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Exoplanetary Scratchpad

[SysBP Img]

Index of systems that have been in the news. Sorted by the date of the most recent headline news the system is featured in. Each system should only appear once in this list. Each page should have links to various news articles for that system. Only systems prominantly featured in the news or are of special interest should be included here. For news articles not about any particular system, see General Exoplanet News and Exoplanet News Shoebox.

Also see One Liner Systems.

Systems of 2016Edit

  • TRAPPIST-1 System (May 16) - A nearby ultra-cool dwarf star 39.13 ly away with three transiting Earth-sized planets. Two of these are potentially habitable and represent the easiest to study planets for biosignatures to be detected. The first two planets receive four and two times the irradiation of the Earth and are at the inner edge of the HZ and orbit at 1.5 and 2.4 days. The third planet most likely receives significantly less irradiation than the Earth with a period of 4.5 to 73 days. Their masses have not been determined, but are thought to be between half and twice Earth's. First planets found by the TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope. The star is not much larger than Jupiter and only emits 5% the Sun's energy.
  • WISEA 1147 System (Apr 16) - Free floating planetary mass brown dwarf found in the TW Hydrae asociation. Thought to be 5 to 10 times Jupiter's mass
  • 2MASS 1119-11 System (Apr 16) - Free floating planetary mass brown dwarf 95 ly away found in the TW Hydrae asociation (the youngest star group closest to the Sun). The second brightest free-floating planetary object, 4 to 8 times as massive as Jupiter. Found days after another one had been found by another team. Suspected of being kicked out of its parent star system.
  • Gliese 832 System (Apr 16) - CD-49°13515 is most commonly known as Gl 832, and also L 354-89, DM-49°13515, and HD 204961. It is the third nearest red dwarf with planets and in the constellation Indus. It can be considered a miniature version of the Solar System, with a large gaseous planet in a far orbit, and a smaller potentially rocky planet interior. Has a slightly eccentric Jovian planet with 64% Jupiter's mass at an asteroid-belt like distance. The planet has the second largest angular separation from it star of any known planets and is further from its star than any other red dwarf orbiting planet. A good astrometry detection candidate and a target for SIM. One of the larger red dwarf planets around one of the larger (M1.5) red dwarves (about half a Solar Mass). It also emits x-rays. Super Earth planet c is the most Earth-like known exoplanet, and one of the top three potentially habitable planets, but is more likely a super Venus. A third Earth-sized planet could exist between these planets.
  • WASP-47 System (Apr 16) - The only known star system to host both a Hot Jupiter and a Super Earth. Has a Hot Neptune further out. It is thought that most Super Earths are ejected during a Hot Jupiter's high-eccentricity migration. The hot jupiter in this system is thought to have been migrated due to interaction with the disc that formed it. This may be the less common method of migration.
  • Van Maanen's Star System (Apr 16) - Van Maanen's star is also called Gl 35 and informally Proxima Piscium. The nearest single White Dwarf star, the third discovered, and the first solitary white dwarf discovered. Has more neighboring stars within 10 ly than any other star within 20 ly of the Sun, but none of them is as close as the Alpha Centauri is from the Sun. Several inconsistent studies suggest planets, but none confirmed. A plate from 1917 was discovered that showed evidence of a consumed planet in the star, the earliest evidence for an exoplanet.
  • KELT-4 System (Apr 16) - Triple star system 685 ly away in Leo with a single Hot Jupiter orbiting the primary star. Binary star system BC orbits A at 328 AU. B and C orbit each other every 30 years, while they orbit the primary every 4000 years. Brighter than the other two hierarchical triple stellar systems with planets. From the planet, the other stars would be very bright light point sources providing as much illumination as a full moon and casting shadows.
  • HD 80606 System (Apr 16) - Multiple star system (also known as Struve 1341) with a planet, which had a higher period (111 days) than any other known transiting planet and highest eccentricty (Halley's comet-like, epistellar distances to almost Earth-like distance) prior to the release of Kepler data. It is the nearest transiting Super Jupiter (4 MJ, radius slightly less than 1 RJ, 190ly). Its length of day is 36 hours. Discovered in 2001, but found to transit in 2009. Planet is the first one for which changes in weather have been observed. Potassium was detected from the high wind regions of the exosphere. In 2010 it was found to be only one of the two out of all 79 known transiting exoplanetary systems that could not support a habitable Earth-like planet, since its elongated orbit would destabilize any such planets. Planet thought to be in the process of becoming a Hot Jupiter. Observations suggested that energy transferred during closest approach to star would take 10 Billion Years to cause the orbit to circularize, meaning this tidal migration method may not be the preferred one to form hot jupiters.
  • TW Hydrae System (Mar 16) - The nearest planet forming age star discovered with a protoplanetary disk and the nearest solar-type star with a gas-rich disk. Has a face on orientation as seen from Earth. Also the nearest classical T-Tauri star, 176 ly and 10 million years old. It is one of the oldest protoplanetary disks known, and if it ever would form planets, that time would be now. It was thought to have contained the youngest known exoplanet and first known one within its protoplanetary disk, but this was later chalked up to the rotation of starspots. Gives astronomers a glimpse of what the Solar System may have been like in its infancy and test planetary formation theories. Large amounts of water have been detected in this system. They occur in the outer parts of the system where comet formation is easy. It is formed from photodesorption, which liberates water molecules from rocks. They could provide enough water for a thousand Earths. This is the first time the amount of water could be measured. It was found to have enough mass for 50 Jupiters. Hubble found evidence of a planet forming further than any other known planet (twice as far as Pluto), thought to be 6-28 Earth's mass. Radio observations showed it with more details, including a gap at Earth-like distances where a super Earth may be forming. Theories say a planet would take over 2 billion years to form, but this star is too young. Planetary effects on the ring might be due to gas instead. The location of its CO snow line has been calculated and detected by observing where N2H+ is (30 AU), which is easily destroyed by CO gas, and abundant where it has frozen out. Principal member of the TW Hydrae Association, the closest youngest association to the sun with about 2 dozen stars, including some rogue planets.
  • 55 Cancri System (Mar 16) - Copernicus is also known as Rho Cancri, 55 Cancri, Rho1 Cancri, HR 3522, Gl 324, and HD 75732. Wide binary star consisting of a sun-like primary (A, though super metal rich) and a red-dwarf secondary (B) separated by 1,100 AU, 41 light years away. Star A contains five exoplanets, the first system found with four or five planets. It has three tightly packed eccentric planets close in to the star, including planet Jannsen (e, hot Super Earth/Neptunian), Galileo (b, warm Jupiter), and Brahe (c, hot Saturn), followed by an eccentric Saturn in the habitable zone (Harriot, f) and a Jupiter analog, Lippershey (d). Planet e was heralded as the first Neptunian discovered. It was later found to be the shortest-period planet discovered (18 hours) and to transit. Its density was measured and determined to be rocky, and thus re-dubbed the first Super-Earth discovered. It was then the first super-Earth to have its light detected (by Spitzer in the infrared). The planet has about half of Neptune's mass, but is Earth-like in size and density (2.17 Earth Radius). Studies taking into account the composition of the star suggested that it was largely made of diamond, with graphite at the surface (the first diamond planet around a Sunlike star), and the first terrestrial found with fundamentally different surface composition and processes than Earth. This was later refuted when it turned out there wasn't as much carbon in the parent star as believed. Earlier studies that assumed an Earth-like composition suggested that it would be covered with an ocean of super-critical water. The brightness of the planet was found to have raised dramatically, possibly the aftermath of cloud cover due to a volcanic eruption. The brightness of the star (also closest known to transit and only known naked eye star to do so) makes it more easily studied than other hot super Earths. It was found to be dark and its sun-facing side hot enough to melt metal. It became the first super Earth to have its atmospheric composition measured (mostly hydrogen and helium with hints of hydrogen cyanide which would only dominate in a carbon-rich environment and no traces of water vapor) and temperature mapped, and the large hemispherical temperature differences suggest little atmosphere to transport heat. Planet b (one of the original 4 Hot Jupiters discovered) is the first "warm Jupiter" found to have a puffed up atmosphere and it probably at the outer limit from the star at which a planet can lose its atmosphere in this way. Its outer atmosphere skims the surface of the star, which was detected when attempting to detect an atmosphere around transiting Janssen. The strong interaction between planets Galileo and Brahe can be detected in measurements, and it took a while to find a fit that would allow them to survive over long periods of time. Harriot is a very eccentric Saturnian in the habitable zone. Planet d is a super jovian at Jupiter-like distances, which was the first found at true Jupiter distances and still the exoplanet discovered with dopplar spectrometry with the largest known semi-major axis. It was first thought to be circular, then eccentric, and then circular again. The distant outer star causes Lippershey's axis to flip on its axis every million years. Lippershey in turn causes the other planets to flip, including its star. The axis tilt of transiting planet e should be determined at some point. "Bode's law" predicts four undiscovered planets. One of the first 20 exoplanet systems allowed to be given common names by the IAU.
  • HD 20782 System (Mar 16) - Star with the most eccentric known exoplanet. This planet ranges from 2.5 AU to 0.06 AU and has Jupiter-like mass. A flash of reflected light was detected when planet b made its closest approach to the star. Unlike Hot Jupiters, which tend to lose their highly reflective clouds over time, there isn't enough of a chance for this reflective clouds to be removed during quick swingbys, so the planet remains very bright during close approaches.
  • IRAS 08544-4431 System (Mar 16) - A red giant star and a less evolved star orbiting nearby. The giant star expelled material which formed a disc around it. The other star also has a disc. This is the first time a disk of an aged star was directly observed with this detail. It is not clear if disks like these can lead to planetary formation.
  • K2-25 System (Mar 16) - Red dwarf star in the Hyades star cluster. Contains the first exoplanet in the cluster found with the transiting method. The planet is about the size of Neptune and orbits its star every 3.48 days. Its radial velocity can't be determined due to the star's jitteryness. The planet is 10% the width of its star, the highest ratio for any red dwarf planet.
  • HD 106906 System (Mar 16) - Young system with an extremely far flung visually detected planet. Found at 650 AU and 11 times Jupiter's mass. Furthest out known planet around a single star. It orbits further out than planet accretion theories allow for. There appear to be no other nearby planets or stars which could have flung the planet from a closer orbit. The star was found later on to be a binary star. The planet could have been further in and then expelled by one of them. The ratio of star to planet mass is 1 to 100, lower to be formed like a binary star, whose ratios are no more than 1 to 10. The planet is 13 MY old and still glowing from its formation. It was detected with a thermal infrared camera on Magellan telescope in Chili and confirmed by historical Hubble data. Star has a debris disk 50 AU wide similar to the Kuiper Belt, fat on one side and skinny on the other side. The planet is highly tilted with respect to its plane, so it must have been moved to its present location. Closer in planets were not detected. A passing star could be responsible for the lop sided belt and far out orbit of the planet.
  • 2M1207 System (Feb 16) - A Planemo or Super Jupiter 4 times Jupiter's mass orbiting a brown dwarf 172 ly away. The planemo is possibly the first "planet" imaged and orbits 40 AU. A disk around the Brown Dwarf was known, but recently a disk around the Planemo was also detected. It is believed to be glowing hot from a recent collision with a Uranus sized planet. The planemo probably didn't form the way planets do, but rather, in the same manner as binary stars do. It is only 10 MYO and still contracting and radiating heat. Its cloud top temperature is above 2000F, making it possible rock and iron rain might form. Its rotational period is estimated to be around 11 hours, about the same as Jupiter.
  • HL Tau System (Feb 16) - T-Tauri star 450 ly away in the Taurus Molecular Cloud region that is only 100,000 years old that contains a protoplanet 14 times as massive as Jupiter and the youngest planet so far discovered. It was spotted as a clump and beat the previous youngest planet record holder (TW Hydrae) found earlier that year by a long shot, which was 10,000,000 years old. It was later the most precisely imaged protoplanetary disk, with rings and gaps clearly visible, indicating the formation of planets very early in the star formation process. Modeling suggests three Saturn-sized planets are required to form the grooves seen. It is accompanied by Herbig–Haro object HH 150, a jet of gas emitted along the rotational axis of the disk which is colliding with nearby interstellar dust and gas.
  • HD 142527 System (Feb 16) - Infant binary star system 450 ly away in the Scorpius-Centaurus association. Contains two dust disks. The inner one reaches out to the distance of Saturn while the outer one begins 14 times further out. Planets are thought to cause the gap between them. Infant gas giant planets have been observed for the first time consuming gas from nearby dust rings, with streams of material connecting them. Gas from the outer disk spirals inward towards the planets, then gets past the planet and enters in inner disk. Streams like this have long been theorized, but this is the first time they were observed. One of the planets is forming 90 AU away. There is little chance of observing the planets themselves, as they are embedded in opaque gas. An arc of dust was detected. Carbon monoxide was not detected by the dust because it has frozen onto the solid surface of dust particles. This is an important planetary formation process, as "snowballs" stick to each other well. It is not clear if a planet or cometary belt will form from this arc.
  • BD+20594 System (Feb 16) - Exceptionally bright star with a planet b, the largest terrestrial planet known and third known Mega Earth. It is about half the diameter of Neptune and over twice that of Earth, with 16 Earth masses.
  • TYC 9486-927-1 System (Jan 16) - A red dwarf 24.8 ly away in Octans. An L type brown dwarf or planet, 2MASS J21265040-8140293 with 12-15 MJ orbits 6900 AU away. If it is a large planet, this would be the largest known planetary system. This is three times further than the previous record and 140 wider than Pluto's orbit. It likely did not form the way most exoplanets formed. Astronomers speculate they formed 10-45 MYA from a filament of gas that pushed them together in the same direction. They must not have lived in a very dense environment because any nearby star would have disrupted their orbit. The object was discovered in ten years prior to the realization that it was a potential member of the Tucana Horologium Associations. After lithium dating, it was confirmed neither object were a member of any known star group and a link was made between the two objects.
  • Alpha Centauri System (Jan 16) - Alpha Centauri is also known as Rigil Kentaurus. A is also known as HD 128620 and HR 5459, B is HD 128621 and HR 5460, and C is Proxima Centauri. It is the nearest star system to the Sun. Contains a yellow dwarf star a little bigger than the Sun and an orange star a little smaller orbiting each other orbiting each other about the distance Uranus is from the Sun (varies from Saturn like to Neptune like), as well as a distant Red Dwarf companion Proxima that may or may not be orbiting the other two. Proxima, a small flare star, was discovered in 1915 by Robert Ines, who named it. Long suspected planet around Proxima found not to exist. As Proxima passes in front of two stars (once in 2014, again in 2016), any planets within 5 AU should be detectable via microlensing using the HST. It is known that no planets of Neptune sized mass exist within 1 AU and no Jovians with periods up to 1000 days, or transiting planets exist. First planet discovered is an Earth-massed rocky-iron planet with no atmosphere at epistellar distances around the orange dwarf star B found by HARPS. This is the least massive planet found around a sunlike star. The planet was informally and controversially named by Uwingu during a fund raising naming contest Albertus Alauda, after a participant's grandfather. Earthlike planets are not detectable in the habitable zone with present radial velocity methods. Technique for detection of planet is a source of doubt for some and it has yet to be independently verified. A team thought they might have detected a transit of this planet, but further observations showed the timing wasn't consistent. It is possible that a second further out (20.4 day period) Earth-sized planet is altering the transit times of the first. A cheap crowdfunded satellite devoted to studying this star could confirm the planets. The star was observed to be a good candidate to host a "super Habitable" planet, which would have 25% more gravity than the Earth, shallow seas, flatter landscape, higher atmospheric pressure, and the 6 BYO star would be stable for life longer. Stellar fingerprinting suggests a high probability that a planet orbits star A, due to dearth of Iron around star. Russian astronomers announced the detection of a second planet orbiting the binary pair at 80 AU with a 100 year period. The stars in the system will become markedly closer together in 2016, making observations much more difficult and one follow up failed to find it. The system is the first target for the European Cheops exoplanet space telescope. The Pale Red Dot project is dedicated to finding a planet around Proxima using dopplar spectrometry.

