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Distances to Exoplanets

histogram of distances to exoplanets


A histogram showing the distribution of the distance from Earth of a subset of the confirmed exoplanets (as of 5 August, 2012) that have measured distances. Plotted is the percentage of the subsample of exoplanets in each distance interval. Data are from the Extrasolar Planets Encyclopedia.

The distances between Earth and the discovered extrasolar planetary systems lie in the range of about 10 light years to more than 30,000 light years. Recall that our Galaxy, the Milky Way, is a spiral shape for which the longest dimension is about about 100,000 light years. Notice that the peak in the distribution in the histogram shown above is between 100 to 200 light years (approximately).

Read more about exoplanets in Exoplanets and Alien Solar Systems.

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Note: The histogram corresponds to a snapshot when there were 777 confirmed exoplanets in total (residing in 623 alien solar systems, 105 of which harbored more than one exoplanet). About 87% of the exoplanets in this sample have distance measurements that contribute to the histogram.
File under: What is the distance distribution to the exoplanets? What is the distance distribution to the extrasolar planets? What are the distances to exoplanets? How far away are exoplanets?

© Tahir Yaqoob 2011.