An astronomical discovery made the front page on this day in 1991, after a young ANU man was part of a team that discovered the first planet to be found outside the solar system.
Dr Matthew Bailes had only completed his PhD at the ANU two years before making the discovery with the team.
When Polish astronomer Nichlaus Copernicus in 1543 shifted the physical focus of the universe from humans by placing the sun, rather than the Earth, at the centre of the solar system, the topic of life existing elsewhere in the universe had been a subject of interest for many.
Yet searches of planets which might exist elsewhere in the universe had been unsuccessful until this announcement.
The leader of the three-man team which made the discovery, Professor Andrew Lyne, said the finding "opens up the whole issue [of life beyond earth], since it is reasonable to suggest that there are other planets outside the solar system which could sustain life".
The planet was found to lie near the centre of the Milky Way, about 30,000 light years from earth.
Dr Bailes returned to Australia for observations with his former scientific supervisor while he was studying for his PhD.
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