Nineteenth century astronomers had it right, 20th century got it wrong and it drastically delayed the search for exoplanets
While space based telescopes such as Hubble and Kepler have become really, really damn good at finding exoplanets now that we know what we’re looking for, there was a point in the early 20th century when scientists thought our planet-rich solar system was a total fluke, and it was likely there weren’t many other planets at all in the solar system. Problem is, this overturned 19th century ideas of planetary formation that were right all along, and would have begun the search for exoplanets much earlier. Nineteenth century astronomers believed solar systems formed in gaseous nebulae, but in the 20th century, the idea became popular that our solar system was a freak, and that all the stuff from the other bodies in it was due to another star passing too close to the sun, causing the sun to eject out all kinds of junk that became the planets and moons, and that such an event was probably extremely unlikely to happen in any other cases, if at all.
During the Golden Age of the Persian Empire, Iran was an unstoppable font of mathematical and scientific discovery and progress. And even though she had to move from Tehran to the US to fully pursue her goals, Iranian mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani became the first woman to win the Fields Medal, mathematic’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize. Mirzakhani was awarded the medal for her work in understanding the symmetry of curved surfaces.