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Nobel Prize in Physics Honors Contributions to Cosmology

A screen displays the portraits of the laureates of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics (L-R) James Peebles, Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz, during a news conference at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm, Sweden, October 8, 2019.

Three scientists have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for their work in helping understand "the evolution of the universe and the Earth's place in the cosmos."

The Nobel Committee announced Tuesday that half of the $918,000 prize was going to James Peebles, citing contributions to understanding how the universe evolved after the Big Bang.

The committee said Peebles developed the framework that forms "the basis of our contemporary ideas about the universe."

The other half of the award went to Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz.

In 1995, they announced the first discovery of a planet outside of our solar system that orbits a solar-type star.

Since then, researchers have found more than 4,000 exoplanets in the Milky Way galaxy.

"With numerous projects planned to start searching for exoplanets, we may eventually find an answer to the eternal question of whether other life is out there," the committee said.