Systems of 2015Edit

  • Wolf 1061 System (Dec 15) - BD-12°4523 is also known as Wolf 1061 and Gl 628. Nearby red dwarf flare star also called V2306 Ophiuchi. It is possibly a binary star. Has three super Earths, at 0.03 (1.4ME+), 0.08(4.3ME+), and 0.2 AU (5.2 ME+). Had the nearest potentially habitable planet, about 4 Earth masses.
  • HD 100546 System (Dec 15) - HD 100546 (aka KR Muscae) is the first protostar found to have a circumstellar disk, 335 ly away in Musca. A Herbig Ae star, which are nearby young stars generally more massive than our sun, but are not yet main sequence stars powered by nuclear fusion. Its disk extends from 0.2 AU to 4 AU, followed by a gap, and then again at 13 AU to a few hundred AU. A large unconfirmed planet or brown dwarf, perhaps 20 MJ, or multiple planets, may be responsible for this gap. A clump of material in images pointed to the possibility of a planet 68 AU away, which was later directly detected and confirmed. This is youngest planet and the first exoplanet found that is still completely embedded in its formation disk without forming large gaps and is still forming. Astronomers believe they may have imaged a planet forming at 68 AU away, seen as a clump of material. One mystery is if a planet could have formed out that far from its star, or if it formed closer in and migrated outward. A second planet forming more interior planet may also have been imaged.
  • KIC 8462852 System (Nov 15) - Star that contained many irregular darkennings. This is most likely due to a family of comets near the star passing in front of it. The comets would be in highly elliptical and inclined orbits. The head of the cometary pack would disintigrate as it approached perihelion, producing gas that would block the starlight. This had been difficult to explain and some proposed it could be possible that this was due to alien megastructures around the star, dimming the lighting as it passed by.
  • HATS-14 System (Nov 15) - Star with a tilted planet. This planet's tilt is cannot be explained by nearby stars or exoplanets knocking it out of its original orbit. Its existance challenges the tidal theory that suggested that small stars' large atmospheres can grab onto nearby planets and cause the orbit to flatten out relative to its star's rotation. This planet was found near a small star, and should have flattened out by now, but it has not. It orbits 76deg from the plane of its star.
  • LkCa 15 System (Nov 15) - One of the two youngest stars (about a million years old) detected with evidence for a planet-forming circumstellar disk, located 450 ly away. Has an outer dust disk (which would envelop the Solar System) and a thin inner dust disk (which would fit inside Mercury's orbit). The inner disk is somewhat lopsided. Planet b was later detected, the youngest and first direct photograph of a protoplanet. It is a giant planet orbiting at Uranus-like distances and appears as a blue dot. It is about 1,000C and surrounded by a red structure about 500C, which could be material colliding into the protoplanet or being ejected from it. Its mass, and planetary status, still needs to be determined. Hydrogen was found to be heated to 10,000C, which implies that it is falling onto the surface of a planet no more than 10 times Jupiter's mass. Two other unconfirmed planets show no signs of glowing hydrogen, so are most likely completely formed, or partially masked by intervening clouds of dust. One of these planets is slightly further out than the confirmed one.
  • MWC 758 System (Nov 15) - Star with a spiral pattern in its disk, possibly indicating a planet.
  • OGLE-2003-BLG-723L System (Nov 15) - A pair of distant brown dwarves. One of them has a Venus-sized planet or moon orbiting it. It appears coplanar to the equator of the brown dwarf, so it appears as if it was formed with an accretion disk. The ratio between this object and its host is similar to the Sun and Uranus and Jupiter and Callisto, with actual masses in between that of the star/planet and planet/moon. Orbits at a Mercury-like distance every 18 months. Found by microlensing.
  • HD 189733 System (Nov 15) - A binary star in Velpulca (the "little fox") consisting of an Orange Dwarf star A and a Red Dwarf B (discovered shortly after planet Ab found and orbiting perpendicular to that planet's orbit and later detected in x-rays) orbiting 216 AU away. Planet Ab (the first nearby Very Hot Jupiter, originally thought to be inflated, is 13% larger and more massive than Jupiter) is the nearest transiting Hot Jupiter (62.9 ly). This is the first exoplanet to have its temperature mapped and was nicknamed Bull's Eye for its hot spot that is significantly offset from the starward pole. 5 years later, it later became the first world to have its thermal emissions mapped in both longtitude and latitude, confirming the hot spot was near the equator. Fast winds are thought to make the temperature of the eternal day and night sides nearly identical, which were later measured to be 2km/s when the planet became the first to have its wind and weather patterns mapped. It is also the first exoplanet for which scattered light in the upper atmosphere has been detected and the second exoplanet with water detected and first with Methane and then Carbon Dioxide detected. It later was the first exoplanet whose gasses were detected from Earth-based telescopes. It was also found to spin up its star and magnetically interact with it, causing stellar storms. Massive X-class solar flares blast off much of the planet's atmosphere and may render it undetectable. Hubble found that its atmosphere was a uniform blue haze. Blue was detected by determining which wavelengths were blocked during a transit. It was also found to rain molten glass, sideways, with 7000 km/hr winds and 1000C. It became the first exoplanet whose transit was detected in X-Rays, which revealed it had a very large extended outer atmosphere, which is losing material rapidly. The star is much more magnetically active for its age, possibly due to the planet's presence. There is speculation that it could have large planet-wide auroras. It's already-known mass was measured using an atmospheric pressure method to test its viability. By studying sodium spectra, it was determined that it gets hotter with altitude.
  • Gliese 1132 System (Nov 15) - Nearby (39 ly) red dwarf star with a transiting Venus type planet. Was the closest known Earth-sized planet when discovered. Planet is 1.2 the size and 1.6 the mass of Earth. It orbits once every 1.6 days and expected to be a little cooler than Venus, at 500F temperatures. It is oven hot, but cooler than any other Earth sized planet known, and likely tidally locked. Likely cool enough to retain a significant atmosphere. Since it is nearby and around a dim start, it is the first earth-sized planet whose atmosphere can be studied. Much closer than Earth-sized exoplanets found in their habitable zones, so it is more easily observed. Its transit was not detected on a single pass, but over multiple passes superimposed on each other.
  • 51 Eridani System (Aug 15) - Star in the Beta Pictoris Moving Group. Contains an imaged protoplanet b.
  • DG Tauri System (Jul 15) - DG Tauri is the first star found to have the pebbles thought to form terrestrial planets. A 2.5 MYO star 450 ly away with parsec scale jets coming from its poles, indicating its young age. The pebbles appear in a belt at Jupiter like distances.
  • Beta Pictoris System (Jul 15) - Young massive star with the first discovered circumstellar disk and the source of most interstellar meteorites in the Solar System. Comet crystals were found to be similar composition as those in Solar System. The first exo-comet was discovered in this system in 1983 and is the only star known with a detected comet known to also have a planet. Hundreds of comets detected by transit, of which on average of 6 transits occur in a 30 minute spetra, have been placed into two groups. One family (Population D for "deep" absorption lines) were older comets depleted of their volatiles and trapped in mean motion resonance with planet b or another undiscovered one. The other is fresher (Population S for "shallow"), emit more dust, follow similar orbits, and may have been formed after the breakup of a larger object. Contains the youngest known exo-planet, which shows that Jupiter-like planets can form much quicker than previously believed. It is the closest-in exoplanet photographed and is at 8 AU and 7-11 Jupiter Masses and orbits in 20 years. This planet was first hinted at by studying dust disks in 2003 and first photographed in 2003, but it was not confirmed and was lost. It was imaged again in 2008, and became the first imaged exoplanet confirmed to move around its star in 2010. It has an effective temperature of 1,100 to 1,700C, showing that it is still warm and has retained much of its heat from its formation. Evidence of a planetary transit in 1981 was found in record. It was originally thought that a second planet must have caused a tilt in one of the disks, but now it known that the first planet is. Models show that it could create waves and spirals in the disk. Some data suggests the planet is unusually wide, perhaps evidence of a ring system around it. The planet is traveling through a relatively dust-free gap in the debris disk, and thought to be clearing it. The planet is losing momentum as it travels through the debris disk. A large belt of carbon monoxide 50-160 AU concentrated at 85 AU has been observed, possibly caused by collision of comets. A Saturn sized planet interior to the belt that is not currently detectable due to being edge on in the disk could be shepherding it. It is possible that diamond-planets are forming in the disk. A cubesat could target this star in search of a second planet using the transit method since the system is edge-on. Principle member of the Beta Pictoris Moving Group.
  • Gliese 436 System (Jun 15) - AC+27°28217 is best known as Gliese 436. The second known red dwarf planetary system. Contains one of the first Neptunians discovered and a few potential planets. The star is about half the sun's mass. It is over 11 Billion years old and may be a part of the old disk of the Milky Way. Planet b temporarily later found to be the smallest exoplanet (about Uranus' diameter, though over 50% its mass) known to transit its host star and is currently the nearest (33 ly). Its temperature (712K) was measured to be higher than what it would be purely from radiation (520K), perhaps due to a greenhouse effect, somewhat higher than Venus. It was originally thought to have a layer of "hot ice", water solidified due to high pressures. It turned out that it was larger than thought and hot ice was not needed. It could still be a rocky super-Earth. It was later found to have a remarkably low levels of Methane and high levels of Carbon Monoxide for its 800K temperature. Possible explanations include Methane being changed into hydrocarbon polymers due to its star's ultraviolet radiation, CO being drafted upwards with winds, or observational defects. Later, due to lack of detection of chemical signatures through the backlit atmosphere, it was concluded that high altitude clouds, perhaps made of potassium chloride or zink sulphide dust, were blocking the detection. This could be the first detection of clouds of a Neptunian. An alternate theory is that the atmosphere is filled with heavy compounds, such as water, carbond dioxide, which would compress the atmosphere and make it difficult to detect. After detection of a huge comet-like tail of Hydrogen trailing and wrapping around its orbit led to the most recent theory that it lost its Hydrogen to uv radiation and was left with a Helium dominated atmosphere with plenty of CO instead of CH4. It's significant eccentricity suggests a possible neighboring planet. Planet c was announced to be the smallest known exoplanet (1.5 Earth's diameter), but was later retracted because variations in transit timing of the first planet did not occur and the proposed orbit would be unstable. It is still thought that a second planet of some kind is possible in the system. Candidate UCF-1.01 was detected by a student in the UCF's astronomy department using the Spitzer Space Telescope. It is about 2/3 Earth's diameter (smaller than all but one confirmed exoplanet), orbits around its star in 1.5 days, and at 1000F may be a lava world without an atmosphere. UCF-1.02 also may exist. Both are thought to be about 1/3 as massive as the Earth, but are too small to get their mass measured and thus too small to be confirmed with present technology.
  • Sagittarius A* System (Jun 15) - Sagittarius A* is thought to be the Super Massive Black Hole (SMBH) at the center of our Milky Way galaxy and is 26,000 ly away. (The "*" in its name is pronounced "star" from the symbol, and not used to indicate that this object is a "star".) It forms one component of the larger Sagittarius A structure, a complex radio source that spans light years. The black hole is orbited by about a dozen stars, which tend to have comet-like orbits centered a couple thousand light years from the black hole. These stars orbit faster than any other found (only taking 10 to 100 years to complete their orbits). The orbits of the stars is used to determine that the black hole is 4.1 Million Solar Masses and occupies an area no more than 45 AU (about the size of Neptune's orbit). Streams of gasses also orbit the black hole, which may be the remnants of planets that started forming around its orbiting stars, but then got yanked from their stars when approaching too close to the black hole. The cloud G2 was expected to be destroyed when it approached its closest point to the black hole near its event horizon, but survived its journey unscathed. A magnetar (a type of neutron star with a powerful magnetic field) SGR J1745-2900 was recently discovered orbiting the black star. A possible Intermediate Mass Black Hole (IMBH) GCIRS 13E (1300 MS) orbits the SMBH further out at about 3 light years. This black hole itself has seven massive stars orbiting it. This object might have formed through the collision of several stars in an ancient globular cluster. About 10,000 black holes may orbit SGR A* within 70 light years, being kicked in towards the galactic center during encounters with smaller stars, which in turn get kicked out towards the galactic rim. The SMBH may devour these black holes at about a rate of 1 per million years. Gamma rays emitted by SGR A* caused X-Rays to be emitted from a giant molecular cloud Sagittarius B2 350 ly away. The event horizon is the target of the earth-spanning Event Horizon Telescope.
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  • Tau Ceti System (Apr 15) - Tau Ceti is also known as HD 10700, HR 509, and Gl 71. The nearest single G-class yellow dwarf to the sun, somewhat smaller than the Sun. A popular science fiction subject and one of two targets of SETI-forerunner Project Ozma in the 1960s. Despite being somewhat older than the sun, it has an extensive asteroid and/or comet field 10-50 AU, with the bulk between 35 and 50 AU. It has about ten times as much material as the Sun. This would make life difficult. It is a metal deficient star, so it is thought less likely to host rocky planets. Traditional dopplar spectrometry has ruled out any large Jupiter sized planets at Jupiter like distances or closer in, which was thought to be good for any potentially habitable planets. Five candidate rocky super Earth planets were detected though using a new method of planetary detection. This method made predictions of the stellar "noise" activity that might obscure detection of a planet based on the long history of dopplar measurements done on this system. Deviations from this prediction pointed towards the existence of planets. Confirmation using more established methods is needed. These planets are labeled b through f as you go outward, span 0.1 AU to 1.35 AU, and get larger the further you go out (at least 2 ME to 6.6 ME). The outermost two are near the habitable zone and were originally hailed as possibly being the nearest and smallest known habitable planets. More recent modeling indicates they are not actually habitable though. Planet e is probably too close to the star and only in the HZ if generous assumptions are made. Planet f has probably only been in the habitable zone for about a billion years as a result of its star becoming hotter, which might make biosigns difficult to detect from Earth, considering it took 2 BY for biosigns to become detectable around the Earth. Since the star has a higher magnesium to silicon ratio than the Sun, these planets compositions could be quite different that the Solar System's. The lower mantles could be dominated with ferropericlase, which is not very viscious, which may make the rocks of the mantle flow easier than on Earth, affecting volcanism and tectonics. One of 5 PICTURE-C targets selected for sub-orbital coronograph observation.
  • 51 Pegasi System (Apr 15) - The star called 51 Pegasus is now known as Helvetios. Contains the first exo-planet around a normal star discovered and the first "Hot Jupiter" found, which is nicknamed "Bellerophon", and now called Dimidium. Star is about 50 ly located in the square of Pegasus, a G5 star somewhat larger and more massive than the Sun. The planet's discovery was incompatible with planetary system formation models, so they were tweaked to allow for planetary migration. It was also initially thought to be an anomaly or the stripped down core of a brown dwarf. Found to have supersonic winds that caused the eternal night-side hemisphere to be as hot as the day-side one. During its 20th anniversary, this planet became the first one's whose reflected visible light was detected. The technique involved looking at a star's visible spectrum, and then detecting a faint reflection of this spectra. Its actual mass (0.46 MJ) and inclination (9deg) were obtained as a result. The planet seems to have a larger radius and bright surface, rather typical for hot jupiters. One of the first 20 exoplanet systems allowed to be given common names by the IAU. The star's name is Latin for a Celtic tribe that lived in Switzerland (the place where its planet was discovered) during the middle ages. The planet's name is Latin for "half" due to the fact its minimum mass is half as massive as Jupiter's.
  • HR 8799 System (Apr 15) - Hot young star system 300 ly away which is the only imaged and wide multiplanetary system. The 30 MY old star is the only known Gamma Doradus variable that is also a Vega-like star. The innermost is e (14.5 AU, 10 MJ), followed by d (24 AU, 10 MJ), c (38 AU, 10 MJ), and b (68 AU, 7 MJ). Inside the inner planet's orbit is an asteroid belt, while outside of the outer planet is a cometary belt (including a clump at 1:2 resonance with the outermost planet), while further yet is a huge halo extending to 2000 AU. The outer three are planets are 2-2.5 times as far as Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are respectively, but receive similar radiation. The large planets would likely pull the system apart, leading scientists to believe the inner three planets are probably locked in a 1:2:4 orbital resonance in order to maintain stability. An inner planet is at Saturn-to-Uranus-like distances and challenges planetary formation models. Fomalhaut is the only other system where interaction between planets and dust belts can be observed. They are near the upper limits of mass to be classified as planets and could be Brown Dwarves. Upper mass limits are determined by system stability models. All three planets were later found in archived Hubble images. The middle planet became the first to have its spectrum directly measured. The spectrum confused scientists and didn't fit current formation theories. They contain carbon monoxide and are depleted in methane, which suggests they were formed in part by absorbing comets in the system. The outermost planet b has unusually thick dust clouds. There is possibly a fifth undetected planet in an inner resonant orbit.
  • 61 Virginis System (Apr 15) - A system containing a 5.1 ME Hot Super-Earth b (which is hot enough to have emissions on its night side) and one and possibly two other further out Neptunians (c and d [unconfirmed] and possibly a fourth), and a massive Kuiper Belt around a very Sun-like star only 28 light years away. All planets would fit inside Venus' orbit and have high eccentricities, especially the outermost one. This is the closest planetary system around a G-type star, which is one of the only very sun-like stars visible to the naked eye. It is the first non-borderline G-class main sequence star found to have a super-Earth. A lack of a Jovian planet and an unseen further out Neptunian may explain the large amount of cometary debris detected. Systems like this may avoid a heavy bombardment period, but instead undergo a steady rain of occasional cometary impacts for billions of year. Of the six sunlike stars within 10 parsecs, this star would be the one most likely to have an older version of Earth orbiting it. This postulated planet would have only microbes left as its star became hotter.
  • OGLE-2014-BLG-0124L System (Apr 15) - A planet detected with microlensing measured to be one of the furthest ones known (13,000 ly), inwards, towards the center of the galaxy. It's distance was able to be determined with the help of Spitzer, whose orbit trails the Earth significantly, which is able to simultaneously observe the microlensing event and determine its distance with the delay of the event compared with earth based observations (a blip was detected with Spitzer 20 days before than from Earth). This is important so that astronomers can determine if planets are more common in the center of the galaxy. Once distance was determined, its mass could be determined, which was about half Jupiter's. The planet orbits a star with 0.7 solar masses at a distance of 3.1 AU.
  • Kepler-186 System (Apr 15) - An M1 red dwarf found by Kepler to have five rocky planets. These planets are labelled b through f as you go further out. The smallest one, b, is only 8% larger than the Earth and the largest one d is 40% larger. The inner four are tidally locked, but possibly not the outer one. There might be one additional non-transiting planet inside the furthest one's orbit. The outermost planet f is the first Earth-sized planet found in the habitable zone and currently the smallest known Red Dwarf planet in the habitable zone. The planet does not receive as much heat as most PHPs though, so it is ranked low on the ESI.
  • Kepler-264 System (Mar 15) - Star with a saturn-sized planet at 0.25 AU that is currently the most promising Kepler planet to have an exo-moon. The technique for detecting exomoons is Orbital Sampling Effect. It has not been observed very much.
  • 30 Arietis System (Mar 15) - The second four star system found to have a planet 130 ly away and 910 MYO. Composed of two F-type stars orbiting each other at 1500AU, each of which is a spectroscopic binary. Star B has a planet orbiting within the orbit of its newly discovered stellar neighbor 23 AU away. The planet is ten times as massive as Jupiter in a 335 day orbit. From its surface, the star it orbits would appear as a small sun, the neighboring star as a bright star, and the distant stellar pair A would appear as a single bright star in the sky which could be resolved into two stars orbiting each other. The neighboring star does not appear to have altered the orbit of the planet. It is not clear why this is the case, since it is closer than that of the planet in triple star system HD 2638 and its neighbor, which was altered.
  • HD 2638 System (Mar 15) - A yellow dwarf star with a cloudless blue Jovian, a newly discovered star at 28 AU away, and another star gravitationally bound to it 0.7 ly away. The newly discovered star is close enough to the earlier discovered planet to influence its development.
  • Gliese 581 System (Mar 15) - BD-11°3759 is better known as Gliese 581. Small nearby Red Dwarf with six planets in tight circular orbits. Several planets were announced in the habitable zone, but have since been retracted due to being due to sunspots rotating in view during it's 130 day rotation. E is the smallest known dopplar-detected exoplanet and a Super Mercury, b is a hot Neptunian, c is a super-Venus and the first detected in the HZ (initially heralded as habitable, but later thought too hot due to the greenhouse effect). G (1/4 stellar rotation) was the most controversial heralded as the first habitable Super-Earth and "Eyeball Earth", but was disproven. D (1/2 stellar rotation) was later thought to be an even more promising planet for life as it was big enough for a decent greenhouse effect even though it was at the outer edge of the habitable zone, was later thought to also not exist, but then its existence was re-affirmed. F was thought to be a cold super-Earth, but also disproven. The star is not very active. A massive Kuiper Belt was found, which may have been allowed to exist because the system lacks a Jovian class planet. A further out Neptunian may be responsible for the cometary collisions that produced the debris.
  • Kepler-7 System (Mar 15) - One of first transiting exoplanets discovered by Kepler announced in a batch of 5 Jan 2010 (Kepler 4-9). It, like the others, is a hot Jupiter. It is the largest of the batch in diameter, its mass is 50% of Jupiter's, but its diameter is 50% greater than Jupiter, making its density that of styrofoam. This is the least dense planet found to date. It is also particularly bright for a Hot Jupiter, and has about three times the albedo of the typical one. This reflected light came from high altitude clouds in the west. Spitzer was able to measure the temperature of the bright spot in the hemisphere, which was too cool for a hot jupiter at this distance, so was interpreted as reflective clouds. The skies are clear on the east side, where it is hotter. The cloud structure, the first to be observed for an exoplanet, is stable over time. Being too hot for water clouds (though less hot than many Hot Jupiters), these clouds are probably made of silicates and magnesium. If made from perovskite or forsterite, the clouds could have a greenish tint.
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Systems of 2014Edit

