On top of the world

Pic Alan Richardson, Pix-AR Dundee'Free to use'STRICTLY EMBARGOED : NOT FOR BROADCAST OR PUBLICATION BEFORE 1800 GMT WEDNESDAY JANUARY 25TH 2006'Picture of Martin Dominik the research fellow at the University of St Andrews who discovered the new planet'DISCOVERY OF EARTH-LIKE PLANET ADVANCES SEARCH FOR LIFE IN SPACE'Two scientists at the School of Physics and Astronomy of the University of St Andrews, Scotland have played a crucial role in the discovery of a new planet which astronomers believe is the most Earth-like found to date.'The new planet, designated by the unglamorous identifier OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb, has a mass five times that of Earth and is� approximately 20,000 light years from us near the centre of the Milky Way where it orbits its parent star, a red dwarf some five times less massive than the Sun.'OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb is a small cold world, too cold to support life, but its discovery using the technique of gravitational microlensing has been hailed as a groundbreaking result in the search for extr
Pic Alan Richardson, Pix-AR Dundee'Free to use'STRICTLY EMBARGOED : NOT FOR BROADCAST OR PUBLICATION BEFORE 1800 GMT WEDNESDAY JANUARY 25TH 2006'Picture of Martin Dominik the research fellow at the University of St Andrews who discovered the new planet'DISCOVERY OF EARTH-LIKE PLANET ADVANCES SEARCH FOR LIFE IN SPACE'Two scientists at the School of Physics and Astronomy of the University of St Andrews, Scotland have played a crucial role in the discovery of a new planet which astronomers believe is the most Earth-like found to date.'The new planet, designated by the unglamorous identifier OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb, has a mass five times that of Earth and is� approximately 20,000 light years from us near the centre of the Milky Way where it orbits its parent star, a red dwarf some five times less massive than the Sun.'OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb is a small cold world, too cold to support life, but its discovery using the technique of gravitational microlensing has been hailed as a groundbreaking result in the search for extr
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A University of St Andrews astronomer has been named one of the best young voices of science in the world.

Dr Martin Dominik, a researcher at the university’s School of Physics & Astronomy, is the first Scottish-based academic to be made a member of The Global Young Academy.

Since arriving in St Andrews in 2003, Dr Dominik has been at the forefront of the search for new planets. He played a key role in the discovery of the most Earth-like planet found to date at the time of its announcement in 2006 and was co-leader of the international team that first discovered the planet, named OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb.

Recently, he took part in an international study that carried out an ‘opinion survey’ of the skies which suggests that there are hundreds of planets in the Milky Way alone that are yet to be discovered.

A strong advocate of the importance of science communication, Dr Dominik was selected for his excellence and commitment to his field of science. He joins 171 leading young scientists from 54 countries and six continents, which includes just five other researchers from the rest of the UK.