The mayor and his colleague, Didier Queloz, on Tuesday became the recipients of the Nobel Prize in Physics for their exploration of exoplanets – planets outside the solar system.
"If we are talking about exoplanets, everything should be clear: we will not migrate there," the mayor told AFP Madrid when asked about humanity's ability to move to one of these exoplanets.
"These planets are too far away. Even in the optimistic case, discovering a living planet would be very close to, say, a few dozen light years, which is not much in the neighborhood, it would take too long to get there," the Nobel laureate added.
"Traveling by current means, we would talk about hundreds of millions of days (hundreds of thousands of years. – ELTA). We have to keep an eye on our planet and it is very beautiful and full of life," the mayor urged to protect Earth.
The 77-year-old astrophysicist said he felt the need "to destroy all sayings; we may one day move to a living planet if conditions on Earth are not right."
"This is complete nonsense," he added.
Using their own tools, the mayor and Queloz discovered the first planet outside the solar system in October 1995.
Mr. Mayor was a professor at the University of Geneva at the time, and Mr. Queloz is his Ph.D. The discovery of scientists began a real revolution in astronomy. Since then, more than 4,000 have been discovered. exoplanet.
"It was a very old philosophical question: Are there other worlds in space," the mayor explained.
"We are looking for planets that are closest to us and that can resemble Earth. Together with my colleague, we began a search for the planets and showed that it is possible to explore them," said the astrophysicist.
In the mayor's view, the next generation of scientists will have to answer the question of whether there is life on the planets they discover.
"We don't know! The only way to understand this is to develop techniques that will allow us to discover life from a distance," said the Nobel laureate for physics.
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