  • Planet Hunters 3 System (Nov 14) - PH3, also known as Kepler-289, is the 3rd system with planets found by Planet Hunters using Kepler data. Gravitational effects of two planets cause a third middle one to transit at highly irregular intervals, the first such planet found. The star is a young 1BYO sun-like star, 2300 ly away. First planet a has 35 day period and twice as large and 7 as massive as Earth and could be rocky, ocean-filled, or gas giant hybrid. Planet c is somewhat further out (0.33 AU, 2.5 RE, 4 ME, density similar to Jupiter) and is a new member of the small low-density class that require significant hydrogen/helium. Planet d is a gas giant at 0.55 AU, 12 RE, 132 ME. The middle planet has an orbital period ratio of 1.91 with both the inner and outer planets.
  • GG Tauri System (Oct 14) - A complex five star system 450 ly away a few million years old. Trinary A has a massive outer disk (157 MJ) around all stars which has a stream rich with carbon dioxide feeds an inner disc (about 1 MJ) that surrounds the main central star (Aa), which is losing mass to that star at a rate that would have otherwise depleted it by now. This long lasting disk could help the formation of planets. The other star in this binary which does not have a disk was recently found to itself be a binary (Ab1 and Ab2) which are 4.5 AU apart, and are in turn separated by 35 AU.
  • OGLE-2008-BLG-092L System (Oct 14) Binary star 25,000 ly away with the first exo-Uranuses discovered (these planets are too far and have too long a period for transiting and radial velocity methods, are too dim for direct detection, and often the host star is not detected during microlensing). This planet b is about the same distance from the primary star (2/3 MS) as Uranus is (19 AU) from the Sun, is four times as massive, possibly has a similar composition. The companion star (1/6 MS) located three times as far might be responsible for its far out orbit, similar to Jupiter and Saturn being responsible for Uranus's. All three objects were fortunate to be detected with microlensing events. Other "free floating" planets may actually be Uranus analogs whose stars were not detected.
  • HD 97658 System (Oct 14) - HD 97658 is also known as BD+26 2184, it is a nearby (68 ly) Yellow-orange star in Leo with a transiting super Earth in a torch orbit (though further out P = 9.5 d than most transiting planets). When discovered, it was the second brightest star in the sky known to have a transiting planet. It was discovered with dopplar spectrometry. Transits were later reported (leading them to think it had radius 2.9 RE and density of 1.4, giving it a possible Neptune-like extended atmosphere of H, He, and H2O), but later retracted. After expanding the search times, transits were detected at different times. The radius is 2.3 times that of Earth, coupled with a 7.9 Earth masses give a density of 3.4, and surface gravity of 1.6 Earths, suggesting a rocky core surrounded by either liquid volatiles or an extended gas envelope. A preliminary atmosphere probe found it to be featureless, possibly with clouds obscuring it atmospheric composition like in GJ 1214b, but also possibly because the atmosphere lacks hydrogen and is therefor very compact and hard to detect.
  • WASP-43 System (Oct 14) - Orange dwarf star with a Very Hot Jupiter 260ly away. The star was the smallest mass star known to have a Hot Jupiter at the time of the planet's discovery. The planet is currently the Hot Jupiter (Jupiter size but twice as massive) orbiting the closest to its star (though not the smallest period, 19 hours) when discovered. The planet is relatively dense, with a mass of 1.78 Jupiter, but only 93% of its radius. The tidally locked day side is 3000F, while it's night is 1000F. The most detailed weather map was obtained for this planet, thanks to the first observations of three whole periods of any planets. One mapped the thermal properties of different longitudes, and the other its water distribution. The planet reflects very little sunlight, indicative of no water clouds in the atmosphere.
  • HAT-P-11 System (Sep 14) - Star system 120 ly away in Cygnus with the second discovered transiting Super-Neptune and the least massive transiting planet known at the time. Also observed by Kepler and dubbed "Kepler 3b". Orbit unusually eccentric for a Hot Neptune (5 day period) and is inclined 103deg to its orange dwarf star's rotation. Natural radio waves may have been detected coming from the planet. Radial drifts may point to another planet. It was the first smaller planet found to have clear skies (the four previous planets studied were cloudy), which allowed its atmospheric composition to be studied, which was composed primarily of hydrogen and helium with some water (which would be over 1000F).
  • WISE J085510.83-071442.5 System (Sep 14) - WISE J085510.83-071442.5, aka W0855 for short, is the coldest brown dwarf ever observed, and is only 7.2 ly from Earth. It contains the first detected water ice clouds outside of the solar system. Evidence of sulfide clouds was also detected.
  • WISE J0304-2705 System (Sep 14) - A Y class brown dwarf (18th discovered) that started its life as hot as a Red Dwarf and is now as hot as Venus. Its temperature history would have been interesting. Has a mass of 20-30 Jupiters.
  • NGC 2547-ID8 System (Aug 14) - A 35 MYO sun-like star 1200 ly away in Vela thought to be forming rocky planets. Spitzer witnessed a giant surge in dust, possibly caused by the collision of two asteroids. The first detection of a planetary impact outside the solar system. It is not known if there are any outer gaseous planets or cometary belts.
  • Kepler-93 System (Aug 14) - A star with a super-Earth. This planet has been measured with remarkable precision (1.5 ER at 1%), possible by measuring the size of the star using astroseismology. With a mass of 3.8 ME, its density is similar to Earth's.
  • HK Tauri System (Jul 14) - Binary star 5 MYO, 450 ly away with twin epistellar disks, and central stars separated by 13 times Neptune's distance from the Sun. These disks are tilted with respect to each other. The disks prevent optical detection, but can be detected in the infrared.
  • Kepler-421 System (Jul 14) - Orange dwarf 1000 ly away in Lyra with furthest out transiting planet (1.2 AU, 704 days). The first one found beyond the snow line. It is slightly larger than Uranus, but its mass is unknown. Because the second transit was nearly identical to the first, the normal third transit needed to confirm a planet was not deemed necessary.
  • HD 209458 System (Jul 14) - Has first discovered transiting planet which was nicknamed Osiris due to the (first detected) comet-like tail detected and the first exoplanet around a normal star to have its mass directly measured. Also the first Inflated Hot Jupiter found. The planet may be losing its outer atmosphere, or magnetism may prevent the ions from escaping. They detected water in its atmosphere (they had failed earlier), the first time this has been done for any exoplanet. 2nd Exoplanet with detected organic compounds; like HD 189733b, it has water and carbon dioxide, but it has a lot more Methane. Was one of 2 planets to have light directly taken and thus their temperatures read (over 1000K). Tracking carbon molecules with dopplar spectrometry caused it to be the first exoplanet detected to have winds, which are raging at 5,000 to 10,000 km/h. This is believed to cause hotspots to appear at terminators rather than at the star-ward facing point. Had one of the strongest water detection of the 5 exoplanets contrasted by Hubble in 2013, though still less intense than expected, probably due to dust clouds or a haze blocking its detection.
  • WASP-12 System (Jul 14) - The shortest period transiting Hot Jupiter known when discovered in 2008 and the first carbon-rich planet ever found (more Carbon than Oxygen). One of the two largest known planets at 1.79 Jupiter radii. Hottest known exoplanet at time of its discovery. Planet is being ripped apart by star. It is stretched in the shape of a rugby ball and leaves a ring around its star. Huge cloud of material detected around the planet containing elements never before detected on an exoplanet. This cloud is much larger than expected, and shrouds the entire star, making it undetectable at some wavelengths. Studying this cloud could reveal magnetic properties of the stellar system. Magnesium found in this shroud supports the blow-off theory where Hydrogen escapes from the planet so quickly other material is blown off with it. Two other Hot Jupiters are known to have planetary enveloping clouds, and others as close are expected to have similar system wide clouds, but not those further away. It has much more methane than water vapor. It may produce shock waves as it plows through its star's stellar wind (the first evidence of shocks around an exoplanet, like Earth and Saturn's bowshocks), possibly produced by a strong planetary magnetic field. This could protect its atmosphere from being stripped away. It could have a diamond core and other terrestrial planets in system would have black spots on them and also be carbon based. One of 5 exoplanets whose water abundance was measured by Hubble in 2013 and found to be less abundant than expected, probably due to a layer of haze or dust blocking detection..
  • OGLE-2013-BLG-0341L System (Jul 14) - Second close binary star system found to have a terrestrial planet (2ME), and the first to be found with microlensing (3000 ly away). One of the first found orbiting a good distance (0.8 AU, Europa-like temperatures) away from a single star (0.13 MS) in a close binary (circumsecondary), and not both stars (circumbinary). Its discovery raises the possibility that many more such planets could be found. Planet is around a red dwarf, beyond its habitable zone. The primary star (10 to 14 AU) is also a red dwarf (0.15 MS).
  • Kepler-56 System (Jun 14) - First star system 2800 ly found with two planets orbiting at high angles to the star's rotation (45deg). Primary is a red giant four times larger than the Sun and 9 times brighter. The innermost b is slightly smaller than Neptune and at 0.1 AU (10.5 day period), and the next one is slightly smaller than Neptune (but over half Jupiter's mass) and is coplanar to the first and in 2:3 resonance (21.4 days). A third outer planet or star may also exist in an orbit more in line with the star at 2AU. Its own tilt could have tilted the interior planets, which would tilt together due to their proximity. The star will swallow up the inner most planet in 130 MY, its second planet 25 MY later, and the outermost one will be spared. This is the first time the demise of two exoplanets has been calculated.
  • Kapteyn's Star System (Jun 14) - Kapteyn's Star is also known as VZ Pic, Gl 191, HD 33793, and Cordoba Zone 5 hours 243. Kapteyn noticed that a star was missing from a catalog until its new position was found. Has the second highest proper motion of any stars. Also informally called Proxima Pictoris. Nearby large and old Red Dwarf star system and nearest Halo object thought to be a remnant of the nearest and largest global cluster, Omega Centauri, which is 16,000 ly away and shredded by the Milky way 11.5 BYA, and born while that was still a separate galaxy. 2.5 times as old as the Sun and born when the Universe was only 2 BYO. Was within 3 light years of Epsilon Eridani 31,500 years ago. Will be on the other side of the galaxy in 100 MY. Is a sub-dwarf or main sequence star. Has two planets. The first is at least a 4.5 ME Super Earth (0.16 AU) and is the oldest Potentially Habitable Planet. The second is over 7 ME and beyond the HZ (0.3 AU).
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  • ULAS J222711-004547 System (Feb 14) - A brown dwarf with red skies.
  • Kepler-413 System (Feb 14) - A red-dwarf orange dwarf binary system 2,300 ly way containing a circumbinary planet discovered by Kepler. The super-Neptune (65 ME) orbits the pair every 66 days. Its orbital precession causes it to vary its axis tilt by 30degrees every 11 years, which would cause wildly varying seasons. This type of precession observable at human timescales has never been observed before (Earth's is 23.5 degrees over 26,000 years). Also, its orbit is tilted 2.5degrees with respect to the plane of the star's orbital plane. This causes transits only to occur during a favorable line up period (three transits, followed by no transits, then five transits, the next predicted not until 2020), suggesting other planets that are not transiting now could transit in the near future.
  • Kepler-34 System (Feb 14) - One of two binary systems found to have planets near one of the star's habitable zones. Kepler-34b is a gas giant with almost 70 times the mass of Earth. It travels around two sunlike stars once every 289 days, staying about as far away as Earth stays from the sun. It lies 4,900 light-years from Earth. Studies suggest that it formed further out, and then migrated in.
  • WISE J104915.57-531906 System (Jan 14) - The nearest binary brown dwarf system to the sun, also known as Luhman 16AB. This is the closest star system (6.6 ly) discovered since Barnard's Star in 1916 (6 ly). Discovered in the infrared by the WISE survey, and then found in older photos where it would have been due to its high proper motion across the sky. Object B became the first brown dwarf to have its surface mapped by analyzing changes in brightness as clouds rotated into view. It has a complex structure of patchy clouds made of droplets of iron and other minerals with temperatures in the clouds exceeding 1000C. They have a mass of about 30-50 Jupiters and orbit around each other every 20 years. May contain a planet detected by astrometry, and candidate for nearest exoplanet, possibly detected due to perturbations in the orbits of the brown dwarves.
  • Kepler-410 System (Jan 14) - A binary star a little brighter than the Sun with a planet found by Kepler. Its relative brightness (visible with high end binoculars, third brightest host star found by Kepler) makes it a suitable planet for followup. The planet is 2.5 RE and orbits once every 17.8 days. Transit timing of 15 minutes off suggests another planet in the system.
  • YBP1194 System (Jan 14) - One of three stars in the Messier 67 star cluster found to have a planet. The first planet (6.9 days, 0.34 min mass) found around a sun-like star (almost identical to the Sun) that belongs to a stellar cluster. The cluster is one of the oldest known (3.2 to 5 BYO), contains 500 stars, discovered in 1780, and 2,500 ly away.
  • YBP1514 System (Jan 14) - One of three stars in the Messier 67 star cluster found to have a planet. A 0.4 MJ minimum mass 5.1 day period star around a yellow dwarf star. The cluster is one of the oldest known (3.2 to 5 BYO), contains 500 stars, discovered in 1780, and 2,500 ly away.
  • S364 System (Jan 14) - One of three stars in the Messier 67 open star cluster found to have a planet. A 1.54 MJ minimum mass, 121.7 day period planet orbiting a red giant star. The cluster is one of the oldest known (3.2 to 5 BYO), contains 500 stars, discovered in 1780, and 2,500 ly away.
  • HD 19467 System (Jan 14) - A Yellow dwarf star with a faint T-dwarf companion. It is one of the most well studied brown dwarfs, first discovered using radial velocity in 1996. It was recently directly imaged, providing a benchmark for future exoplanet studies.
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Systems of 2013Edit

