ExoPlanets Discovery and Characterisation

Learn about ExoPlanets Discovery and Characterisation. What are currently discovered Extrasolar Planets?

First Exoplanets discovery were annoused in 1992 and 1992 where they were found obiting the pulsars PSR B1257+12 and PSR B1620-26. In 1995, the first exoplanet found orbiting a main sequence star, 51 Pegasi b.

The masses of the exoplanets are lower bounded using radial velocity method with no information about the inclination of the planet's plane of orbit around its star that needed to calculate the mass of the exoplanet. As a result the masses of exoplanets measured using this method as minimum masses where the actual mass may be larger.

So far, there are 447 exoplanets confirmed. The more complete list is contains 473 exoplanets.

  • Of these 447 planets, three exoplanets are located in circumbinary orbits:
  1. first is around a binary consisting of a pulsar and a white dwarf
  2. second orbits a binary consisting of a subdwarf B star and a red dwarf
  3. third circles a binary consisting of a white dwarf and a red dwarf.
  • Other 444 planets each orbit one star only:
  1. Of these, 438 orbit normal stars (103 in multiple, and 335 in single planetary systems).
  2. Three planets orbit same pulsar,
  3. one orbits a subdwarf B star
  4. last two orbit each brown dwarfs.

As you can see from the Exoplanet table below most exoplanets are the mass of Jupiter range where current techonology is hindering the discovery of earthsize exoplanets which by shear size of the universe that number has to be in millions.


ExoPlanet Host Star

Planet

Mass
(Compared to Jupiter)

Radius
(Compared to Jupiter)

Orbital
period
(days)

Discovery
year

WASP-26

b

1.02

1.32

2.7566

2010

WASP-1

b

0.89

1.358

2.51997

2006

HAT-P-16

b

4.193

1.289

2.77596

2010

Upsilon Andromedae

b

0.672

-

4.617136

1996

Upsilon Andromedae

d

10.29

-

1302.61

1999

WASP-18

b

10.43

1.165

0.9414518

2009

HD 15082

WASP-33b

<4.1

1.497

1.2198669

2010

HD 17156

b

3.212

1.023

21.21688

2007

WASP-11/HAT-P-10

b

0.460

1.045

3.7224690

2008

Epsilon Eridani

b

1.55

-

2502

2000

WASP-22

b

0.56

1.12

3.53269

2010

XO-3

b

11.79

1.217

3.1915239

2007

HAT-P-15

b

1.946

1.072

10.863502

2010

2M J044144

b

7.5

-

-

2010

Beta Pictoris

b

8

-

~6000

2008

WASP-12

b

1.41

1.83

1.091435

2008

COROT-12

b

0.917

1.44

2.828042

2010

COROT-7

b

0.0151

0.150

0.853585

2009

COROT-7

c

0.0264

-

3.698

2009

COROT-5

b

0.467

1.388

4.0378962

2008

COROT-1

b

1.03

1.49

1.5089557

2007

COROT-4

b

0.72

1.19

9.20205

2008

COROT-13

b

1.308

0.885

4.03519

2010

COROT-14

b

7.6

1.09

1.51214

2010

HAT-P-9

b

0.78

1.4

3.92289

2008

XO-4

b

1.72

1.34

4.12502

2008

XO-5

b

1.077

1.089

4.1877539

2008

XO-2

b

0.57

0.973

2.615838

2007

HAT-P-13

b

0.851

1.28

2.91626

2009

55 Cancri

d

4.8

-

5169

2002

WASP-13

b

0.46

1.21

4.35298

2008

HD 80606

b

3.94

1.029

111.43637

2001

WASP-19

b

1.15

1.31

0.7888399

2009

OGLE-TR-211

b

1.03

1.36

3.67724

2007

OGLE-TR-132

b

1.14

1.18

1.689868

2003

OGLE-TR-113

b

1.32

1.09

1.4324757

2004

OGLE-TR-111

b

0.53

1.067

4.0144479

2002

OGLE2-TR-L9

b

4.5

1.67

2.48553417

2008

OGLE-TR-182

b

1.01

1.13

3.9791

2007

Gliese 436

b

0.072

0.438

2.643904

2004

2M1207

b

4

1.5

620000

2004

PSR B1257+12

A

0.000063

-

25.262

1994

PSR B1257+12

B

0.013

-

66.5419

1992

PSR B1257+12

C

0.012

-

98.2114

1992

WASP-25

b

0.58

1.26

3.76483

2010

HAT-P-3

b

0.599

0.890

2.899703

2007

WASP-15

b

0.542

1.428

3.7520656

2008

HAT-P-12

b

0.211

0.959

3.2130598

2009

WASP-16

b

0.855

1.008

3.1186009

2009

WASP-14

b

7.725

1.259

2.2437704

2008

WASP-24

b

1.032

1.104

2.3412083

2010

Gliese 581

e

0.006104

-

3.14942

2009

Gliese 581

b

0.0492

-

5.36874

2005

Gliese 581

c

0.01686

-

12.9292

2007

Gliese 581

d

0.02231

-

66.8

2007

HAT-P-4

b

0.68

1.27

3.056536

2007

Lupus-TR-3

b

0.81

0.89

3.91405

2007

WASP-17

b

0.49

1.66

3.7354417

2009

XO-1

b

0.9

1.3

3.941534

2006

1RXS J160929.1-210524

b

8

1.7

 

