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Questions about New Planets Found

Answers to frequently-asked questions about new planets found in alien solar systems. Stories in the news about exoplanets and extrasolar planets don't often tell you about the caveats and subtleties behind the headlines. At exoplanets.co you will find information that is frank and explained with clarity, with pointers to more technical information if you need it. Enjoy!

Note that strictly speaking, the word “solar” refers to our Sun only, but we are here going with the cultural usage that refers to star-planet systems outside of solar system also as “solar systems.”

Significance of Exoplanets

What is the definition of an exoplanet or extrasolar planet?

What is the importance of exoplanets, why study exoplanets?

Discoveries

When was the first exoplanet discovered?

How many planets in other solar systems have been found?

How many alien solar systems have been found?

How can I find out what is the latest exoplanet that has been discovered?

What are some of the most important exoplanet discoveries?

Demographics

Where can I find pictures or images of exoplanets?

Where can I find recent plots showing histograms, statistics, trends, and correlations of exoplanet properties?

What is the nearest exoplanet to Earth?

What is the farthest exoplanet from Earth?

What is the smallest exoplanet discovered?

What is the largest exoplanet discovered?

What is the least massive exoplanet discovered?

What is the most massive exoplanet discovered?

What is the least dense exoplanet discovered?

What is the densest exoplanet discovered?

What is the shortest orbital period of an exoplanet found?

What is the longest orbital period of an exoplanet found?

What exoplanet is the closest to its parent star?

What exoplanet is the farthest from its parent star?

What is the weakest surface gravity for an exoplanet found?

What is the strongest surface gravity for an exoplanet found?

What is hot jupiter pile-up?

Exoplanet Types

What is a super-Earth?

What is a hot Jupiter?

What is a hot Neptune?

What is a hot Uranus?

What is an ocean planet or sauna planet?

What is a Goldilocks planet?

What are the properties and compositions of exoplanet atmospheres?

What are the compositions of exoplanets?

Habitable Planets and Life

When did people first realize that the Sun is a star?

What does exoplanet equilibrium temperature really mean?

What percentage of stars host planets?

What is the circumstellar habitable zone (CHZ) or Goldilocks zone?

What is the galactic habitable zone (GHZ)?

How many exoplanets have been found in a habitable zone?

How many Earth-like planets have been found?

How many Earth-like planets in the Milky Way Galaxy?

Has life been found on other planets?

How long would it take to get to the nearest exoplanet?

What is the Fermi paradox?

What are the prospects of receiving signals from alien life forms?

Panspermia: Could microbiotic life transfer between planets?

Detection Methods

What telescopes and space missions are used to observe exoplanets?

What are the different exoplanet detection methods?

What is a transiting exoplanet?

What is the transit method?

What is the exoplanet transit probability?

What is the radial velocity (RV) method?

What is the gravitational microlensing method?

Theory

What is the snow line or ice line?

What is the albedo of an exoplanet?

What is the importance of the C/O ratio in exoplanets?

What is the Rossiter-Mclaughlin effect?

What is the Kozai effect?

What is type I, type II, and type III exoplanet migration?

What is the core-accretion theory of planet formation?




Exoplanets and Alien Solar Systems, the book: The author talks to the reader and keeps the reader wanting more and more. It was hard to avoid flipping fast to the next page and see what was next.” -- Prof. D. DeMello, Washington, D. C.

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File under: exoplanets frequently asked questions. Questions about new planets found. Exoplanet properties. Properties of extrasolar planets. Facts about exoplanets.

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