  • Gliese 1214 System (Dec 13) - A red dwarf system containing the first exoplanet discovered by the MEarth project, which seeks to detect transiting Earth-like planets around nearby red dwarves, and the second transiting super-Earth. The planet is the first of a new class of planets with low mass and low density. Atmospheric observations suggest it is not a terrestrial with an outgassed (mostly Hydrogen/Helium) atmosphere, nor a Neptune-like world (Hydrogen/Methane mix). Instead it would be a new class of water worlds, with a bulk of its mass made of water. The temperature is too hot for liquid water and not thought to have a solid surface, so it could be covered with hot ice (plasma water). Its featureless spectrum (the first Super Earth atmosphere ever studied) prompted further investigation by Hubble. No chemical fingerprints were detected in its atmosphere despite high sensitivity, leading to conclusive evidence that high altitude clouds were preventing any detection (ruling out the possibility that heavier elements in the atmosphere were compressing the atmosphere, making it hard to detect, which may be the case for other planets with no detected chemicals). These are the first clouds proven around a super-Earth. It may be the coolest transiting planet detected. Its close proximity (under 50 ly) assures promising future observation.
  • MOA-2011-BLG-262 System (Dec 13) - A two bodied system detected during microtransiting event which are possibly a rogue planet and its exomoon. This would be the first time an exomoon was detected, though it may never be confirmed. In 2011, a microtransiting event (brightening) was detected, followed by a smaller one an hour later. It could be a rogue 4-Jupiter planet and its half-Earth mass moon located 1800ly away. Alternatively, it could be a much further very small star or brown dwarf orbited by a Neptune mass planet.
  • Kepler-91 System (Dec 13) - Contains a transiting planet that is dangerously close to its star. Star is a red giant about 6 times the Sun's radius and is 3360 ly away. Planet is about the size of Jupiter. It is the closest planet among confirmed planets around giant stars at about a quarter Mercury's distance. It may be engulfed in 55 million years.
  • Kepler-22 System (Dec 13) - Contains the smallest planet in the habitable zone around a star at the time of its discovery by Kepler. The first around a sun-like star at Earth-like distances that is not probably tidally locked. The first potentially habitable planet confirmed (transits confirmed on other telescopes). Orbits around a sun-like star about every 290 days. It is about 2.4 times the radius of Earth and most likely gaseous. Its mass is difficult to measure and may be beyond the ability of modern telescopes (Keck will give it a try), so it has not been confirmed to be rocky yet (some planets the same size are either). A new technique determining mass from atmospheric pressure may one day help nail down its mass. It was the first of 54 habitable zone planet candidates to be independently confirmed. Depicted in art as blue with green clouds, the Scientific Exoplanets Renderer did not compute that it was habitable though. Its surface temperature is 76F, similar to a spring day on Earth. Searches for a potentially habitable moon, which it was predicted to be a good candidate for, have not found anything.
  • Fomalhaut System (Dec 13) - Fomalhaut is also known as Piscis Austrini, 24 Piscis Austrini, Gl 881, HD 216956, and HR 8728. A triple star, the second brightest star known to have exoplanets. Star A is a white main sequence star about twice the Sun's mass and somewhat less than twice its radius. It was originally thought to be about 200 million years old, but now thought to be 400 MYO, and will turn into a giant in about a billion years. Its dust disk is observed in unprecedented detail. It appears reminiscent of the "Eye of Sauron" from the Lord of the Rings films. A planet suspected of causing a sharp gap in the ring was suspected and imaged, becoming the first visually detected and the first planet since Neptune to be predicted prior to its discovery. The planet, Dagon, orbits about 115 AU and is between Neptune and 3x Jupiter's mass in an eccentric orbit. Planet b was shown to deviate slightly from its predicted path, stirring up some controversy about the planets' existence. The Hubble instrument that detected it is damaged and will not be fixed, making it unobservable for a time. Later analysis of old Hubble data confirmed its existence. Material surrounding the planet has been imaged, rather than the planet itself, which its discoverers admit takes it off the directly imaged list. The planet is hurdling outward from the star in a highly elongated path and will encounter the inner edge of the outer belt in 2032, where icy debris will smash into its atmosphere (unless its orbit is highly inclined). No heat has been detected from the planet, which suggests it is sub-Jovian in mass and could be as small as Pluto, though this could be explained by dissipation from surrounding dust. Evidence for another planet "slicing" through the dust disk was also found, and it may have been responsible for planet b's elliptical orbit. The shape of the ring was put into focus by ALMA, 140 AU out, 16 AU wide, and 1/7th AU thick, placing limits on proposed shepherding exoplanets and showing them to be quite small (a couple times larger than Mars), perhaps why they weren't detected visually. Some proposed inner planets via effects of debris disk could be better interpreted as gas produced effects. The ring is believed to be continuously replenished by cometary collisions occurring every day. An estimated 260 Billion to 83 Trillion comets could exist in it, equivalent to what is in the Sun's Oort Cloud. Star B, an orange dwarf 0.91 ly away has no known disk. Star C, a recently identified Red Dwarf member of the system, located extremely far from the primary (2.5 ly), was also found to have its own disk. Previous interactions may have tilted Star A's disk. The star is a part of the Castor Moving Group. One of the first 20 exoplanet systems allowed to be given common names by the IAU. The planet is named after a half fish Semitic god.
  • XO-1 System (Dec 13) - Transiting hot jupiter discovered with the use of backyard telescopes. It is about the same size of Jupiter and has a very small core. 10th discovered transiting planet. Its star was the most sun-like star with transiting planets at the time. One of 5 exoplanets whose water abundance was measured by Hubble in 2013 and found to be less abundant than expected, probably due to a layer of haze or dust blocking detection..
  • WASP-17 System (Dec 13) - An F6 type star which has the first exoplanet discovered in a retrograde orbit. Also the largest known exoplanet at 1.74 RJ and 0.5 JM. Discovered by transit. It may be "flipping" its star's axis. Orbit hints at a near planetary collision in its early years. One of the 6 out of 27 planets analyzed by the WASP team found to orbit backwards around its star in 2010. It was found to be abundant in CO, depleted in water and methane. It lacks a prominent stratosphere and has efficient day-night energy circulation. Had one of the strongest water detection of the 5 exoplanets contrasted by Hubble in 2013, though still less intense than expected, probably due to dust clouds or a haze blocking its detection.
  • WASP-19 System (Dec 13) - An F6 type star which has the first exoplanet discovered in a retrograde orbit. Also the largest known exoplanet at 1.74 RJ and 0.5 JM. Discovered by transit. It may be "flipping" its star's axis. Orbit hints at a near planetary collision in its early years. One of the 6 out of 27 planets analyzed by the WASP team found to orbit backwards around its star in 2010. It was found to be abundant in CO, depleted in water and methane. It lacks a prominent stratosphere and has efficient day-night energy circulation. Had one of the strongest water detection of the 5 exoplanets contrasted by Hubble in 2013, though still less intense than expected, probably due to dust clouds or a haze blocking its detection.
  • Kepler-90 System (Dec 13) - First ever seven planet system found by Kepler. System similarly somewhat structured like the Solar System (larger planets further away, smaller ones nearer, all in circular orbits). The primary star is similar to the Sun. Innermost c and b are presumably rocky Hot Earths (1.3 and 1.2 RE) and in 5:4 resonance. Three super Earths orbit at distances that span Mercury's varying distances and are in 1:2:4 resnance. Outermost two Jovians orbit at nearly exactly the same distance as Venus and Earth (Saturn and Jupiter sized planets) and likely in 5:8 resonance. Only the outermost planet is in the habitable zone. System had been scrutinized by Planet Hunters.
  • Kepler-88 System (Dec 13) - Brightest star to host a transiting planet. A blue star a 385 ly away. The transiting planet had the nickname "The King of Transit Variations", a Neptune sized planet that is half as dense (sub-Saturnian?). The second is the first planet discovered by the transit variation timing technique to be confirmed by dopplar spectrometry, and is a Jovian. The planets are near the 1:2 resonance.
  • Kepler-78 System (Nov 13) - System 400 ly awaycontaining a Hot Terran planet most similar Earth's mass (1.86 ME), diameter (1.16 RE), density (5.3 vs Earth's 5.5) and composition in 2013. This is the smallest planet whose size and mass have been measured, and is likely made of mostly rock and iron. Its star is 73% as large as the sun, and it orbits every 8.5 hours, has a temperature of more than 2000C than Earth, and likely has a molten surface. It has the tightest orbit confirmed. It will eventually be broken up by its star and vaporize. A mystery is how it got there, since if it had formed where it is now, it would now be inside the star, which used to be larger. A bright enough planet to be observed by the largest earth-based telescopes. The surface is so hot that shines brightly in visible light, which can be isolated from the star.
  • Kepler-69 System (Oct 13) - Kepler-69, also known as 2MASS J19330262+4452080 and KOI-172, is a sun-like star a little dimmer and about a billion years older. The inner planet b is a hot super-Earth. Initially, planet c was thought to be the most Earth-like planet detected, and heralded as the first Super-Earth found in the habitable zone by Kepler around a sunlike star (candidacy announced with a batch of 461 candidates found in 2013). It is now thought to be more likely interior to the habitable zone, a "Super Venus", is 70% larger than Earth, and has a Venus-like period of 242 days.
  • MOA-2011-BLG-293L System (Oct 13) - The first sun-like star in the Galactic Bulge (25,000ly away) found to have a planet in its habitable zone. The planet is 5 times Jupiter's mass and could potentially have habitable moons, which would need to have strong greenhouse cover to have liquid water since they're between the outer edge of the HZ and the snow line. Detected via microlensing.
  • PSO J318.5-22 System (Oct 13) - Free floating planet 80 light years away found in 2013. With an estimated mass of as low as 6 Jupiters, it is the first confirmed free floating planet which could not be a brown dwarf. Discovered by the Pan-STARRS wide field telescope in Hawaii. Probably a member of the Beta Pictoris Moving Group. Its mass, temperature, and color are much more similar to photographed planets found in star systems than other free floating objects, which are more like low mass L Brown Dwarves. Discovered during a Pan-STARRS 1 search for brown dwarves, in which it stood out as by far the reddest of the bunch. It is easier to study than imaged planets in star systems, since there is no glare from a star to interfere.
  • OTS 44 System (Oct 13) - Very low mass Brown Dwarf (12 MJ) or very massive free floating planet found to have a circumstellar disk and to still be accreting matter from the disk. Shows that it was formed the same way stars do. Located in the Chamaeleon star forming region over 500 ly away.
  • GD 61 System (Oct 13) - White Dwarf 170 ly away in Perseus found to have a debris disk that contains water ice, probable remnants of a water rich asteroid at least 55 miles across. This is the first time water has been detected associated with a rocky body outside the solar system. The star was originally 3 Solar Masses, but ended its Red Giant phase 200 MY ago and shed its outer layer, becoming a white dwarf. It then shred the asteroid with its condensed gravity. The object is estimated to be 26% water, similar to Ceres. This is evidence that the system may have had water bearing habital planets in the past. Similar debris around 12 other white dwarves had been found before, but not with water.
  • KOI-1843 System (Oct 13) - System containing one of four Kepler candidates that are 20 times closer to their star than Mercury is from the Sun. This planet could have a period of 4.2 hours, with surface temperature of 4,200F. Surfaces on these planets would be molten on the day time, while "rock snow" may fall on the night side. In order for a planet to survive at this distance and heat, it would have to be made of almost completely iron. Planet is actually inside its star's corona, which would expose it to lethal particles even on the night side, which would irradiate the surface and make it glow. Not confirmed, but astronomers are confident in its existence.
  • MOA-2011-BLG-322 System (Oct 13) - Red dwarf system in the galactic bulge with a giant planet. First planet found with microlensing from post-event data only, not in real time and without outside assistance. The planet is eight times as massive as Jupiter and at 4 AU, well beyond the snow line, but is too large for being as close as it is (which are thought to be 7 AU for a red dwarf).
  • KOI-211 System (Sep 13) - Contains a candidate planet which is thought to be a good candidate for having an habitable exomoon.
  • WISE J0647–6232 System (Sep 13) - One of the only Y1 class stars discovered, a "hotter" type of the coolest type of all brown dwarves and stars, and the most closely studied one. Discovered by WISE, it helps probe the boundaries between planets and stars. It is 28 ly away.
  • GJ 504 System (Aug 13) - Young (160 MYO) Sun-like star 57 ly away, visible to the naked eye in Virgo and put on star charts since 1598. Contains the smallest visually detected planet. Its about four times as massive as Jupiter and the same size, which has dubbed it as a second Jupiter. It is rather blue, with a dark magenta hugh, which is the second exoplanet whose color has been directly detected. Orbits beyond Neptune-like distances, challenging formation theories, since there's not enough material at this distance.
  • HD 52265 System (Jul 13) - Sunlike star 90 ly away in Monoceros with a planet. Star is 1.2 the Sun's radius, 1.3 its mass, and 2.5 BY old. The star is an ideal object of study for the interactions between stars and planets. One of the six extrasolar systems known to have planets to be first shown to also have a dust disk by Spitzer. Planet independently discovered by CORALIE and Carnegie teams and is at least a 1.09 MJ Jovian in a hot eccentric orbit. By analyzing sonic vibrations, oscillations in brightness, through astroseismology, the exact internal spin rate (12 days) and orientation of the star has been computed. Assuming the planet orbits along the star's equator, it's mass can be inferred to be 1.85 Jupiter's, calming some suspicions that it may be a brown dwarf.
  • OGLE-2012-BLG-0358 System (Jul 13) - A brown dwarf with 0.022 SM with a 1.9 MJ planet separated by 0.87 AU detected by a microlensing technique. One of the smallest planet candidates found around a Brown Dwarf, which is not likely itself to be a brown dwarf.
  • TW Hydrae System (Jul 13) - The nearest planet forming age star discovered with a protoplanetary disk and the nearest solar-type star with a gas-rich disk. Has a face on orientation as seen from Earth. Also the nearest classical T-Tauri star, 176 ly and 10 million years old. It is one of the oldest protoplanetary disks known, and if it ever would form planets, that time would be now. It was thought to have contained the youngest known exoplanet and first known one within its protoplanetary disk, but this was later chalked up to the rotation of starspots. Gives astronomers a glimpse of what the Solar System may have been like in its infancy and test planetary formation theories. Large amounts of water have been detected in this system. They occur in the outer parts of the system where comet formation is easy. It is formed from photodesorption, which liberates water molecules from rocks. They could provide enough water for a thousand Earths. This is the first time the amount of water could be measured. It was found to have enough mass for 50 Jupiters. Hubble found evidence of a planet forming further than any other known planet (twice as far as Pluto), thought to be 6-28 Earth's mass. Radio observations showed it with more details, including a gap at Earth-like distances where a super Earth may be forming. Theories say a planet would take over 2 billion years to form, but this star is too young. Planetary effects on the ring might be due to gas instead. The location of its CO snow line has been calculated and detected by observing where N2H+ is (30 AU), which is easily destroyed by CO gas, and abundant where it has frozen out. Principal member of the TW Hydrae Association, the closest youngest association to the sun with about 2 dozen stars, including some rogue planets.
  • Tau Bootis System (Jul 13) - Contains one of the first four discovered Hot Jupiters, which was one of the largest, hottest, closest in (P = 3.3d, a = 0.05) of the earlier discovered ones and the closest known at the time and is today one of the brightest planets known. It was immediately recognized to have tidally locked its star's rotation period. The star (also known as HR 5185) is nearby (50 ly), 1.5 times as massive as the sun. The planet does not transit its star, but is one of the brightest planets known. Several attempts to detect light were declared, but then refuted. In one such attempt by British astronomers, it was nicknamed the "Millenium Planet", and light was thought to have been detected (thought to be a first) by subtracting its star's light, giving an inclination of 29deg, mass of 8 MJ, and size of 1.8 RJ, and blue-green color. NASA's Spitzers later was thought to have detected it (again, a believed first, considering visually detected ones were planetary "candidates"). It was finally detected later by observing CO lines produced by reflected light through its atmosphere, yielding a mass of 6 MJ and inclination of 44F. Water was later also detected in its atmosphere in the near infra-red, the first for any non-transiting exo-planet. The temperature was unexpectedly found to be cooler at the upper levels, unlike many other hot Jupiters (strong ultraviolet radiation are thought to destroy the compounds responsible for creating thermal inversions in this case). The star was the first to have its magnetosphere detected (which envelopes the planet) and also the first known to magnetically flip like the Sun (flips once every Earth year, vs the Sun's 11 years). One of the first 20 exoplanet systems allowed to be given common names by the IAU, but the only one whose chosen name was rejected because it did not conform to IAU's naming standards.
  • Kepler-66 System (Jun 13) - One of two star systems found to have a mini-Neptune planet in the NGC6811 open cluster 6700 ly in Cygnus which has over 450 stars. These are the first this small to have been found in a once dense cluster and the first transiting ones. The stars are about 1 billion years old and planets around 16 day period and about 3 times Earth's radius.
  • Kepler-67 System (Jun 13) - One of two star systems found to have a mini-Neptune planet in the NGC6811 open cluster 6700 ly in Cygnus which has over 450 stars. These are the first this small to have been found in a once dense cluster and the first transiting ones. The stars are about 1 billion years old and planets around 16 day period and about 3 times Earth's radius.
  • Gliese 3470 System (Jun 13) - Star containing a transiting hot super Earth (0.036 au, 3.3 days) discovered by HARPS. The star is small, so the ratio between stellar and planet radii is large. Atmospheric analysis (the second for any super Earth) indicated that it was not covered by thick clouds. Its radius was found to be 4.3 that of Earth. Detailed observation of its atmosphere are expected to be able to tell if it was formed close to the star or further out depending on if volatiles are found. Since the atmosphere is not likely blocked by clouds, it is thought that a detailed atmospheric composition can be taken.
  • Oph IRS 48 System (Jun 13) - Star system with a detected dust trap. Such traps may be needed to form planets. It is surprisingly lop-sided, perhaps due to another star or planet ramming into the disk. It is thought to be a "comet factory".
  • KELT-6 System (Jun 13) - Star with a hot Saturn in a week long period discovered in the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope project by a doctoral student. It is a metal-poor cousin to HD 209458. A second planet may exist.
  • HD 95086 System (Jun 13) - A young star 10-17 MY old and 300 ly away a little more massive than the Sun which has a dust disk. It also has an imaged planet twice as far as Neptune and 4-5 times as massive as Jupiter (the least massive exoplanet imaged so far whose mass is reasonably well known). It has been determined to change position and may have formed where it is, or was flung out due to gravitation interactions. The planet was imaged by the same team that imaged the planet around brown dwarf 2M1207. The planet is 700C, cool enough for water vapor or methane to exist in its atmosphere, which may be detected later. It appears as a blue fuzzy blob.
  • Hat-P-2 System (May 13) - Hat-P-2b (aka HD 147506b) is the most massive measured exoplanet discovered that is clearly not a Brown Dwarf and the first transiting Hot Super Planet discovered. It is the first known transiting planet with a significantly eccentric orbit (2.8 to 9.3 million miles) and experiences significant seasons. It briefly held the record of furthest out transiting planet. It takes about a day to heat up and 4-5 days to cool down. Spitzer can measure different depths with different infrared wavelengths. Its temperature was mapped out. Its daytime is as high as 2400K, while its night is 1200K. It would have winds blowing thousands of miles per hour.
  • Kepler-76 System (May 13) - Star containing the first planet detected using the BEER detection technique (BEaming, Ellipsoidal, and Reflection/emission modulations), also called "Einstein's Planet". The planet was detected by observing the brightening of the star's as the planet moves towards us (and dims when moves away) due to "piling up" energy and relativistic light bending, bends the shape of the star to be more foot-ball shaped (brighter when we view the "football" side, dimmer when viewed edge on), and the reflected light of the planet. It was later found to partially transit the star. Planet has twice Jupiter's mass, 25% more is radius, orbits 0.028 AU away and has a period of 1.5 days. It has extremely fast jet-stream winds that offset its hot spot 10,000 miles from its starward pole (the second found planet with this effect and the first using optical light observations).
  • KOI-200 System (May 13) - Has a Kepler detected planet confirmed with the new HARPS-N spectograph. Hot Jupiter slightly larger and less massive than Jupiter in a week long eccentric orbit.
  • KOI-889 System (May 13) - Has a Kepler detected planet confirmed with the new HARPS-N spectograph. One of the most massive planets discovered, it has the same size as Jupiter but is ten times as massive. A hot Jupiter in an unusually eccentric 10 day period.
  • V1247 Orionis System (Apr 13) - Star system in the star forming region of Orion's belt. It has a circumstellar disk (probably Carbon based) with a gap in it (0.2 to 46 AU), but no apparent planets responsible for the gap. Instead, complex, perhaps clumpy dust was found in it. The star is very young (5 to 10 MYO) and twice as massive as the Sun.
  • Kepler-62 System (Apr 13) - A five planet system found by Kepler that contains two of the most Earth-like candidates. The star is somewhat cooler than the Sun (K class) and 1200 ly away in Lyra and older (7.4 BY). All planets were discovered at the same time. Planet b is 0.05AU and 1.3RE, c is 0.1AU and 0.54 RE, and d is 0.12 AU and 2.0 RE . Planet e is 60% larger than Earth and on the inner edge of the habitability zone (0.42 AU), and for a time had the highest Earth-Similarity Index. Planet f is 40% larger than Earth and in the middle of the habitable zone (0.7 AU). It is not known what effect not having a Jupiter-like planet would have on the habitability of this system.
  • Kepler-37 System (Apr 13) - Kepler-37 is also known as KOI-245 and UGA-1785, a nickname honoring the University of Georgia and officially authorized by NASA. This was the second official nickname sponsored by NASA and the first named after a University. It was named so because the light that is visible right now came from the star in 1801, the same year the Franklin College was founded and classes began at UGA. The innermost planet b was initially the smallest yet detected by Kepler (slightly larger than the Moon) and orbits once every 13 days. A planet this small was only detectible because of the extraordinarily stability of the parent star's (25% smaller than the Sun) light output. The second planet c is 35% further out and 75% the size of the Earth. The outermost planet is twice the Earth's size and 0.2 AU. The three planets are close to 5:8:15 mean motion resonance. The star is similar to the Sun and the smallest star measured by astroseismology (3/4 the Sun).
  • HD 40307 System (Apr 13) - A bright orange dwarf star with six known non-transiting super-Earth planets, including one of the most potentially habitable planets known. The star is about the same age as the Sun and is not magnetically active. The first three were announced with 45 other HARPS detected by Swiss team who discovered 51 Pegasus as part of the HARPs project. Early dynamic studies suggested these were smaller versions of Neptune, rather than larger versions of Earth. The next three were found by another team using a new method with existing data that threw out unreliable data. The inner 5 planets range from epistellar distances to half Mercury's distance. The outermost planet g orbits at Venus-like distances and is well within the habitable zone. It has a minimum of 7 times Earth's mass and receives 62% of the radiation Earth does. Liquid water could exist on the surface if it proves to be rocky. Unlike many other potentially habitable planets, it is not tidally locked. It is also by far the nearest potentially habitable planet around a sun-like star. It is a good future target for direct imaging. It was calculated that the planet might still have a magnetic field just barely strong enough to shield it from stellar radiation to protect its ocean.
  • Gliese 667 System (Apr 13) - MLO 4 is most commonly known as Gliese 667 and also known as HR 6426 and HD 156384. A triple star system 23 light years away that contains planets in Scorpius. It was first cataloged as a binary star by astronomers at the old Melbourne Observatory (MLO) in Australia in 1867, so it was cataloged as MLO 4. It consisting of binary of orange dwarf stars about 12 AU apart (ranging from 5 to 20 AU), around which a distant red Dwarf C orbits (ranging from 56 to 215 AU). Star C is a dynamically packed planetary system, with at up to 7 unconfirmed super-Earth planets. The system became the nearest multistar system with planets when planet b (innermost, largest), a temperate super Earth planet (5.7 ME, 0.05 AU) was discovered, and is at the very inner edge of the most generous habitable zone. It became the poster child for an announcement of 32 exoplanets discovered by European astronomers working on the HARPs project and brought the total number of exoplanets to near 400. Planet c was later discovered near the inner edge of least generous habitable zone and is about the same size, and receives the same amount of stellar energy as the Earth. It was calculated that it likely no longer has a magnetic field that could protect its oceans from stellar radiation. Planets f and e were confirmed and also orbit in the Hz further out. Planet d is just beyond he HZ. Outermost planet, g (2.4 ME) is likely a frozen planet and the only one beyond Mercury-like distances. The multi-planet solution is somewhat lax and complicated and may need further confirmation. An even more unconfirmed planet h may be between b and c. A fourth stellar companion D is not gravitationally bound to the system.
  • Kappa Corona Borealis System (Apr 13) - Kappa Corona Boeralis System
  • KOI-256 System (Apr 13) - A red dwarf star that goes around a white dwarf. The eclipsing white dwarf, which is the size of the Earth, mimicked a planet, and was at first thought to be a Jupiter sized object.
  • Kepler-11 System (Feb 11) - System containing 6 transiting planets around a sunlike star. The system is too far away to be confirmed with dopplar spectrometry. Instead, the planets are close enough together that they were confirmed with Transit Timing Variation, which offered measurements for their mass and densities and compositions. The innermost five are Super-Earths and Neptunians and are compact and within Mercury-like distances, and are b (0.09 AU, 4 ME), c (0.10 AU, 13.5 ME), d (0.16 AU, 6.1 ME), e (0.19 AU, 8.4 ME), f (0.25 AU, 2.3 ME). The planets have surprisingly low density for such small planets and not likely rocky. The inner ones are likely mixture of rock/ice or rock/gas, while the outer three are so large for their mass that they have to have a lot of hydrogen/helium. Their outer shells are probably fluffy, while cores are rock hard. The outermost giant g is just outside Mercury's distance (0.46 AU, 1 MJ) and doesn't perturb neighbors enough for its mass to be calculated. They are all coplanar and have low eccentricities, none are in resonance, and the system is more compact than any other known system. Systems discovery prompted a briefing of Kepler's overall status.
  • HAT-P-7 System (Feb 13) - F8 star also known as GSC 03547-01402 containing a transiting Hot Jupiter and an outer Jovian and a further out stellar companion. Transiting planet was used as a test for the Kepler mission (dubbed Kepler 2), which was able to detect the planet's occulation, as well as evidence of phases. Very little of its heat is transported to its night side, with its hottest spot being 1,300 F hotter than its coldest spot. Its atmosphere could be made up of exotic gases like Titanium Oxide. The Hubble Space Telescope made its 1,000,000th science observation on this planet in the attempt to detect water in its atmosphere. The planet may "lift" its stars surface up gravitationally, reducing its temperature a fraction of a degree in a darkened spot that lags a few hours behind the planet. It was found by a Japanese team to be orbiting backwards only a day after the first retrograde exoplanet WASP-17b was announced. The Japanese team inspected two stars nearby, measured their proper motions, and found that one of them was a member of the system. They also confirmed an outer radial velocity detected Jovian between the planet c and companion star B. Star B is suspected of tilting planet c's orbit, which in turn affected planet b's orbit and caused it to orbit backwards.
  • OGLE-2012-BLG-0026 System (Jan 13) - The second multi-planet system found with microlensing. A sunlike star with a Neptune-sized and Jupiter-sized planet beyond the snowline at 13,000 ly away. The planets were found with the help of amateur astronomers.
  • Kepler-32 System (Jan 13) - Red dwarf 915 ly away containing 5 transiting planets found by Kepler. Most are near Earth-sized in the habitable zone and orbit within 1/3 of Mercury's distance. The planets are in resonance (including 2:3), suggesting they migrated inwards. A study believes that this is a typical red dwarf and that there are thus 100 billions of planets in the Galaxy, and probably closer to 200 Billion. It took the number of planets in this system, figured out how many such systems Kepler would be able to detect, and extrapolated the number of planets in the galaxy. One of 11 multi-planet systems discovered by Kepler in Jan 2012. Confirmed using transit timing variation.
  • Planet Hunters 2 System (Jan 13) - 2nd confirmed Kepler planet identified by amateur astronomer detection team Planet Hunters. Contains a Jupiter mass planet in the habitable zone with prospects of a habitable moon.
  • Vega System (Jan 13) - Vega is also known as Alpha Lyrae, HR 7001, HD 172167, and Gl 721. It is the fifth brightest star in the night sky the second brightest star visible from the Northern hemisphere, and brightest star in the Northern Summer. It is part of the Summer Triangle. It was the first star to be photographed in 1850. It is a slightly bluish star (A0) with about 2.15 times the sun's mass and 2.7 its diameter. It was at first estimated to be about 200 Million Years old, but now thought to be closer to 700. It was found to be rotating so fast that the equator bulges significantly (23%) and is cooler at its poles. Nearby star with one of the first detected circumstellar disks. The star is pointed nearly pole-on from the Earth, so it is ideal for the observation of dust disks. There have been many studies suggesting planets are responsible for features found in the disk. Two bright "clumps" of dust were identified and thought to be due to the gravitational effects of an eccentric planet's orbit. It was surmised that this disk was caused by a collision between Pluto sized objects. A distinct asteroid belt and kuiper belt at distance scales that dwarf our Solar Systems was found to exist, which suggest outer planets clearing out the space in between. These planets cannot be detected at the present, but could be detected by the James Webb Space Telescope. One of 5 PICTURE-C targets selected for sub-orbital coronograph observation.
  • LP 475-242 System (Jan 13) - White Dwarf star in the Hyades cluster in Taurus. Planets in such a system are not expected because the tightly packed stars can disrupt them. Evidence of "pollution" by planetary remains was detected in its atmosphere nonetheless. This is the second time evidence of a planet was found for a star in a cluster similar to that which gave rise to the Sun.
  • 49 Ceti System (Jan 13) - An ancient star (40 MYO) surrounded by a young looking vast amount of dust. It is surrounded by a tremendous amount of gas which would usually disappear by 10 Million Years of age. This is thought to be rejuvenated by the collisions of comets, about one every six seconds for the past 10 Million Years. The belt is about as large as the Kuiper Belt, but is 4,000 times more massive. The comets contain more carbon monoxide than comets in our solar system, which is released when they collide. Direct evidence of a comet was discovered in 2013 along with 6 other systems, bringing the total number of known exocomets to 10.
  • 5 Vulpeculae System (Jan 13) - 5 Vulpeculae is also known as HD 182919. One of six young (about 5 Million Years old) hot A-class stars discovered to have an exo-comet, bringing the total up to 10.
  • 2 Andromedae System (Jan 13) - One of six young (about 5 Million Years old) hot A-class stars discovered to have an exo-comet, bringing the total up to 10.
  • HD 21620 System (Jan 13) - One of six young (about 5 Million Years old) hot A-class stars discovered to have an exo-comet, bringing the total up to 10.
  • HD 42111 System (Jan 13) - One of six young (about 5 Million Years old) hot A-class stars discovered to have an exo-comet, bringing the total up to 10.
  • HD 110411 System (Jan 13) - One of six young (about 5 Million Years old) hot A-class stars discovered to have an exo-comet, bringing the total up to 10.

