Michel Mayor

Michel Mayor
Michel Mayor, 2012 (cropped).jpg
Mayor in 2012
Michel Gustave Édouard Mayor

(1942-01-12) 12 January 1942 (age 77)
EducationUniversity of Lausanne (MS)
University of Geneva (PhD)
Known forDiscovered first planet orbiting around a normal star, 51 Pegasi
AwardsPrix Jules Janssen (1998)
Shaw Prize (2005)
Wolf Prize (2017)
Nobel Prize in Physics (2019)
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Geneva
Thesis"The kinematical properties of stars in the solar vicinity: possible relation with the galactic spiral structure." (1971)
Doctoral studentsDidier Queloz

Michel Gustave Édouard Mayor (French pronunciation: ​[miʃɛl majɔʁ]; born 12 January 1942)[1] is a Swiss astrophysicist and professor emeritus at the University of Geneva's Department of Astronomy.[2] He formally retired in 2007, but remains active as a researcher at the Observatory of Geneva. He is co-laureate of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics along with Jim Peebles and Didier Queloz,[3] the 2010 Viktor Ambartsumian International Prize,[4] and the winner of the 2015 Kyoto Prize.

Together with Didier Queloz in 1995, he discovered 51 Pegasi b, the first extrasolar planet orbiting a sun-like star, 51 Pegasi.[5] For this achievement, they were awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics "for the discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a solar-type star".[6] Related to the discovery, Mayor noted that humans will never migrate to such exoplanets since they are "much, much too far away ... [and would take] hundreds of millions of days using the means we have available today".[7] However, due to discoveries by Mayor, searching for extraterrestrial communications from exoplanets may now be a more practical consideration than thought earlier.[8]

Mayor holds MS in Physics from the University of Lausanne (1966) and PhD in Astronomy from the Geneva Observatory (1971). His thesis also had an article called "Essay on the kinematical properties of stars in the solar vicinity: possible relation with the galactic spiral structure." He was a researcher at the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge in 1971. Subsequently, he spent sabbatical semesters at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in northern Chile and at the Institute for Astronomy of the University of Hawaii system.[9]


From 1971–84, Mayor worked as a research associate at the Observatory of Geneva, which is home to the astronomy department of the University of Geneva. He became an associate professor at the university in 1984.[1] In 1988, the university named him a full professor, a position he held until his retirement in 2007. Mayor was director of the Observatory of Geneva from 1998 to 2004.[1] He is a professor emeritus at the University of Geneva. [10]

Other Languages
Alemannisch: Michel Mayor
العربية: ميشيل مايور
تۆرکجه: میشل مایر
български: Мишел Майор
català: Michel Mayor
čeština: Michel Mayor
Deutsch: Michel Mayor
Ελληνικά: Μισέλ Μαγιόρ
español: Michel Mayor
euskara: Michel Mayor
français: Michel Mayor
galego: Michel Mayor
한국어: 미셸 마요르
հայերեն: Միշել Մայոր
Bahasa Indonesia: Michel Mayor
italiano: Michel Mayor
Кыргызча: Мишель Майор
Lëtzebuergesch: Michel Mayor
magyar: Michel Mayor
Bahasa Melayu: Michel Mayor
Nederlands: Michel Mayor
polski: Michel Mayor
português: Michel Mayor
română: Michel Mayor
русский: Майор, Мишель
sicilianu: Michel Mayor
Simple English: Michel Mayor
српски / srpski: Мишел Мајор
svenska: Michel Mayor
українська: Мішель Майор
Tiếng Việt: Michel Mayor