2008

HD 147506

HAT-P-2b

9.09

1.157

5.6334729

2007

PSR B1620-26

PSR B1620-26b

2.5

~0.8

~36500

1993

HD 149026

b

0.359

0.654

2.8758887

2005

GJ 1214

b

0.0179

0.2415

1.5803925

2009

HAT-P-14

b

2.232

1.15

4.6267669

2010

OGLE-2005-BLG-071L

b

3.5

-

3600

2005

OGLE-TR-10

b

0.63

1.26

3.10129

2002

GSC 03089-00929

TrES-3

1.92

1.295

1.30619

2007

OGLE-2006-BLG-109L

b

0.727

-

1790

2008

rOGLE-2006-BLG-109L

c

0.271

-

4931

2008

GSC 02620-00648

TrES-4

0.919

1.799

3.553945

2006

MOA-2008-BLG-310L

b

0.23

-

-

2009

OGLE-2005-BLG-390L

b

0.018

-

4800

2006

OGLE-2007-BLG-368L

b

0.0694

-

-

2009

OGLE-TR-56

b

1.29

1.30

1.211909

2003

SWEEPS J175853.92−291120.6

SWEEPS-04

3.8

0.81

4.2

2006

SWEEPS J175902.67−291153.5

SWEEPS-11

9.7

1.13

1.796

2006

OGLE-2003-BLG-235L
/MOA-2003-BLG-53L

b

2.6

-

-

2004

OGLE-2005-BLG-169L

b

0.041

-

3100

2006

MOA-2007-BLG-192L

b

0.01

-

-

2008

MOA-2007-BLG-400L

b

0.9

-

-

2008

HAT-P-5

b

1.06

1.26

2.788491

2007

WASP-3

b

1.76

1.31

1.846834

2007

COROT-11

b

2.33

1.43

2.99433

2010

COROT-9

b

0.84

1.05

95.2738

2010

COROT-6

b

2.96

1.166

8.887

2009

Kepler-8

b

0.603

1.419

3.52254

2010

Kepler-4

b

0.077

0.357

3.21346

2010

GSC 02652-01324

TrES-1

0.61

1.081

3.030065

2004

GSC 03549-02811

TrES-2

1.199

1.272

2.47063

2006

Kepler-7

b

0.433

1.478

4.885525

2010

COROT-10

b

2.75

0.97

13.2406

2010

COROT-8

b

0.22

0.57

6.21229

2010

COROT-2

b

3.31

1.465

1.7429964

2007

HAT-P-7

b

1.8

1.421

2.2047298

2008

Kepler-6

b

0.669

1.323

3.23423

2010

HAT-P-11

b

0.081

0.422

4.8878162

2009

Kepler-5

b

2.114

1.431

3.54846

2010

HD 189733

b

1.13

1.138

2.2185733

2005

WASP-2

b

0.914

1.117

2.152226

2006

WASP-7

b

0.96

0.915

4.954658

2008

HD 209458

b

0.685

1.32

3.52474859

1999

HAT-P-8

b

1.52

1.5

3.07632

2008

Gliese 876

d

0.021

-

1.93778

2005

Gliese 876

c

0.7142

-

30.0881

2001

Gliese 876

b

2.2756

-

61.1166

1998

Gliese 876

e

0.046

-

124.26

2010

Fomalhaut

b

0.054–3.0

-

~320000

2008

ADS 16402 B

HAT-P-1b

0.524

1.225

4.4652934

2006

HR 8799

d

10

1.2

~36500

2008

HR 8799

c

10

1.2

~69000

2008

HR 8799

b

7

1.1

~170000

2008

WASP-21

b

0.30

1.07

4.322482

2010

WASP-6

b

0.503

1.224

3.361006

2008

WASP-10

b

3.06

1.08

3.0927616

2008

WASP-4

b

1.237

1.365

1.3382282

2007

WASP-28

b

0.91

1.12

3.408821

2010

HAT-P-6

b

1.057

1.33

3.852985

2007

WASP-29

b

0.248

0.74

3.923

2010

WASP-5

b

1.637

1.171

1.6284246

2007

WASP-8

b

2.23

1.17

8.16

2008

 

The planets are listed with indications of their approximate masses as multiples of Jupiter's mass (MJ = 1.8986 × 1027 kg) or multiples of Earth's mass (ME = 5.9736 × 1024 kg), and have approximate distances in astronomical units (1 AU = 1.496 × 108 km, distance between Earth and Sun) from their parent stars.

At the moment, according to the International Astronomical Union, there is neither any agreed-upon system for exoplanet discovery and characterisation of exoplanets orbiting stars other than the Sun. However,the current trend in exoplanet characterisation that is gaining prominence is to uses a lower-case letter (starting with "b") to extend a star's designation. For example, 16 Cygni Bb is the first extoplanet found around the star 16 Cygni B, itself a member of the triple star system 16 Cygni.

To be considered as a exoplanet the upper limit of exoplanet mass is 13 MJ where above that mass an object is considered a brown dwarf no matter how it formed or where it is located. However, there are 20 confirmed objects listed in the Exoplanet Encyclopaedia that range from 13 to 25 MJ. If Exoplanet Encylopedia excludes those massive objects, there would be 453 exoplanets listed.

The true mass of the exoplanet estimated only 121 extrasolar planets. There are currently 100 known planets in single planetary systems. There is also 2 8-multiple planetary systems (3 with two planets, 2 with three, 2 with four, and 1 with five) .

The majority of these exoplanets transit their host stars which enables in determining their inclination of their orbits and therefore the true ratio of the masses of the exoplanet to their parent star. With a accurate calculation of the parent star's parallax and some independent means of measuring the star's mass, an absolute value of the exoplanet's mass can be calculated.

Currently majority of exoplanet discovery and characterisation is limited to 300 light years distance from earth due to the limitation of existing technologies.

Learn more Extrasolar Planets by topics below.
Drakes equation

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