Systems of 2012Edit

  • Qatar 1 System (Dec 12) - First exoplanet discovered at Qatar observation site. Contains a transiting hot Jupiter. In 2012, the public was invited to watch its light dip live as the planet transited its star.
  • ISO-Oph 102 System (Dec 12) - First brown dwarf found to have rocky grains in its dust belt, a precursor to rocky planets. Embedded in a stellar nursery 400 light years away. Scientists previously thought such a system would not be possible because they were thought to have too few dusty particles moving too quickly.
  • L1527 IRS System (Dec 12) - Youngest still-forming solar system found yet, about 300,000 years old. 450 light years away in the Taurus Cloud and is one of the closest examples of the earliest stages of star formation. Has one fifth the Sun's mass, but is believed to be able to grow to about the same mass as the Sun. Has enough material in its disk for seven Jupiters.
  • UX Tau System (Nov 12) - Of of the two youngest stars detected with evidence for a planet-forming circumstellar disk. Ring-like gaps where planets may be forming were detected, spanning from Mercury to Neptune like distances. Large and non-spherical dust particles were detected, evidence of planetary formation.
  • Kappa Andromedae System (Nov 12) - The most massive known star to have a planet around it. It has a large planet (13 Jupiter masses, possibly a Brown Dwarf) which was discovered visually through the infrared by SEEDS. It orbits twice as far as Neptune is from the Sun and is 2,600C. The star is a naked eyes star, is 170 light years away, and is about 30 Million years old.
  • Abell 30 System (Nov 12) -A planetary nebula whose star exploded 12,500 years ago. The outer material was sluffed off. 850 years ago, its star came back to life for about 20 years and coughed out knots of helium and carbon-rich material. A similar fate could happen to the Solar System in the future.
  • CFBDSIR 2149 System (Nov 12) - The first rogue planet confirmed not orbiting a star, and the first as small as a planet and not too distant (100 ly). Others have been found much further away, but it is difficult in estimating their mass and thus distinguish them from brown dwarves. About as large as Jupiter and 4-7 times as. Resides about 4 light years from the nearest star. Detected by a Montreal group in the infrared because it is still warm, about 400C. It is traveling with the AB Doradus group, giving astronomers a hypothesis that it may be 50-120 Million Years old. It is not known if it was expelled from one of the stars in the group, or if it formed without a parent star.
  • Planet Hunters 1 System (Oct 12) - The first transiting circumbinary planet found around a four star system. This is the first planet found by amateur astronomers on PlanetHunters.org from Kepler data to be confirmed. A Neptune-sized planet orbiting a sun-like star and a red dwarf every 137 days. Another sunlike star and red dwarf pair is 900 AU away.
  • KOI 500 System (Oct 12) - Most tightly packed star system found so far. Contains five transiting planets within 0.1 AU. The innermost planet goes around its star in a day, and the outermost in 10 days.
  • KOI 94 System (Oct 12) - First planetary system found with two planets overlapping as they transit their star. It appears that KOI-94.03 passed in front of the star and then the innermost candidate KOI-94.01 passed between them. A term "overlapping double transit" may be used to describe this event.
  • Nebula in Galaxy Center (Sep 12) - A cloud of Hydrogen and Helium plunging towards the galaxy center. Thought to be the remnants of a planetary system around an unseen star. The star was probably once a part of ring of stars that contains bright O-type stars. The star was ejected towards the galaxy's central black hole and its disk is in the process of being torn apart.
  • Gliese 163 System (Sep 12) - A nearby red dwarf system 50 light years containing three planets, including one potentially habitable one. The innermost planet b is a Hot Jovian with a third of Jupiter's mass (have some data discrepancy, Extrasolar Planet Encyclopedia says 0.35 Jupiter Mass, 0.6 day period, Wikipedia says 9 days. The latter is more likely since it's not acknowledged as a Hot Jupiter around a Red Dwarf.). The potentially habitable planet c is 7 Earth masses large and receives 30-40% more radiation than the Earth does, on the inner edge of the habitability zone. It is thought to be unlikely that any runaway greenhouse gas would heat it up beyond habitability. It is the fifth most similar exoplanet of the six known potentially habitable exoplanets known at the time of its discovery. Likely too hot for most organisms, but some extremophiles may flourish on it. Its composition is unknown, but it is thought to be a mixture of rock and ice. There's a possibility of an outermost planet with 20 times Earth's mass much further out with a period of 669 days.
  • Kepler-47 System (Aug 12) - The first multiplanet circumbinary star system found. Contains a yellow and red dwarf. The inner planet has 3 times Earth's radius and a period of 49 days. This planet is thought to have a thick blanket of methane haze around it. It is the smallest known transiting circumbinary planet. The outer planet is the furthest known transiting exoplanet with a period of 303 days. It is a Uranus-sized planet in the habitable zone. The stars go around each other once every week, causing the planet to experience several percentages of difference in temperature. Assuming a 24 hour day, they would rise and set about 30 minutes after each other, and can also be seen regularly eclipsing each other. A moon around this planet could be habitable. This system challenges planetary system formation theories. Planet c, unlike other known circumbinary planets, orbits far enough out to not need to have formed out further than it is today.
  • HIP 56948 System (Aug 12) - A star 200ly away whose chemical signature is nearly identical to the Sun, much more so than other nearby stars. Has a Lithium level more similar to the Sun than other Sun-like stars. No planet has been detected, but it is thought to be a prime candidate for a planet.
  • Barnard's Star System (Aug 12) - Barnard's Star is also known as Gliese 699 and informally as Proxima Ophiuchi. Named for the astronomer E. E. Barnard, who discovered it in 1916 and was the first to measure its proper motion. Second closest star system to the Sun and the one with the highest proper motion in the sky - due to its rapid approach to the Sun. Will get as close as 3.8 ly away in 12,000 years. A red dwarf once thought to have a planet around it found due to radial velocity method. Since disproven. A potential target for the 1970's Project Daedelus. It has been determined definitively that no Earth-sized planets orbit in its habitable zone. The nearest system without known planets. The star is very ancient 11-12 Billion Years Old, and is the nearest inactive Red Dwarf Star. It may take another 40 Billion Years before it cools to become a Black Dwarf. Astronomers were surprised to discover that it was a flare star in 2003, and dubbed it V2500 Ophiuchi.
  • BD+48 740 System (Aug 12) - A red giant star 1.5 stellar masses inflated to about 1/6th Mercury's distance. It appears heavier in lithium than average, which indicates it may have swallowed a Hot Jupiter. It also may contain a 1.6 MJ planet that circles the star at Mars-like distances in one of the most elongated orbits found every 771 days, evidence of a planetary disruption.
  • Kepler-30 System (Jul 12) - First star system other than the solar system confirmed to have planets orbiting in the same plane as the star's rotation. Has three transiting planets found to transit the same star spots repeatedly, showing that they are aligned. This helps confirm the planetary formation theory which had some doubt on it cast due to discovery of many hot Jupiters orbiting at great angles or even retrograde with respect to their stars' rotations. Two of the planets are larger than Jupiter and the other is a super-Earth. One of 11 multi-planet systems discovered by Kepler in Jan 2012. Confirmed using transit timing variation. Includes a pair of planets in 1:2 resonance. Lies 10,000 light years away.
  • HD 157728 System (Jul 12) - Target star of a new detecting system Project 1640 that creates "dark holes" on images of stars which will some day allow planets to be found.
  • TYC 8241 2652 System (Jul 12) - A star with a massive dust disk that disappeared overnight, which has not been observed in any other star. A young solar analog star 450 ly in Centaurus. The disk was first observed in 1983, started to dim in 2009, and emissions from the disk were completely gone by 2010 and confirmed as still gone in 2012. The dust probably appeared as a result of a collision, but the reason for its disappearance is unknown (there appears to be no stellar activity that would have destroyed the disk). The disk had extended from the star to a Mercury-like orbit. Planets are likely forming in the system, and the formation of a rocky planet could be responsible.
  • Kepler-36 System (Jun 12) - A star with two planets that get extremely close to each other. The inner planet b is a rocky super Earth at 0.115 AU, while the outer c is a mini Neptunian at 0.128 AU. C gets close enough to b that it can appear twice as large as the full moon. Their gravitational effects are large, causing large transit timing variations. They are in near 7:6 resonance. They approach each other every 97 days. The tidal effects are much greater than the Moon's on Earth, and might trigger volcanism. One question is if they formed on opposite sides of the snow line and how they might have drifted so close together. The pair have the largest density contrast of any measured system, with b being a rocky planet 8 times as dense as c. It's iron core likely has 30 percent of its mass, surrounded an atmosphere of % water and no more than 15% water. C may also have a rocky core, but surrounded by a much larger atmosphere of Hydrogen and Helium.
  • KELT-1 System (Jun 12) - Contains the first low mass companion discovered by the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope, which has a lens about as powerful as a high end digital camera. The planet or brown dwarf is 27 times the mass of Jupiter and has tidally locked its red dwarf parent star to its orbit, which takes 29 days. It would be the closest in known brown dwarf of the 8 known transiting brown dwarfs. It is thought that one day, the brown dwarf will collide with the star due to tidal forces like many other epistellar brown dwarfs. This would be the first example of an inflated brown dwarf. It appears to have been jostled in the past by an unseen distant stellar companion. The star is 825 ly from Earth.
  • KELT-2 System (Jun 12) - Contains the first definitive planet found by the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope. It is 360 ly away in Auriga. The planet is 30% larger than Jupiter and has 50% more mass. The parent star is unusually bright for one with a Hot Jupiter, and can be detected with binoculars. This allowed the planet's atmosphere to be detected during a transit. The planet orbits the larger of two stars in a binary, which is slightly bigger than the Sun.
  • Kepler-16 System (Jun 12) - The first confirmed binary star found to have a planet revolving around both stars (a circumbinary planet, the previous one was uncertain and detected using astrometry), located 200 ly away. It is often compared to the Tattoine of Star Wars. It is a Saturn sized world thought to be of rocky and gaseous composition. It is at Venus-like distance from the center of gravity, but because the stars are so dim (70% SM and 20% SM), lies at the outermost portion of the habitable zone. A moon could potentially be habitable. The stars orbit each other every 41 days.
  • KIC 12557548 System (May 12) - System with a Kepler candidate planet 1500ly away. The amount of light blocked by this 15 hour period object appears to be variable, possibly indicating the planet could be rather cometary in nature. Models of its star at varying intensities match the observations. The heat would be capable of melting surface rocks and blowing them off with high winds. The planet would be Mercury-sized and could be completely vaporized in 200 Million Years. This planet could foreshadow the future of Mercury.
  • Kepler-46 System (May 12) - System previously known as KOI-872. System that has three planets, the latter two which were discovered while searching for a moon around the first one with the HEK project (Hunt for Exomoons with Kepler). The motion of the first planet (34 day period) was being affected by the second one and detected using Transit Timing Variation technique. The second planet is Saturn sized in a 57 day orbit. A third hidden planet identified may be an interior Super-Earth with an 8 day period.
  • PG0843+516 System (May 12) - One of four white dwarf stars observed to have dusty debris disk around it with the chemical signatures of Earth-like materials. This star has a significantly larger amounts of material found in the Earth's core, such as nickel, iron, and sulfur, suggesting it did not come from asteroid collision. It instead suggests that planets that survived its Red Giant phase later collided after it lost mass during its planetary nebulae stage. The debris disk is being swallowed up by the star.
  • Kepler-70 System (May 12) - A hot class B sub-dwarf star (also called KIC 05807616 and KOI 55, 0.5 SM, 0.2 SR, passed through red giant phase 18.4 MYA, will later retract to become a white dwarf) that has completed it expansion phase and retracted. Kepler detected two confirmed planets at epistellar distances that apparently survived the expansion in-tact. The first theory is that these are the cores of two giant planets that survived the expansion and retraction of the star, as terrestrial planets disintegrated. Engulfing planets like these may have hastened the loss of the star's outer layers and may be the only way of producing a star of this type. A newer theory is that these planets could be the remnants of a single gas giant planet that was torn apart into smaller planets during the stars expansion. This planet could have stripped away the outer layers of the star and prevented it from engulfing it. A third candidate planet between the other two could also be a remnant, and more remnants could be found. The planets were not detected using transit, but rather their reflected light may be enhancing the star's brightness, which also varies over time. The planets would have diameters of 76% and 87% that of Earth if they are rocky.
  • HP 56948 System (Apr 12) - A star that has nearly exactly the same mass, temperature, and chemical composition of the Sun at 200 ly away. No close in planets have been detected, but searches for other planets continue.
  • HD 10180 System (Apr 12) - A sun-like star (7.8 BYO) 127 ly away that contains at least 7 planets, possibly nine, detected via radial velocity. Has an Earth-sized planet (b, 1 day period), five Neptunians (6 to 600 day periods, the further out one in the habitable zone), and a outer Jovian (h, 2300 day period). The five Neptunians were discovered first, while the inner and outer planets were unconfirmed for a while. The planets were named in the order they were from the star, including the ones that were unconfirmed at the time. When these planets were confirmed, two more likely rocky super-Earths candidates were added in between the orbits of the Neptunians. If confirmed, this would be the largest known planetary system. None of the planets are in resonance, though some are near.
  • KOI-463 System (Apr 12) - One of three red dwarfs identified by Cornell astronomers as having an Earth-like planet candidate in the habitable zone.
  • KOI-812 System (Apr 12) - Has a Kepler detected planet confirmed with the new HARPS-N spectograph. One of the most massive planets discovered, it has the same size as Jupiter but is ten times as massive. A hot Jupiter in an unusually eccentric 10 day period.
  • KOI-854 System (Apr 12) - One of three red dwarfs identified by Cornell astronomers as having an Earth-like planet candidate in the habitable zone.
  • HIP 11952 System (Mar 12) - The most ancient known star to have planets, 375 ly away in Cetus. Star formed 13 BYA. Two planets, one in a 7 day period, another in a 290 day period exist. The star consists of little other than Hydrogen and Helium, and it is a puzzle how the planets could have formed without heavier elements.
  • HD 168723 System (Mar 12) - A star that was targeted by Star Combs early on. A flux standard star used in calibration.
  • Iota Horologii System (Feb 12) - Iota Horologii is a bright yellow dwarf star, also known as HR 810. Contains the first planet discovered with an ESA instrument. This is an Eccentric Jupiter (over twice Jupiter's mass) and orbits almost as far as the Earth does from the Sun. Because of the greater luminosity of its star (50% more than the Sun), this planet is also considered a Hot Jovian. Stability analysis indicates that Earth-sized trojan planets could exist around this planet's orbit. A dust disk was announced around this star in 2000, but was later retracted as being due to an instrument defect. Another planet was also proposed, but retracted. System has a low C/O ratio like the Solar System.
  • 94 Ceti System (Feb 12) - A yellow water cloud Jovian around a hot yellow dwarf star. Has a low C/O ratio like the solar system.
  • 16 Cygni System (Feb 12) - A hierarchical triple star system. Has one of the first highly eccentric Jovians discovered around the "outer" star B. Recent calculations show that a short period planet could exist around the same star, but none up to as large as Neptune could exist elsewhere. Kepler has performed astroseismology on stars A and B.
  • Kepler-35 System (Feb 12) - One of two binary systems found to have planets near one of the star's habitable zones. Kepler-35b weighs in at about an eighth of Jupiter's mass. It takes 131 days to travel around its parent pair, which are both slightly smaller than the sun. The system is 5,400 light-years from Earth.
  • Kepler-33 System (Feb 12) - One of 11 multi-planet systems discovered by Kepler in Jan 2012. Has the most amount of planets of this batch, 5, ranging from 1.5 to 5 EM, all within the orbit of Mercury. Confirmed using transit timing variation. Includes a pair of planets in 1:2 resonance.
  • Kepler-42 System (Jan 12) - Nearby Red Dwarf Kepler star Kepler-42 is also known as KOI-961. Has three transiting planets in torch orbits smaller than the Earth, including the smallest yet measured at the time of discovery. Planets are is c (~1.9 ME, 0.72 RE), b (~2.8 ME, 0.78 RE), and d (~0.95 ME, 0.57 RE, Earth-massed but Mars-sized). The planets have not been detected with dopplar spectrometry yet, so the masses and densities aren't known. Transits were detected independently and it is very unlikely the planets are not there. Nicknamed "Planets of the Apps" after a British amateur astronomer who alerted astronomers of the system's significance. The star was compared to Barnard's Star, in that they are both nearby and old. Comparison to this well known star assisted in the system's study. The system is comparable in scope to the Jovian system, more so than any other system. Outer Space Message Center lists this as one of the targets laser messages can get sent to.
  • SPH10066540 System (Jan 12) - SPH10066540 is a star 600 to 3000ly away with a planet discovered independently by British amateur astronomers Chris Holmes and Lee Threapleton using Kepler data on the Planet Hunters web site after the public was solicited to help with the search on the BBC program Stargazing Live. It is thought to be gaseous and Neptune-sized with a 90 day period. The planet is suggested to be named Threapleton Holmes B once scientists have confirmed its authenticity.
  • 1SWASP J140747.93-394542.6 System (Jan 12) - Star 140 ly away with possibly the first planet found with rings. The star is similar in size to the Sun, but much younger, at 16 MYO. The planet's transit fluctuated unusually, pointing to a ring system of four defined rings that extends 60 MKm from the planet, with a mass of eight times Earth's moon. 95% of the light was blocked during the thickest transit of the rings. Moons could be forming in this ring system. The inner solar system could have looked like this in its first 10s of Millions of years. Might be a brown dwarf or low mass red dwarf with a planetary disk instead. Further radial velocity measurements will be needed to confirm its mass and nature.
  • KOI-817 System (Jan 12) - Star system with the first SETI signal detected by Kepler from a candidate planet. The signal was actually caused by Earth orbiting satellites.

Systems of 2011Edit

See also Systems of 2011.

