting a solar-type star outside our solar system.
The Associated Press
October 8, 2019
ABC News
Get breaking national and world news, broadcast video coverage, and exclusive interviews. Find the top news online at ABC news.
Reuters Editorial
October 8, 2019
Canadian-American cosmologist James Peebles and Swiss scientists Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz won the 2019 Nobel Prize for Physics on Tuesday for shedding light on the evolution of the universe and discovering planets orbiting distant suns.


Golden logo
Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0; additional terms apply. By using this site, you agree to our Terms & Conditions.