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How many planets in other solar systems have been found?

The number of exoplanets or extrasolar planets that have been found in other solar systems changes almost daily so here I will explain how to easily find out the latest information yourself. It is important to distinguish between confirmed planets and those that are just candidates. The latter need follow-up work which may reveal them to be false-alarms (for example the mistaken signals could originate from a binary star system).

How many planets in other solar systems have been found?

Confirmed Exoplanets

Since the latest number of confirmed exoplanets changes almost daily, here I will show you the most reliable way to find the number of firm extrasolar planet identifications. Go to the Extrasolar Planets Encyclopedia catalog page and read the line immediately above the data table. This line, towards the left-hand side of the page tells you, amongst other things, the latest number of exoplanets that have been found. The second number is the number you are looking for. For example, when I did this on 20 October, 2012 I got the following:

Showing 665 planetary systems / 843 planets / 126 multiple planet systems

(italics added by me). The key number here is therefore 843. This is already phenomenal considering that this exciting new science is in its infancy.

To see only the confirmed exoplanets dicovered by the Kepler mission, go to this table of Kepler's confirmed exoplanets. Note: these confirmed planets are included in the total number of exoplanets that are listed using the method in the previous paragraph.

Unconfirmed Kepler Exoplanet Candidates

To see the number of exoplanet candidates found by the Kepler go to the Kepler mission home page and mouse over the text in the top-right of the table that says, “Confirmed Planets,” and a window will pop up which will tell you the number of candidate exoplanets that have been found by the Kepler mission.

Learn more in Exoplanets and Alien Solar Systems.

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File under: Number of exoplanets or extrasolar planets found; number of new planets discovered. Confirmed versus candidate planets.

© Tahir Yaqoob 2011-2012.