  • Kepler-20 System (Dec 11) - An unusual 5 planet system (b-e-c-f-d) discovered by the Kepler spacecraft containing 3 Neptune-sized objects (b, c, d) and 2 Earth-sized objects (e, f), which are in alternating distances from the star, with the outermost one orbiting only in 78 days. Planet f has nearly the identical radius as Earth (1.03 RE), while planet e is the first sub-Earth planet (0.87 RE) discovered around a normal star, and were the smallest discovered yet at the time.
  • KOI 736 System (Dec 11) - One of the 48 potentially habitable exoplanet Kepler candidates known in 2011, unconfirmed. It was judged to be the planet most similar to Earth in the Habitable Zone Index in 2011. It is 1,750 light years away and has an estimated surface temperature of 86F. One of the initial 16 to have been rendered by the Scientific Exoplanet Renderer.
  • KOI 255 System (Dec 11) - One of the 48 potentially habitable exoplanet Kepler candidates known in 2011, unconfirmed. Judged most likely to support life in the Habitable Zone Index. It is a warm super-Earth 1,169 light years away with a surface temperature of 86F. One of the initial 16 to have been rendered by the Scientific Exoplanet Renderer.
  • Kepler-21 System (Dec 11) - One of the brightest systems in Kepler's field of vision (though not quite visible to the naked eye, the nearest Kepler system with a confirmed planet), also known as HD 179070, located 352 light years away. Kepler detected a 10 Earth mass and 1.6 Earth radii hot super-Earth orbiting 10 times nearer than Mercury does the Sun. Its temperature is about 2,960F.
  • Gliese 370 System (Dec 11) - Also known as HD 85512, contains the second of three confirmed potentially habitable planet as of 2011. One of over 50 exoplanets and 16 Super-Earths discovered by HARPS at the ESO using the radial velocity method. It is about 3.6 Earth Masses at the inner edge of the habitable zone. The smallest exoplanet yet found potentially in the habitable zone when discovered. It could be between 85 to 120F. It could be habitable if it exhibited more than 50% cloud cover. It was rendered by the Scientific Exoplanet Renderer.
  • MOA266 System (Nov 11) - Full name is MOA-2009-BLG-226L. Contains a planet detected with microlensing. It was the first large planet discovered beyond the snow line that lacks a dense atmosphere.
  • KOI-254 System (Nov 11) - The first Red Dwarf confirmed to have a true Hot Jupiter. This challenges current planetary formation theories.
  • Eta Corvi System (Oct 11) - A Billion year old system containing two dust belts perhaps experiencing a phase of heavy bombardment (thought to be caused by migration outwards of outer planets disrupting the Kuiper belt). One is interpreted as the result of the collision of a giant comet and a rocky planet, or with another comet. Another is a Kuiper-belt like structure, which may be the source of the comets.
  • WD 0806-661 System (Oct 11) - A white dwarf that has a companion imaged at 130arcseconds, or 2500 AU apart. This companion is about 6-9 Jupiter masses, making it either a large planet or small Y-class brown dwarf. The discoverers argue for the latter. The object must have a very cool surface though, perhaps 80 to 160F.
  • SAO 206462 System (Oct 11) - The first star with spiral arms seen in its dust disks. These could be signs of two planets tugging at material, though other processes could also explain them. The arms extend out to twice that of Pluto's orbit. These structures have been predicted in simulations before, but this is the first time it was seen in a photograph. It is a short-lived phase of star formation and thus very rare.
  • Kepler-18 System (Oct 11) - An unusual triple planet system around a very sun-like star discovered by Kepler. It contains a super-Earth and two outer Hot Neptunes which are in 1:2 resonance with each other. The outer two planets were verified via their gravitational interaction with each other, while the inner planet was only validated by ruling out most of the other things it could possibly be.
  • KIC 10905746 System (Sep 11) - A system 500 light years away that may contain a candidate SuperEarth planet 2.5 times larger than earth. It is one of the first two Kepler observed systems possibly detected by amateur astronomers using the Planet Hunters' Zooniverse project.
  • KIC 6185331 System (Sep 11) - A system 3,000 light years away that may contain a candidate super-Earth 8 times larger than Earth. It is one of the first two Kepler observed systems possibly detected by amateur astronomers using the Planet Hunters' Zooniverse project.
  • CoRoT-2 System (Sep 11) - A younger version of the Sun with a transiting Inflated Hot Super Jupiter 880ly away. This planet has been used to identify star spots on its surface. It was found to be blasted with x-rays 100,000 times more powerful than the Earth is by the Sun, which is blasting 5 million tons of matter of the planet into space every second. The planet is unusually inflated for its distance. The system is believed to be 100 and 300 Million years old, young, but fully formed. The planet is 3 times as massive as Jupiter and orbits the planet about 10 Earth-Moon distances away. Its proximity may be speeding up its star, keeping its magnetic field active, and maintaining its volatility.
  • 2MASS 2139 System (Sep 11) - Brown dwarf (spectral type T1.5) which had a large storm observed on it 47 light years away. Over a course of several hours, the largest variation in brightness (30%) for a brown dwarf was observed. The best explanation is that large bright and dark patches were being rotated into view. Brown dwarfs are thought to have similar atmospheric characteristics to giant planets. Full name is 2MASS J21392676+0220226.
  • Kepler-19 System (Sep 11) - System with two exoplanets discovered by Kepler, 690ly away. Planet b is a small Neptunian about 20 Earth masses and 2 Earth radii. It takes about 9 days to go around its star and has a surface temperature of 480C. Outer Planet c was discovered based on differences in transit timing (5 minutes) that it caused for Planet b. It is tilted relative to 'b', so it itself never transits. It is not massive enough to have its mass estimated. It could be a rocky planet on a circular 5-day orbit or a gas giant in an oblong 100 day orbit. First TTV detected planet confirmed that doesn't transit due to the fact that Kepler continuously observes the planet's transits, rather than stitches together several observations. Future observations with HARPs using radial velocity method will be used to pinpoint planet c's mass.
  • PSR J1719-1438 System (Aug 11) - A millisecond pulsar containing a planet composed of a heavy elements such as Carbon and Oxygen and likely has a diamond-like crystalline structure. The planet is the compressed remnants of a white dwarf star with 99% of its massed ripped away. Orbits only once every 2 hours (closer than the radius of the Sun).
  • PG1225-079 System (Aug 11) - White Dwarf that contains evidence of an absorbed dwarf planet. It contains magnesium, iron, and nickel in Earth-like ratios contaminates in its mostly Helium atmosphere. Some contaminants such as Calcium are two or three times greater than Earth.
  • HS2253+8023 System (Aug 11) - White Dwarf with evidence that it has absorbed an Earth-like dwarf planet formed in about the same region that the Earth was formed. Contaminents are 85% oxygen, magnesium, silicon, and iron (very Earthlike).
  • NLTT 43806 System (Aug 11) - White Dwarf with evidence of a planetary collision similar in scale to a Mars-like planet striking an Earth-like planet, similar to the collision thought to create the Moon. The star is unique in that it is the only white dwarf with very high Aluminum abundance and relatively low Iron abundance. Its theorized that Aluminum, common in the outer parts of a planet, was knocked off during the collision and got swallowed by the star, while the Iron core remained in tact. The collision would have occurred very recently 50 million years ago.
  • GSC 03549-02811 System (Aug 11) - Contains TrES-2, which was the most massive nearby transiting planet until the discovery of Hat-P-2 b. It has a large radius for a planet not considered inflated. A large ground-based telescope method of observation was pioneered on this planet. Since its in Keplar's field of view, it was observed by it as a test subject and dubbed Kepler1b. A second planet is possibly responsible for fluctuations in the first's inclination. Kepler determined that it is the darkest known planet, blacker than coal, due to its extremely low dimming and brightening detected during transits. It would appear black except for some faint red tinge. This conflicts with current theories, which thought that a Hot Jupiter could only get as dark as Mercury. It appears that the planet is too hot for reflective clouds to form and instead its atmosphere contains light-absorbing chemicals. An off-the-cuff nickname Erebus (Greek god of darkness) has been suggested. It was also the first planet whose phases have been detected.
  • CoRoT-24 System (Jun 11) - Contains one of the 10 new exoplanets announced by CoRoT team in June 2011. Contains the only planet of the bunch slightly smaller than Saturn.
  • CoRoT-22 System (Jun 11) - Contains one of the 10 new exoplanets announced by CoRoT team in June 2011. Contains the only planet of the bunch slightly smaller than Saturn.
  • CoRoT-20 System (Jun 11) - Contains a transiting Hot Jupiter, one of the 10 new exoplanets announced by CoRoT team in June 2011. One of two planets with highly elongated found in the batch, and will challenge theorists on how it survives on such an orbit.
  • CoRoT-18 System (Jun 11) - Contains a hot Jupiter, one of the 10 new exoplanets announced by CoRoT team in June 2011. The host star is only 600 Million years old, the youngest host star in the batch.
  • CoRoT-17 System (Jun 11) - Contains a hot Jupiter, one of the 10 new exoplanets announced by CoRoT team in June 2011. The star is 10 Billion years old - twice that of the Sun - and the oldest host-star in the batch.
  • CoRoT-16 System (Jun 11) - Contains a transiting Hot Jupiter, one of the 10 new exoplanets announced by CoRoT team in June 2011. One of two planets with highly elongated found in the batch, and will challenge theorists on how it survives on such an orbit.
  • Kepler-10 System (May 11) - An old sun-like star with a hot rocky Super-Earth (b) and a mega-Earth (c) in a Mercury like orbit. B is an airless Super-Earth covered in an ocean of magma with a high density, likely metallic. Its high density means its almost entirely composed of Silicate and metals. Had smallest measured diameter of any exoplanet (40% more than Earth, 4.5 Earth's mass, and nicknamed Vulcan by scientists) and is the first rocky exoplanet found by Kepler. Its daytime temperature is 1,500C, well over the melting point of Silicate and nearly that of Iron. The planet is glowing hot and lava pieces fly away from it like a cometary tail. Planet is similar to Corot-7b, but is around a more quiet star, making measurements more reliable, and thus this planet is the first certainly rocky planet discovered. Has circular orbit, so not likely a super-Io like that planet, instead considered a super-Mercury. Planet c was the first mega-Earth discovered and needed to be confirmed with the Spitzer telescope. Its diameter is 2.3 that of Earth and a mass of 17 that of Earth. It was thought rocky planets could get that big without absorbing enough gasses to make them gas giants. It is thought the planet never had an atmosphere because it is large enough to have kept it.
  • Gliese 3483 System (Apr 11) - A star system containing a white dwarf 62% as massive as the sun. A planet or brown dwarf has been visually detected in a distant orbit. It is too small (6-10 Jupiter masses) to likely be a brown dwarf, but may be too far out (2,500 AU) to have formed like a planet (would have been 700 AU before star expanded).
  • KOI 326 System (Mar 11) - Red dwarf system containing what was at first thought the most Earth-like Kepler candidate planet, KOI 326.01. Thought to have average temperature less than the boiling point and a mass a big or smaller than the Earth, but was later found to be somewhat warmer and larger.
  • KOI 730 System (Mar 11) - Possible four-planet Kepler candidate system containing two planets that share an orbit, all planets being locked 8:6:4:3 orbital resonances. It was initially thought they were in a 6-4-4-3 resonance, with two planets sharing an orbit, presumably permanently 120 degrees apart. This had sparked comparisons with the theoretical Theia, which was thought to share Earth's orbit, then collided with it to form the moon.
  • AB Aurigae System (Feb 11) - Well studied young star (only 1 million years old). An image was produced that showed a tell tale arch in the debris of a protoplanet or proto-brown dwarf.
  • T Chamaeleontis System (Feb 11) - A distant star that contains possibly the first exoplanet visually detected that is still in the process of clearing out the gas in its orbit. Its presence was first suggested by a narrow gap in a debris disk and then a small object was found in the gap. Future observations will determine if it is a planet or brown dwarf.
  • Upsilon Andromedae System (Feb 11) - Titawin (Upsilon Andromeadae) is a nearby (44 ly) multi-star system which is the first multiplanet system found around a main sequence star or a multi-star system. The main star around which the planets orbit is a yellow-white star somewhat younger than the sun and its companion is a red dwarf in a wide orbit. It is one of the most well studied non-transiting star systems. Roaster Saffar (b, 0.05 au, 0.62 MJ, e=0.013, and the nearest true Hot Jupiter to Earth) is nicknamed the Fire and Ice Planet because it is hot on one side and cold on the other. The hottest parts of the planet are near the trailing side terminator at the equator, due to high velocity winds transporting heat to the night side. This is 80deg offset from the starward pole and a much greater offset than other observed hot Jupiters. This threw astronomers off and caused them to doubt the wind-theory, though later observations of other planets have shown that winds indeed can travel fast enough to cause this. Stability studies and observations suggest its diameter is 1.8 DJ, rather large for a planet its age. The middle planets Samh (c, 0.83 au, 1.8 MJ, initially thought to possibly be a brown dwarf star, e=0.224) and Majriti (d, 2.5 au, 10.2 MJ, e=0.26) have had their inclinations and masses determined with astrometry, the first determination of relative inclinations of exoplanets. They are very eccentric and highly inclined to each other (30 deg). Planet scattering was thought to be a source until the outermost planet was discovered. This is planet e (5.2 au, 1.05 MJ, e = 0.005), which is the most Jupiter-like exoplanet known, and is in 3:1 resonance with planet d. Planet c is in the habitable zone, though any habitable moons would see drastic temperature swings. The star appears to have no Kuiper-belt like disc, perhaps due to its companion star sweeping away this material. One of the first 20 exoplanet systems allowed to be given common names by the IAU. The star is named after an important city in Morocco that bridged the Spanish and Arab worlds. The planets are named after famous Andalusian astronomers.
  • KOI 314 System (Feb 11) - Potentially multi-planet system containing the second most Earth-like Kepler candidate planet as of Feb 2011, KOI 314.02, which is three times the diameter of the Earth and in the near-habitable zone.
  • WASP-33 System (Jan 11) - Aka HD 15082, this is the only known Delta Scuti variable star (kA5 hA8 mF4) known to host a planet. The star is much hotter than the Sun and 50% more massive. The planet is a retrograde inflated hot super Jupiter and is by far hottest measured exoplanet (3150C), 900C hotter than WASP-12b, and hotter than some red dwarf stars. It is one of the 6 out of 27 planets analyzed by the WASP team found to orbit backwards around its star in 2010. The planet may be responsible for the star's pulsations.

