25 Fascinating Exoplanets To Blow Your Scientific Mind

How would you like to live on another planet? Granted it’s not possible right now but scientists have been able to find other planets that could (maybe, possibly) be suitable for life. Sadly these exoplanets are not in our solar system.

An exoplanet is any planet that orbits a star other than our sun and come in all sizes; from bigger than Jupiter to smaller than Earth. Just as in our solar system, exoplanets can orbit their own stars from any distance. In fact, some exoplanets orbit so close to their stars that their surface temperatures can reach temperatures upwards of 2,200 °C (you definitely don’t want to live there). However, some exoplanets will orbit at just the right distance (known as the “habitable zone”) and are the right temperature to have liquid water on their surface which means they might be able to support life. These are but a couple of the many fascinating exoplanets found out there.

The problem, however, is that exoplanets are hard to see directly from Earth and for that reason we don’t know much about them. Because of the distance, or because many of them happen to be really small and faint, they are easily lost in the glare of the bright stars they orbit, so we often use indirect methods to find them. One of these is called the transit method, by which we carefully measure the brightness of a star over a long period of time and look for periodic decreases in the brightness that are caused by a planet passing in front of it. Using these method we have been able to find so many peculiar planets! So if you are ready to learn about some of the most peculiar planets in our universe, get ready because these are 25 Fascinating Exoplanets To Blow Your Scientific Mind.

25

Gliese 3634 b

Gliese 3634 bSource: space.com, Image: Wikipedia

Gliese 3634 b is a super-Earth in the orbit of the nearby red dwarf Gliese 3634 approximately 64.5 light-years away, in the constellation Hydra. The planet is approximately eight times the mass of Earth and orbits its star every two and a half days at a distance of 0.0287 AU. The planet was the first to be discovered by a group of astronomers searching for exoplanets in the orbit of very-low-mass stars.

24

51 Pegasi (Helvetios)

51 Pegasi (Helvetios)Source: space.com, Image: Wikipedia

51 Pegasi, or Helvetios, is a sunlike star located 50.9 light-years from Earth in the constellation Pegasus. It was the first main-sequence star found to have an exoplanet orbiting it. The star is of apparent magnitude 5.49, and so is visible with the naked eye under suitable viewing conditions.


23

Gliese 436 b

Gliese 436 bSource: space.com, Image: Wikipedia

Gliese 436 b is a Neptune-sized exoplanet orbiting the red dwarf Gliese 436. It was the first hot Neptune (a type of giant planet with a mass similar to that of Uranus or Neptune in an orbit close to its star) discovered with certainty (in 2007) and is among the smallest known transiting planets in mass and radius. The planet has the second-lowest insolation of the known transiting planets. Whatever energy tidal effects deliver to the planet, it does not significantly affect its temperature, because of the planet’s gravity.

22

HD 164595 b

HD 164595 bSource: space.com, Image: Wikipedia

HD 164595 b is a confirmed exoplanet orbiting the sun-like star HD 164595 every forty days some 94.36 light-years away. Depending on the planet’s density it could be a mega-world that could be like a terrestrial planet or it could be made out of volatile compressed into a solid form.


21

Kepler-442b

Kepler-442bSource: space.com, Image: Wikipedia

Kepler-442b is a confirmed near-Earth-sized exoplanet, likely rocky, orbiting within the habitable zone of a K-type star. The planet was discovered by NASA’s Kepler spacecraft using the transit method and was announced on January 6, 2015. The planet is described as being one of the most Earth-like planets, in terms of size and temperature, yet found.



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