Systems of 2010Edit

See Systems of 2010
  • HIP 13044 System (Nov 10) - The first found planetary system that originated from another galaxy and lies 2000 ly away in the constellation Fornax. The star is slightly less massive than the sun and is near the end of its life. It has already passed through the Red Giant phase, but may soon envelope its epistellar giant planet during its next expansion. This is the only star at such a stage known to have a planet and may have swallowed smaller planets. Planet b must have originated further away from the star in order to have survived the Red Giant phase of the star and was then pulled inward to its present location. The star is from the Helmi stream, which is a remnant of a dwarf galaxy enveloped by the Milky Way 6 to 9 Billion years ago. It is the first planet discovered around a star that is both very old and very metal poor, the poorest star known so far with a planet, showing that planets could form around such stars, probably due to gravitational collapse rather than core accretion. It may be made completely of Hydrogen and Helium with no core. It was discovered just prior to the 500th exoplanet.
  • NN Serpentis System (Oct 10) - Old binary star system with two planets. The binary star consists of a white dwarf and a red dwarf star that orbit each other very closely and transit each other. Variations in transit times have confirmed that two planets, inner planet (1.6 MJ, 7.7 years) and outer planet (6.6 MJ, 15.5 years) in 1:2 resonance (?), orbit both stars. A red, white, and two colored objects all around reminds astronomers of a game of Snooker. The stars originally orbited each other every two years. After the primary star became a Red Giant, it swelled up and enveloped the Red Dwarf in its outer envelope. This friction caused the primary star to lose 75% of its mass and the stars were drawn inwards to form a tight binary. The primary star then became a white dwarf star about a million years ago. The gravity lost by this star might have destabilized any planets orbiting them. It's possible that the planets were formed after the primary star sluffed off much of its mass. An earlier planet was announced, but disproven.
  • HR 7162 System (Oct 10) - Binary star system (aka HD 176051) with a period of about 61 years consisting of a 1.07 and 0.7 mass stars. Astrometry has discovered a planet (nicknamed Inrakluk by its discoverers) around one of these stars (one of many such claims to be first planet discovered with this technique), though it is not certain which star it is orbiting. If it is orbiting the smaller star, it is 1.5 MJ and 1.76 AU, while if it is orbiting the larger one, it is 2.26 MJ and 2.02 AU. Its existence presents a challenge to the core accretion model because the other star is close enough that it should have disrupted any such material before a planet could have formed. This supports the gravitational collapse method, which could have occurred much quicker. The planet is often compared to Tattoine.
  • OGLE-TR-113 System (Oct 10) - A binary orange dwarf star 1800 ly away in a crowded star field in Carina. It contains the second discovered Very Hot Jupiter (34 hours, 0.023 au, 1.3 MJ) and one of the first discovered transiting planets. At one time it was the only known transiting Hot Jupiter with a surface gravity greater than Jupiter's. Between 2002 and 2009, its transit times were found to shorten by 60 ms per earth year. This indicates that it is slowly spiraling towards its sun, the first exoplanet found to be doing this, and may get ripped apart by its star in 1.4 million years, when its period is reduced to 10.8 hours. An alternate explanation may be that an unseen planetary companion is causing the timing differences.
  • Kepler-9 System (Sep 10) - Contains the 6th planet found by Kepler and the first star containing multiple transiting planets. The first system where transit times noted to vary due to interaction between planets, pioneering the transit timing variations method of confirmation. Has a hot Super-Earth that could be used to test the core accretion theory and two Saturn-sized planets. The two giant planets could have pushed the super Earth towards the star, which was unable to get the gasses needed form a Jupiter sized planet as the dust near the star rapidly dispersed.
  • CoRoT-7 System (Sep 10) - A sunlike star about 500 light years away with two Hot Super Earths (and possibly a third), including the first detected transiting Super-Earth. It a diameter about twice that of the Earth. First exoplanet with evidence of a solid surface and does not possess a thick atmosphere. Because its star is active, its mass is somewhat uncertain (2.3 to 8.5 ME), which makes it unclear if the planet actually has a solid surface. Also the closest exoplanet to its star known and has the smallest orbit period (0.85 Earth Days). Likely the first Super-Io discovered (due to slight eccentricity) and the first gas giant remnant core found. Has temperature of 1000-1500C. Planet c is a larger Neptunian orbiting further away and does not transit.
  • TMR-1C System (Aug 10) - A binary star in the Taurus molecular cloud with a photoed object C (potentially a planet or brown dwarf) appearing to have been ejected by the system and shown pulling some dust away from the binary. This could have been the first visually detected planet, found in 1998. Later, it was said to be a background star by its discoverer. New evidence supports that this is indeed a planet, as archive photos found the star to have brightened in the past. As of 2013, its planetary status is still uncertain.
  • HD 200964 System (Jul 10) - A sub-giant star found with planets found by the Keck Subgiants Planet Survey. It has two super-Jupiters in 4:3 resonance orbiting at Mars like distances that orbit very close to each other.
  • 24 Sextanis System (Jul 10) - A sub-giant star found with planets found by the Keck Subgiants Planet Survey. It has two super-Jupiters in 1:2 resonance orbiting at Mars like distances that orbit very close to each other.
  • WASP-3 System (Jul 10) - One of three systems discovered by Super WASP containing a transiting very hot jupiter so close to its star that it is evaporating. Like the other two, WASP-4 and 5, it is incapable of radiating away heat from its star and instead swells up to significantly larger than Jupiter. This is a planet 81% more massive than Jupiter with 13% larger radius going around in just less day 2 days. Its transit time varies by up to 3 minutes, which indicates that a further planet may be in this system. This would be a further Neptunian planet and would be the first exoplanet detected by measuring eclipse timing deviations of an earlier discovered planet (Transit Timing Variation method). Further observations are needed to confirm the planet, but the best fit is that it is in 2:1 resonance with the larger planet. Planet b found to be in a low inclination prograde orbit with respect to its star's equator.
  • SDSS J073842.56+183509.6 System (Jul 10) - System containing a white dwarf star. Its atmosphere has the highest degree of metal contamination of any white dwarf, which suggests that it had consumed a rocky dwarf planet. Find may be the best way to study the composition of a rocky exo-planet. Six elements have been detected so far, including Iron and Silicon, suggesting an Earth-like composition.
  • Gliese 876 System (Jul 10) - Ross 780 is also known as Gl 876 and the flare star IL Aquarii. Very nearby quadruple planet system and the first Red Dwarf found to have planets. The innermost planet (d, Hot Superterran, rocky-water) was the first found rocky planet around a normal star (the first true Super-Earth, at epistellar distances). The outer three planets c (Warm Saturnian), b (Warm Jovian), and e (Cold Neptunian) are in 1:2:4 (30d/60d/120d) resonance (the exoplanet resonance and first triple-resonant planets discovered). The outermost planet has a Mercury-like orbit. Planet b is second discovered by ELODIE after 51 Peg b and the second to have its mass exactly measured and the first to have done so by astrometry.
  • 1RXS J160929.1-210524 System (Jun 10) - Contains first exoplanet (full name 1RXS J160929.1-210524) imaged around a sun-like star, photographed in 2008 and confirmed to orbit star in 2010. The planet's very large distance from the star 330 AU causes problems for planetary formation theories. Some liken it to an unbalanced binary star system where one component gobbled up the vast majority of the dust. It has about 8 times Jupiter's mass and 11 times Neptune's distance. It could be a new type of sub-stellar object between a planet and a Brown Dwarf. First exoplanet to have its spectrum taken, which revealed evidence of water, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen. Its star is young enough (5 MY) so that the planet has not had enough time to cool (1,500 C) and thus detectable.
  • GSC 03089-00929 System (Jun 10) - Has planet TrES-3, the most massive transiting Very Hot Jupiter planet. Planet has one of the first two ground-detected atmospheres. A large ground-based telescope method of observation was pioneered on this planet.
  • CoRoT-8 System (Jun 10) - One of seven transiting exoplanet systems discovered by CoRoT announced in Jun 2010. Contains the smallest of the bunch, which is 70% as large and massive as Saturn, and second smallest found by CoRoT at the time. Should have an internal structure similar to Neptune.
  • CoRoT-10 System (Jun 10) - One of seven transiting exoplanet systems discovered by CoRoT announced in Jun 2010. Has an extremely eccentric orbit that causes a tenfold difference in stellar radiation (250 to 600 C) over its 13 day period.
  • CoRoT-11 System (Jun 10) - One of seven transiting exoplanet systems discovered by CoRoT announced in Jun 2010. It is the third exoplanet discovered around an extremely rapidly rotating star, which spins in under 2 days, compared to the sun's 26 days.
  • CoRoT-12 System (Jun 10) - One of seven transiting exoplanet systems discovered by CoRoT announced in Jun 2010. Orbits close to its star. A bloated Hot Jupiter, its diameter is 150% that of Jupiter's.
  • CoRoT-13 System (Jun 10) - One of seven transiting exoplanet systems discovered by CoRoT announced in Jun 2010. Smaller than Jupiter, but twice as dense, suggesting a massive rocky core.
  • CoRoT-14 System (Jun 10) - One of seven transiting exoplanet systems discovered by CoRoT announced in Jun 2010. Has a similar size to Jupiter, but is 7.5 times as massive and 6 times as dense. This is only the second such very hot planet discovered.
  • CoRoT-15 System (Jun 10) - Transiting Brown Dwarf discovered by CoRoT along with 7 transiting exoplanets around different stars. It is 60 times as massive as Jupiter.
  • HAT-P-13 System (Jun 10) - A star containing the first transiting planet (inner planet) in a multiplanet system. Important clues about dynamics and interior dynamics can be studied in this case. In 2010 it was found to be only one of the two out of all 79 known transiting exoplanetary systems that could not support a habitable Earth-like planet, since it is too close to the habitable stars.
  • WASP-2 System (Apr 10) - Contains second planet discovered by WASP program. This planet is a rather heavy transiting planet, has a large rocky core, and conforms to present models (in contrast to WASP-1). One of the 6 out of 27 planets analyzed by the WASP team found to orbit backwards around its star in 2010. Shows signs of atmospheric blow-off.
  • WASP-5 System (Apr 10) - One of three systems discovered by Super WASP containing a transiting planet so close to its star that it is evaporating. A dense very hot jupiter, the densest known Jupiter mass planet at the time of its discovery (Mass is 63% more than Jupiter, Radius is 17% more). Found to orbit in the same manner as its star's rotation, while 6 out of 27 planets analyzed by the WASP team were found to orbit backwards around its star in 2010. Has a candidate planet detected by the Transit Timing Variation method.
  • WASP-8 System (Apr 10) - One of the 6 out of 27 planets analysed by the WASP team found to orbit backwards around its star in 2010. In a binary star system.
  • WASP-15 System (Apr 10) - One of the 6 out of 27 planets analysed by the WASP team found to orbit backwards around its star in 2010. Contains one of the least dense known exoplanets.
  • CoRoT-9 System (Mar 10) - First temperate transiting Jupiter discovered. An 80% Jupiter Mass planet orbiting at a Mercury-like distance. Temperature could be between -20 to 160 C. Liquid water in the form of water clouds could exist. If its too hot, it could be cloudless. A moon covered by ice or liquid oceans could be around it, depending on its temperature.
  • HD 156668 System (Jan 10) - Contains a super-Earth that is second smallest exoplanet found with the dopplar method (after Gliese 581 e, 4 ME) at time of its discovery by Caltech astronomers at Mauna Kea. It had the smallest light amplitude detected using the dopplar spectrometry method. Found because of improved understanding of stellar phenomena that can mimic a planet.
  • HD 131488 System (Jan 10) - A star containing a temperate dust belt made up of an unknown new material. Belt caused by planetary collisions. One of first systems found with a cold belt that also contains a warm belt. The sixth star found with belt in terrestrial planet zone. One of the smaller stars to have such disks.
  • Kepler 4 System (Jan 10) - One of first transiting exoplanets discovered by Kepler announced in a batch of 5 Jan 2010 (Kepler 4-9). This system has the lowest assigned Kepler number, as Kepler 1-3 had been discovered by earlier studies. The only Hot Neptunian in the initial batch and about 3.8 RE.
  • Kepler 5 System (Jan 10) - One of first transiting exoplanets discovered by Kepler announced in a batch of 5 Jan 2010 (Kepler 4-9). It, like the others, is a hot Jupiter. Second hottest of the batch, it is likely quite dark. Its host is about the same temperature as the sun, but is larger and on its way to becoming a subgiant.
  • Kepler 6 System (Jan 10) - One of first transiting exoplanets discovered by Kepler announced in a batch of 5 Jan 2010 (Kepler 4-9). It, like the others, is a hot Jupiter.
  • Kepler 7 System (Jan 10) - One of first transiting exoplanets discovered by Kepler announced in a batch of 5 Jan 2010 (Kepler 4-9). It, like the others, is a hot Jupiter. It is the largest of the batch in diameter, its mass is 50% of Jupiter's, but its diameter is 50% greater than Jupiter, making its density that of styrofoam. This is the least dense planet found to date. It is also particularly bright for a Hot Jupiter, and has about three times the albedo of the typical one. This reflected light came from high altitude clouds in the west. Spitzer was able to measure the temperature of the bright spot in the hemisphere, which was too cool for a hot jupiter at this distance, so was interpreted as reflective clouds. The skies are clear on the east side, where it is hotter. The cloud structure, the first to be observed for an exoplanet, is stable over time. Being too hot for water clouds (though less hot than many Hot Jupiters), these clouds are probably made of silicates and magnesium. If made from perovskite or forsterite, the clouds could have a greenish tint.
  • Kepler 8 System (Jan 10) - One of first transiting exoplanets discovered by Kepler announced in a batch of 5 Jan 2010 (Kepler 4-9). It, like the others, is a hot Jupiter. It is the hottest of the initial batch.
  • KOI 81 System (Jan 10) - Contains one of two of a new class of objects discovered in early Kepler data that is too hot to be a planet (13,500K), but too small to be a star (0.9 RJ), and is actually hotter than its host star (10,000K). Possibly a white dwarf star that lost much of its mass to be Jupiter sized, rather than Earth sized. Mass measurements are needed.
  • KOI 74 System (Jan 10) - Contains one of two of a new class of objects discovered in early Kepler data that is too hot to be a planet (12,000K), but too small to be a star (0.4 RJ), and is actually hotter than its host star (10,000K). Possibly a white dwarf star that lost much of its mass to be Jupiter sized, rather than Earth sized. Mass measurements are needed.

Systems of 2009Edit

  • HD 1461 System (Dec 09) - A nearby (76 ly) yellow dwarf star with a hot super-Earth and possibly a Neptunian and a Saturnian further out. It and 61 Virginis are the first sunlike stars found to have Hot SuperEarths.
  • 23 Librae System (Dec 09) - Near naked-eye star containing two planets, also known as HD 134987. The first is an eccentric giant at Venus-like distances and one of the first exoplanets discovered (1999). The second is a Jupiter analog (a = 5.8 AU, q = 5.3 AU, Q = 6.3 AU, e = 0.12, P = 14 EY, m = 0.8 MJ) discovered ten years later, indicating that enough time has passed to detect Jupiter-like planets.
  • VB 10 System (Dec 09) - BD+04°4048 is most commonly known as Gliese 752 and also called DM+04°4048. A nearby binary Red Dwarf star system in Aquila and the nearest star to Altair, which appears two order of magnitude than in our sky. Star A is also a flare star known as V1428 Aquilae and is also known as HD 180617. Its high proper motion was first noticed by Max Wolf in 1919, and dubbed Wolf 1055. It was later rediscovered by Frank Ross in 1927 and dubbed Ross 652. It has about half of the Sun's mass and radius and is the M3 V spectral standard star. Star B is also a UV Ceti variable star known as V1298 Aquilae and VB 10 or simply Van Biesbroeck's Star. It shares a proper motion with star A, but is not gravitationally bound with it and lies 434 AU away. VB 10 was the faintest star known when it was discovered in 1944 and is the M8 V spectral standard star. VB 10 contains a controversial "first" exoplanetary system announced in 2009 using astrometry and lies only 20 light years away, but not confirmed with dopplar spectrometry. Would be smallest known star to host a planet and is a flare star. Contain's a cold Jupiter six times Jupiter's mass a Mercury like distance. The "planet" and the star are about the same size and the planet contains 10% of the mass of the system. The star will burn for 10 trillion years, then the planet would fall into it, fuelling it for another 100 billion years. The system is about 1 Billion years old. Mnemonic is BD Aquilae.
  • GJ 758 System (Dec 09) - Star with a giant planet or Brown Dwarf (M betw 10-40MJ) which has been directly photographed. Reguardless of its nature, it is the first and coolest substellar companion to a sunlike star ever photographed (333 C, about as hot as Mercury). It orbits at about Neptune's distance and is still in the contraction phase. A possible third companion may have been imaged, later observations should determine if it is bound to the system or merely an object in the background.
  • WASP-18 System (Aug 09) - A hot F6 star that has an Inflated Very Hot Super Jupiter that is only 2.5 stellar radii from its host star. It may perish soon once it reaches its star's roche limit, but astronomers are puzzled why it hasn't already. Because it orbits much faster than its star rotates, tidal effects should be causing it to fall inwards. Further observations should reveal its rate of decay. Has the shortest period of any Hot Jupiter at the time of its discovery in 2009 (22hours). Extremely hot because of its close distance and brightness of its star, reaches 3000K. A very large planet with 70% more radius than Jupiter and 40% more mass. Very near to the Roche limit, it is expected to be elongated (football shaped). Initially thought to be slightly eccentric, this is not the case.
  • HD 172555 System (Aug 09) - A star in the Beta Pictoris moving group in which a collision between two small planets took place about a few thousand years ago. One planet is thought to be the size of Mercury, while the other the size of the Moon. Signatures of refrozen lava and vaporized rock were picked up by the Spitzer Space Telescope at about 5.8 AU.
  • XO-3 System (Jun 09) - Planet is the first transiting object with mass on the borderline between being a planet and a Brown Dwarf. The largest known planet in a torch orbit at time of its discovery. Found to be inclined to its star 37degrees, while every other torch planet aligns with their star's equator. Heat received from star varies three-fold due to its eccentricity. Larger than models predict. Has a temperature inversion in its stratosphere.
  • V4046 Sagittarii System (Jun 09) - Close binary system with evidence of a protoplanetary disk. Almost twice as near as any other planet forming stars. May be the oldest known planetary forming disk.
  • Andromeda Planetary System (Jun 09) - Star in the Andromeda galaxy that may contains a planet that was detected with microlensing. May be the first planet detected outside of our galaxy.
  • SR 21 System (Jun 09) - Newly forming star in the Ophiuchus Star Forming region. Contains a circumstellar disk with a hole in it, but it seems to be too young for a planet to have already formed.
  • Corot-exo-1 System (May 09) -
  1. REDIRECT Corot-exo-1 System
  • HAT-P-12 System (Aug 09) - Contains a Saturn-sized transiting planet around a metal poor K star. It broke Saturn's record for the least massive Hydrogen/Helium dominated gas giant known to date. Being so hot, the planet is almost as large as Jupiter. Transit was detected by an amateur astronomer.
  • MOA-2007-BLG-192L System (Jan 09) - A very dim Red Dwarf star (once thought to be a potential Brown Dwarf) around which the smallest known exoplanet around a normal star (1.4 ME, once thought to be 3.3 ME) orbits. Orbiting at Venus-like distances, the planet is likely an icy frozen super-Earth.
  • OGLE-TR-56 System (Jan 09) - Contains first planet discovered by transit and later confirmed by Dopplar Spectroscopy (rather than the other way around). The first OGLE planet confirmed with the Dopplar method. It is 6000 ly away, 10 times as far as any previous known planet, in a different arm of the galaxy. Also the first Very Hot Jupiter and the first non-inflated Hot Jupiter discovered. It may meet its doom in less than a million years. Planet has one of the first two ground-detected atmospheres. Has an atmosphere hotter than any other measured so far. Unlike other hot Jupiters observed, it is way too hot for clouds of silicon or iron to form which would keep it dark.

Systems of 2008Edit

  • OGLE2-TR L9 System (Dec 08) - First planet discovered around a rapidly rotating hot star and the hottest star with planets. Was detected by students while testing a method for investigating light fluctuations in the OGLE database. An inflated hot super Jupiter. Nicknamed "ReMeFra-1" for its discoverers.
  • HD 102272 System (Nov 08) - A system composing of a Red Giant star and a planet that is as close to a giant as thought possible and closer than any other known. A second planet is suspected that would make this the first multiplanet red giant system known.
  • Epsilon Eridani System (Nov 08) - Ran (Epsilon Eridani) is the nearest single non-red dwarf star to the Sun, also known as HD 195019, Gl 144, and HR 1084. It is a member of the Ursa Major star association and close encounters to other stars is relatively common. One of the first stars found to have a dust disk, with several potential planets suspected in the gaps early on, and later on of the earliest nearest system with confirmed planets. Has an inner asteroid belt at 3 AU, Jovian planet AEger at 3.4 AU, outer asteroid belt at 20 AU, and Kuiper Belt at 35-100 AU. There is evidence of additional planets between the belts. Because the star is very chromospherically active, doubts were cast on planet's b's existence. Hubble then confirmed its existence with astrometrics and found to be orbiting in the plane of the dust disks, which supported the theory that planets are born from dust disks and yielded a precise mass of 1.5 MJ. The planet b was originally thought to be extremely eccentric (2-10 AU), but later discovery of the inner asteroid belt suggests it is more moderately eccentric so as not to cross the belt. It could still have high eccentricity if the outer belt was being fed with material from the outer belt though. Dinosaur-killing sized impacts would be frequent on any Earth-like planets, about once every 2 million years. One of 5 PICTURE-C targets selected for sub-orbital coronograph observation. One of the first 20 exoplanet systems allowed to be given common names by the IAU. Star is named after a Norse goddess of the seas, while the planet after her husband, god of the ocean. A common sci fi system, including the original home of Star Trek Vulcans (though this moved to 40 Eridani) and Babylon 5.
  • Corot-exo-3 System (Oct 08) - A star with possibly the most massive planet known at 20 Jupiters and most dense at about Jupiter's radius. The planet is technically classified as a brown dwarf, but they haven't ruled out it being a planet. It could be the first of a class of massive planets orbiting stars more massive than the Sun. It's the first object found with a period of less than ten days greater than 12J and less than 70J.
  • CT Chamaeleontis System (Oct 08) - T Tauri star with possible photoed planet or brown dwarf.
  • BD+20 307 System (Sep 08) - Close binary star with an age comparable to the Sun's. It has a 1 million times as much dust as the Solar System which points to a very recent (less than 100,000 years) collision between two terrestrial planets. This would be the first evidence of any planets in a close binary system.
  • CoRoT-exo-4 System (Jul 08) - Sunlike star containing the first known transiting planet that has the same period as its star. Also the second longest period known transiting planet from its star of 9.2 days.
  • CFBDS J005910.83-011401.3 System (Apr 08) Free floating brown dwarf that is the coolest and least massive brown dwarf discovered to date. Could be the first of class Y brown dwarves.
  • OGLE-2006-BLG-109L System (Apr 08) - The first multi-planet system discovered via microlensing. Contains a Jupiter and Saturn analog, the first such system discovered in positions predicted by classical theories of solar system formation. The planets are inclined to each other.
  • CM Draconis System (Jan 08) - First known eclipsing binary red dwarf known as CM Draconis, Gliese 630.1, and LHS 421. Has the smallest known accurately measured masses. A planet was hypothesized due to variance in eclipse timing, but subsequently ruled out.
  • HD 74156 System (Jan 2008) - Sunlike star with two planets more massive than Jupiter, one in about Mercury's position, and one at an Asteroid Belt-like position. A planet was predicted in between these two at Earth-like distances and later found, the first vindicated prediction since Neptune. This supports the "Packed Planetary Systems" theory. Some have suggested that it's one Earth year orbit period may mean its detection is due to Earth based observation errors.

Systems of 2007Edit

  • GD 66 System (Dec 07) - Contains the first planet discovered around a white dwarf star.
  • HD 23514 System (Nov 07) - 100 Million year old system in the Pleiades Cluster that contains warm dust which is likely the result of the impact of two earth-like protoplanets.
  • WASP-4 System (Oct 07) - One of three systems discovered by Super WASP containing a transiting very hot jupiter so close to its star that it is evaporating.
  • HD 17156 System (Oct 07) - Star system containing a planet discovered by dopplar spectrometry method and later found by amateurs to transit. At the time, it smashed the records for the furthest transiting planet (period of 21 d, 0.0523 to 0.26 AU) and most eccentric orbit. Its orbit was found to be well aligned with the rotation of its star. Its size has been measured better with the Hubble Telescope (3.8 MJ). A second, unconfirmed planet has also been proposed for this system.
  • HD 113766 System (Oct 07) - System found to likely be forming an Earth-like planet. This is the first system detected that contains planetesimals. It is also a peculiar binary system where one star has a debris disk, but the other does not.
  • AU Microscopii System (Oct 07) - AU Microscopii is also known as Gl 803, HD 197481, and CD-31°17815. It forms a triple star system with the double red dwarf star AT MiC, located 1.2 ly away, which are also known as Gl 799, HD 196982, and CD-31°16135. An active flare star and about 12 Million Years old. First red dwarf found with a circumstellar disk and the nearest planetforming disk. Also the first system where particle size in disk determined. Constraints on where planets could exist was recently published. Patterns in the dust disks suggest planets. It is thought that Pluto-sized planetoids may have formed in the outer system. AT MiC A and B are separated by 24.2 to 40.8 AU, and are somewhat smaller than AU MiC. All components are part of the Beta Pictoris Moving Group.
  • V391 Pegasi System (Sep 07) A post-red giant star (a sub-dwarf)containing a planet that was nearly devoured by the expanding star, but which has survived. The planet was originally at an Earth-like distance but had since been pushed out to a safer distance.
  • IRAS 4 System (Aug 07) Embrionic star where water source was detected.
  • GSC 02620-00648 System (Aug 07) Contains the transiting planet TrES-4, the largest (volume) exo-planet at the time of its discovery, orbiting a sub-giant star.
  • HD 17092 System (Aug 07) - A large Jovian in an "Earth-like" orbit (more eccentric though) around an orange giant star. Planet discovered by A. Niedzielski's team, the same one that discovered the first exoplanet.
  • GD 362 System (Aug 07) - White dwarf star around which the remains of a shredded earthlike planet may have been detected.
  • HD 98800 System (Jul 07) - Infant quadruple star system with a debris disk around only one of its stars and has evidence of planets.
  • AB Doradus System (Jun 07) - Nearby triple star system. The very dim star C was resolved with a technique that will next be used to attempt to resolve exoplanets. This found that it was a very dim red dwarf instead of a brown dwarf, and is one of the lowest mass stars known. Principle star of the AB Doradus Moving Group.
  • HD 3651 System (2007) - 54 Piscium is a nearby orange dwarf star also known as HR 166, Gl 27, Hip 3093, HD 3651. Has an eccentric planet about the mass of Saturn orbiting at Mercury-like distances. A recently discovered faint distant T type brown dwarf 476 AU away was found to be the cause of this eccentricity, which was directly imaged.
  • ULAS J0034-00 System (May 07) - The first discovered Y-Type brown dwarf and the coolest of all brown dwarves discovered so far.
  • 40 Eridani System (May 07) - Kied is also known as 40 Eridani, Omicron 2 Eri, and Gl 166. Triple star which is Gene Roddenberry's favored location for Spock's home planet of Vulcan. Consists of an Orange Dwarf primary A (also called HD 26965 and HR 1325) with a flare star Red Dwarf C (also called DY Eridani) orbiting 50 AU away, and a much further White Dwarf B at 600 AU. The white star would appear two orders of magnitude brighter than Venus does from any planets in AC, so it would be visible in the daylight. While no planet has been discovered in this system yet, it has been selected as a target for the SIM Planet quest when launched in 2015 for signs of a habitable planet. The White Dwarf is by far the easiest White Dwarf to observe, as it is brighter than the closer Van Manaan's Star and is not swamped by the light of a bright primary like those found in the Sirius or Procyon systems.
  • HD 155358 System (May 07) - The extrasolar system with the lowest metalicity host star. Its two known Jovian planets were discovered recently and challenged planetary formation theorists. The two planets interact gravitationally with each other and are on opposite sides of the star's habitable zone.
  • HD 149026 System (May 07) - Ogma (HD 149026) is a yellow sub-giant star with the first known Saturn mass transiting planet, Smertrios. Also the first planet found with a dense core, leading credence to the core-accretion theory. Sometimes called a Super-Neptune, though it is not known if its core is rocky or icy. Also the first TEP discovered smaller than Jupiter. It was revealed to be as black as coal, twice as hot as any other known exoplanet, and hotter than some stars. One of the first 20 exoplanet systems allowed to be given common names by the IAU. The star is named after a Celtic god of eloquence, writing, and great physical strength, while the planet was named after a Gallic deity of war.
  • OGLE-TR-10 System (May 07) - Contains a bloated Hot Jupiter expected to be losing its atmosphere. Noted for its similarity to the first transiting exoplanet. Thought to not be so bloated, but then confirmed to really be bloated. Found to have the lowest measured surface gravity of any of the transiting exoplanets, considerably less than Earth. 5th confirmed OGLE planet. The first star observed to experience a stellar flare during the transit of one of its planets. The star is suggested to be active and have a high x-ray luminosity.
  • 2MASSW J0746425+2000321 System - Binary Brown Dwarf system. One was found to pulse radio waves similar to a pulsar, outshining its companion during a pulse in IR.
  • Helix Nebula (Feb 07) - The nearest planetary nebula. The dust observed may be from thousands of comets banging into each other.
  • Epsilon Tauri System (Feb 07) - The brightest star in the Hyades star cluster. It is a super-Jovian around an orange giant star. This is the first planet discovered in an open star cluster.
  • Mira System (Jan 07) - Well known binary star. It was found that material from the dying red giant was being syphoned off by the white dwarf in the system, beginning a new planetary system.
  • HD 179949 System (Jan 07) - Contains the first planet discovered by the Anglo-Australian Planet Search, which is also the first exoplanet whose Magnetic Field was observed. This Hot Jupiter is about the same mass as Jupiter and orbits once every thre days. It was found to have supersonic winds that caused the night side (not tidally locked) to be as hot as the day side. This system is also the first observed to have planet-induced stellar X-ray activity. Magnetic interaction causes a bright spot on its star at 30 degrees latitude.

Systems of 2006Edit

  • 54 Piscium System (Oct 06) - 54 Piscium is a nearby orange dwarf star also known as HR 166, Gl 27, Hip 3093, HD 3651. Has an eccentric planet about the mass of Saturn orbiting at Mercury-like distances. A recently discovered faint distant T type brown dwarf 476 AU away was found to be the cause of this eccentricity, which was directly imaged.
  • Sweeps 10 System (Oct 06) - Has the planet with the shortest period among the five Ultra-Short-Period Planets detected by Hubble near the Galactic Bulge. Orbits small star in only 10 hours.
  • HD 97048 System (Oct 06) - A young star in the Chamelion I Dark Cloud discovered to have a "Flaring" disc of dust.
  • WASP-1 System (Sep 06) - Has the first planet detected by the WASP program, which is the third "inflated" Hot Jupiter detected, which suggested these planets were fairly common. It was nicknamed "Garafía-1" after the municipality that hosts the Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory. Was the largest known exoplanet for about a year. Shows signs of atmospheric blow-off.
  • HAT-P-1 System (Sep 06) - A stellar binary believed to contain the planet with the biggest known diameter and the least dense. This would have been only the second planet with such a low density. Later measurements showed it wasn't that inflated, and has the expected radius for a highly irradiated core-less Hot Jupiter.
  • CHXR 73 System (Sep 06) - Contains a very large planet detected by Hubble in a very distant orbit around a Red Dwarf. Imaged object is basically a planet formed the way a brown dwarf is.
  • Oph1622 System (Aug 06) - Discovery of a planemo orbiting another planemo announced. Later mass estimates proved these to both be Brown Dwarves though.
  • Mu Arae System (Aug 06) - Cervantes (Mu Arae) is a 6th magnitude Sunlike star close to becoming a Sub-Giant located 50 ly with four known planets. At first believed to be a system dominated by orbit crossing eccentric Super Jupiters. Instead, three Jovians orbit in roughly circular orbits at Earth-like (Rocinante, d), Mars-like (Quixote, b, in habitable zone), and Jupiter-like (Sancho, e) distances in addition to an inner (Dulcinea, c) Hot Neptune. Planet c was one of three Hot Neptunes or Hot Super Earths discovered around the same time. It was the first one announced, but it was still under scientific review at the time, so there remains controversy on what the actual first planet discovered of this class is. Initially thought to likely to be rocky because it had 2 known neighboring gas giants which may have stunted its growth. The characteristics of the planets in this system changed greatly as new planets were discovered, and included a re-ordering of their designations. Initially, the first planet b was thought to be highly eccentric. An outer planet was then detected, at the time dubbed "c" (though a full period hadn't yet been observed), and was thought to have an extremely high eccentricity so that the orbits of the two planets would cross. An innermost third planet then dubbed "d" was then detected. A new fit for the data then emerged, and it was found that the outermost planet was actually much less eccentric, and that there was a planet interior to planet b with almost half its period. The eccentricity of b was also reduced so that no planet criss-crossed another's anymore. It was decided to redesignate the planets in order of characterizations instead of by discovery, so the innermost Neptunian planet was re-dubbed "c" and the planets just interior and exterior to planet "b" were re-dubbed "d" and "e". The system became the second known 4-planet system. The innermost two Jovians are close enough so that they're unstable over short periods of time. If they were actually in 1:2 resonance, which almost fits the data, they would be much more stable. One of the first 20 exoplanet systems allowed to be given common names by the IAU. Star is named after the author of Il Ingenioso Hildalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha and the planets after its characters, Quijote (main character), Dulcinea (love interest), Rocinante (horse), and Sancho (squire).
  • OGLE-2003-BLG-235L System - A red dwarf around which the first planet discovered through microlensing was detected in 2004, shattering planetary distance records. It took a few years to actually image the star itself (by Hubble).
  • HD 38529 System (Jul 06) - Subgiant star with a cloudy Hot Jupiter, Brown Dwarf, and Red Dwarf companion. Simulations showed that Earth-sized planet could exist between the planet and brown dwarf, but that an asteroid belt can be expected there instead.
  • HD 37124 System (Jul 06) - The fourth triple planet system discovered around a normal star, the last one announced with 4 other multiplanet components in 2005. A Sunlike star with Jovian planets that received Venus-like, Mars-like, and Asteroid Belt-like radition from their stars. Simulations showed that no terrestrial planets could form between the Venus-like and Mars-like Jovian planets.
  • HD 154345 System (Jul 06) - Closest solar system analog to date. Contains a Jupiter like planet at Jupiter like distances 4.18 AU in a circular orbit with no known giant planets orbiting inside it. The star is dimmer than the Sun and habitable region at Venus like distances.
  • Cassiopeia A System (Jul 06) - A supernova remnant and the brightest extrasolar radio source in the sky. Planets may be forming in the debris field.
  • Pollux System (Jun 06) - Pollux is also known as Beta Geminorum, HR 2990, HD 62509, and Gl 286. It was originally called Polydeuces by the Greeks, after the immortal twin. The brightest star in Geminorum, which suggests it may have used to be the second brightest four centuries ago, and is the 17th brightest star in the sky. It is an orange-red giant star (K0 III) 1.7 times the Sun's mass and 8.8 its diameter and 724 MYO. It is the nearest (34 ly) giant star to the Sun. Its spectra has been used as a stable anchor point since 1943. It has one of the weakest measured magnetic field of any star. Planet Thestias was confirmed in 2006 that was first suspected in 1993. It orbits 1.64 AU in a circular path and is at least 2.3 times as massive as Jupiter. This is much nearer than the present habitable zone, which is centered at 5.7 AU. This is the brightest star in the sky known to have a planet. One of the first 20 exoplanet systems allowed to be given common names by the IAU. Named after the mother of Pollux, Leda. However, Leda is already taken as a moon of Jupiter, so a name derived from her father is used, which is sometimes used to refer to her or her sister..
  • HD 69830 System (May 06) - First planetary system found that does not have a Jupiter-sized planet around a normal star (K0 spectrum). Contains 3 Neptunians and the first discovered asteroid belt that is like the size and age as the Sun's. The debris from this belt that was detected was from the breakup of an asteroid, is 20 times as massive as our own, and would cause zodiacal lights 1000 times brighter than we see from Earth. The smallest and outermost planet may be a 10 ME super Earth, is within the habitable zone, and is an inner shepherd for the asteroid belt. Halo 3 features a fictitious moon around this planet.
  • 4U 0142+61 System (Apr 06) - The first Neutron Star to have a debris disk detected, possibly forming planets.
  • OGLE-2005-BLG-169L System (Mar 06) - Contains the second discovered icy Super-Earth or Neptunian. This planet was detected via the Microlense technique.
  • Ophiuchus Mixed Up Disk System (Feb 06) - The first solar system observed with the inner disk rotating in the opposite direction as the outer disk (not sure what its name is).
  • R 66 System (Feb 06) - One of two hypergiant stars (also R 126 System) in Large Magellanic Cloud that have detected dust disks and are possibly forming planets.
  • R 126 System (Feb 06) - One of two hypergiant stars (also R 66 System) in Large Magellanic Cloud that have detected dust disks and are possibly forming planets.
  • OGLE-2005-BLG-390L System (Jan 06) - Has first discovered Icy Super Earth, which was detected via Micro-lensing tens of thousands of light years away and was the smallest known exoplanet around a normal star at the time.
  • HD 53143 System (Jan 06) - Old nearby sunlike star with wide kuiper belt similar to solar system's.
  • HD 139664 System (Jan 06) - Old nearby sunlike star with narrow kuiper belt similar to solar system's.
  • G29-38 System (Jan 06) - The first White Dwarf found to have a dust disk in 1987 and remains the only one detected for a long time. This disk is now believed to be the result of an asteroid collision.

Systems of 2005Edit

  • Cha 110913 System (Dec 05) - First planemo (possibly a tiny brown dwarf) found with a protoplanetary disk.
  • BD +20 307 System (Jul 05) - Sunlike star with a warm dust disk which may be signs that an Earth-like planet is forming there.
  • Stephenson 34 System (Jul 05) - Binary Red Dwarf star discovered to have a very old planetary disk. Why haven't planets already formed around it?
  • HD 188753 System (Jul 05) - First triple star system found to have a planet.
  • GQ Lupi System (May 05) - A T-Tauri K-Class star that may have a massive planet with a period of about 1200 years that might be the first planet imaged.
  • OGLE-2005-BLG-071 System (May 05) - Contains the second planet discovered by micro-lensing, validating the technique.
  • GSC 02652-01324 System (Mar 05) - Contains the first transiting exoplanet discovered with the TrES amateur equipment and second transiting exoplanet close enough to have its atmosphere studied. It is the first Hot Jupiter that had the expected radius. Was the one of the first two exoplanets to have its light separated from its host star. Has a cloud or torus of particles around it. Tidal heating is predicted due to its eccentric orbit, but this has not seem to have inflated its radius.
  • OGLE-TR-122 System (Mar 05) - The star has a very small stellar companion whose mass is only 10% the Sun's. It is the first star that size to have its diameter measured, proving that very small stars are only slightly larger than gas giant planets.
  • PSR B1257+12 System (Feb 05) - The smallest exoplanet (exo-comet?) is found around the pulsar where the first exoplanets were found.

Systems of 2004Edit

  • HD 170146 System (Dec 04) - Dust disk much larger than the Solar System's imaged in great detail by Spitzer and Hubble.
  • HD 117176 System, HD 33636 System, HD 82943 System, HD 50554 System, HD 128311 System (Dec 04) - Six systems known to have planets were observed by Spitzer to also have dust disks, the first time disks have been found around stars that also have planets.
  • OGLE-TR-111 System (Sep 04) - A yellow dwarf with a Hot Jupiter about half Jupiter's mass. Has the first OGLE-detected transiting "normal" Hot Jupiter (the others had unusually short periods). Data suggests the presence of a second planet, which, if confirmed, would make this the first system with more than one transiting planet.
  • HD 37605 System (Jul 04) - Contains the first exoplanet discovered by the Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET), which was the third most eccentric planet found, ranging from Hot Jupiter distance to Mercury-like distance.
  • CoKu Tau 4 System (Jun 04) - Young star with protoplanetary disk. It was once thought that the youngest known planet could be forming in the hallowed out center, but it turns out that this was due to the center star being a binary star.
  • White Dwarf Planetary System (May 04) - An unnamed white dwarf star with a potential planet that may have been directly imaged by Hubble, which would make it the first planet imaged.
  • OGLE-TR-132 System (Apr 04) - Has the third discovered Very Hot Jupiter, validating the believability of the first one found. Transit timing analysis showed no variation, placing limits on further out planets.
  • OGLE-2003-BLG-235L System (Apr 04) - A red dwarf around which the first planet discovered through microlensing was detected in 2004, shattering planetary distance records. It took a few years to actually image the star itself (by Hubble).
  • 37 Gemini System (Jan 04) - Determined to be the most Sun-like star nearby and a prime target for finding Earth-like planets.

Systems of 2003Edit

  • Rho Ophiuchus B-11 System (Nov 03)- Central object is a large free-floating planet formed the way a star does located in the Rho Opiuchus B star forming region. Evidense for polar jets was found here.
  • HD 172051 System (Nov 03) - Sunlike star is a prime target for the future Darwin mission.
  • KH 15D System (Aug 03) - System in NGC 2264 that was recently found to "wink", possibly due to a circumstellar disk.
  • Epsilon Indi System (Sep 03) - Epsilon Indi is the also known as HR 8387, Gl 845, and HD 209100. Second nearest single sunlike star to the Sun. Orange dwarf with a binary brown dwarf orbiting it. The smaller of the two is the closest thing to an "extrasolar moon" found so far. The constellation "Indus" first appeared in 1603 in the Uranometria. Epsilon Indi appeared as one of the Indian's arrows in Bode's 1801 atlas, the Uranographia. The star's high proper motion was first discovered by Gill in 1882, which was improved upon by Shapley in 1923. During 1960, the star was observed for radio signals, but none was found. In 1972, it was searched for ultraviolet laser signals. It leads a Carnegie list of stars most likely to have an earth-like planet. The star's age has been controversial, at first thought to be older than the sun, then younger, then even older than originally thought, all based on studies regarding the brown dwarf's nature and the rotation rate of the star.
  • PSR B1620-26 System (Jul 03) - A helium white dwarf and a pulsar in the middle of the crowded core of the M4 star cluster, around which , the oldest known planet, nicknamed "Methuselah, orbits. It was formed only 1 Billion Years after the big bang and is 13 Billion years old. The planet may be a brown dwarf.
  • HD 70642 System (Jul 03) - First Jupiter analog discovered in a system with no giant planets further in, making it the closest solar system analog. Planet is 3.3 AU from an aging yellow dwarf star 90 light years away.

Systems of 2002Edit

  • Errai System (Oct 02) - Also known as Gamma Cephei, an orange sub-giant (1.4 MS, 4.8 RS, 6.6 GY) with a 1.6 MJ "Sulfurous Cloud Giant", Tadmos, in an eccentric orbet centered at 2 AU (1.8 to 2.2 AU) and a red dwarf (0.5 MS) at 20 AU (11.9 to 28.3). Located 45 ly away at the northern tip of the constellation and one of the brightest stars near Polaris and will succeed Polaris as the North Star (closer to pole in 3000 AD, and at closest in 4000 AD). It is the first close in binary star found to have a planet. The planet was first detected in 1988, and could have been the first discovered, but wasn't confirmed until 2002. Could be called the first real exoplanet detected. One of the first 20 exoplanet systems allowed to be given common names by the IAU. Named after an ancient Syrian city.
  • Tau 1 Gruis System (Sep 02) - Contains one of the first Jovians found at a Jupiter like distance, indicating that they are starting to detect further and further planets.
  • HD 49674 System (Jul 02) - Contains the first planet found to have significantly less mass than Saturn.
  • Edasich System (Jan 02) - A magnitude 3.1 orange-red giant star 101 ly away also known as Iota Draconis. It can be found in the sky by tracing a line from Polaris to the furthest "dipper" star. The next star over from the alpha star Thuban in the constellation. Contains the first planet (8.8 MJ) discovered orbiting a giant star (12 RS, 1.8 MS), Hypatia, proving planets at Earth-like distances can survive the evolution of their stars to giant phase. It is in an extremely eccentric orbit at 1.5 AU (0.7, 0.34-2.17 AU), which aided its detection as giant stars have pulsations which can mimic the presence of a planet. The habitable zone starts at 6.8 AU, so this planet is well within it during its entire orbit. Its radial velocity effects are only observable when it is at its nearest to the star. One of the first 20 exoplanet systems allowed to be given common names by the IAU. The planet is named after a Neo-Platonic Greek astronomer.
  • 15 Sge System (Jan 02) - Template:15 Sge System

Systems of 2001Edit

  • CW Leonis System (Jul 01) - A dying red giant star which has the first evidence for water in another solar system. The water is believed to be the remnants of a Kuiper Belt.
  • Zeta Leporis System (Jun 01) - A massive young star around which the first direct evidence for an asteroid belt were detected in 2001. A part of the Castor Moving Group.
  • HD 168443 System (Jan 01) - Contains the first planet discovered whose minimum mass was near the planet/brown dwarf boundary which orbits at a asteroid belt-like distance. Also contains a second huge planet at least 7 times as massive as Jupiter orbiting at Mercury-like distances.

Systems of 2000Edit

  • 79 Ceti System (Mar 00) - A yellow subgiant star around which the smaller of the first 2 Saturnians discovered (HD 46375 b was the other one) is in a Mercury-like orbit.
  • HD 46375 System (Mar 00) - An orange subgiant around which the larger of the first two Saturnians discovered (79 Ceti b was the other one) orbits, which was the first "Epistellar Saturn" discovered.

Systems of 1996Edit

  • 47 Ursa Majoris System - Chalawan (aka 47 Ursae Majoris) is solar analog (G1 V, about the same age as the Sun) with 3 planets 46 ly away. One of earliest systems discovered. Taphao Thong (b, 2.5 MJ, 2.1 AU) and Taphao Kaew (c, 0.5 MJ, 3.6 AU) are in circular orbits at asteroid-belt like distances, while planet d (1.6 MJ, 11.6 AU) is in a distant more eccentric orbit (0.16, 9.6-13 AU). Planet b was the first found to have a circular orbit beyond the habitable zone. The discovery of planet c made the system the first multiplanet system whose planets have circular orbits, and b and c are rough Jupiter-Saturn analogs in relative size and positions. Their existence was in doubt until planet d was discovered. Planet d has not yet completed a full year (38.4 years) yet since its discovery (it cannot be named yet), but is the furthest out planet discovered with the dopplar spectrometry method. Studies have shown a terrestrial planet could only form in the innermost part of the habitable zone. Several transmissions have been sent to the star system. One of the first 20 exoplanet systems allowed to be given common names by the IAU. Star named after a Thai crocodile asterism and its planets are associated with two sisters associated with this legend. Taphao Thong was captured by the crocodile, while her sister Taphao Kaew married the one who rescued her.
  • 70 Virginis System - The second normal star found to have planets, which is the first Eccentric Giant discovered and the first discovered by the Carnegie team. Planet nicknamed "Goldilocks" because it was perceived as the first planet discovered in its star's Habitability Zone. It was found to be much further away from Earth than initially believed and the star thus brighter, so the planet is now known to be too hot to have habitable moons.

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