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Extrasolar Planets

Images associated with articles about extrasolar planets (exoplanets) at http://www.bellaonline.com/subjects/10492.asp

Visualization of the habitable zone. The red region is too warm, the blue region too cool, and the green region is just right for liquid water. Because it can be described in this way, sometimes it is referred to as the "Goldilocks Zone," too. (Credit: NASA Kepler Mission)

Habitable zone relative to size of star, comparing the Sun with Gliese 581. You can see that the habitable zone of lower mass stars is closer to the star than the Sun's habitable zone is. Seeing Mars is in the habitable zone also shows that there are factors other than distance involved in habitability. (Credit: ESO)

HD 40307 system in the constellation Pictor. A Trio of Super-Earths (artist's impression). Credit: ESO

HD 40307 d - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

en.wikipedia.org

Artistic impression of planet Kapteyn b, a potentially habitable planet, with Omega Centauri in the background. (Image: Abel Mendez, Planetary Habitability Laboratory, 2014-07-08)

Potentially habitable planets. (Image: Planetary Habitability Laboratory, 2014-07-08)

Nearby Super-Earth, Gliese 832 c, is the most Earth-like Exoplanet

Solar System compared to Kepler-47, a double-star system containing two planets, one orbiting in the habitable zone - where liquid water might exist on the surface of a planet. One star is similar to the sun in size, but not as bright. The second one is tiny and less than 1% as bright as the Sun. This means the system's habitable zone is closer in. One year on Kepler-47c is 303 days, but it's not a world hospitable for life. It seems to be similar to Neptune. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle)

NASA - Orbiting in the Habitable Zone of Two Suns

nasa.gov

Exoplanet GJ 504b (artist's depiction). In the constellation Virgo, the planet glows a dark magenta. It's about four times the mass of Jupiter and when discovered in August 2013, was the lowest-mass planet ever directly imaged around a star like the sun. (Image Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/S. Wiessinger) Mona Evans, "Virgo the Maiden" www.bellaonline.c...

Astronomers Image Lowest-mass Exoplanet Around a Sun-like Star

nasa.gov

Kepler-186f (artist's concept). The planet resides in the Kepler-186 system about 500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus. The system includes four inner planets, seen lined up in orbit around a host star that is half the size and mass of the sun. (Image Credit: NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech) Mona Evans, "Searching for Extrasolar Planets" www.bellaonline.c...

▶ Kepler's New Universe. "Kepler has opened up a new universe. Only about 20 years ago, we didn't know if there were any other planets around any other stars besides our own, now we know we live in a galaxy that contains more planets than stars. Every star in our galaxy has on average 1.6 planets in orbit around it." This video explains how the Kepler mission works.

Kepler mission discovered 715 new planets. 2014-02-26. The artist concept depicts multiple-transiting planet systems, which are stars with more than one planet. The planets eclipse or transit their host star from the vantage point of the observer. This angle is called edge-on. (Image Credit: NASA)

Dust disk around a new star. (Artist's impression) Astronomers think that planetary systems - including ours - form from such disks.

Open cluster Messier 67. Artist's impression of a star that's nearly a twin to the Sun, and its planet. From a study published in January 2014 based on six years worth of observational data at ESO's La Silla Observatory. (Credit: L Calcada / ESO)

Tatooine, the fictional home of Luke Skywalker, is a planet with two suns. (Credit & copyright: Star Wars film productions) The binary star system appeared in the films while astronomers were still arguing about whether such a thing was possible. Since then planets have been discovered in binary systems.

Planet HAT-P-1b orbits a star in a double star system. (Image credit: David A. Aguilar (CfA)) It's extremely large for its mass. In this picture, both stars are included - one is quite far away. Mona Evans, "Exotic Exoplanets Tour" www.bellaonline.c...

55 Cancri e, the diamond planet. Everything you wanted to know about the diamond planet discovered by Yale researchers, in one handy graphic. (Credit for graphic: Emmanuel Quartey). Mona Evans, "Searching for Extrasolar Planets" www.bellaonline.c...

In the first three years of Kepler data, more than 3,500 exoplanet candidates have been named. Since the January 2013 update the number of candidates increased by 29 percent. The largest increase of 78 percent was for the Earth-size category. (Credit: NASA) Mona Evans, "Hunting for Extrasolar planets" www.bellaonline.c...

From the Kepler data we're finding new planets all the time. Many are more earthlike in size and some are in the habitable zones of their stars. This doesn't mean there is any kind of life on them. There are many other factors that could make them uninhabitable. Mona Evans, "Searching for Extrasolar Planets", www.bellaonline.c...

Kepler-78b compared to Earth. It's 1.2 times the size of Earth and 1.7 times more massive, giving it the same density. It's probably also mostly rock and iron, but it orbits its star every 8.5 hours. Its star is slightly smaller and less massive than the sun and is located about 400 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus. Mona Evans, "Hunting for Extrasolar planets" www.bellaonline.c...

Kepler-78b orbiting its star. (artist's conception) It's similar in size and density to Earth, but you wouldn't want to live there. Its year is 8.5 hours long and it's a seething inferno. [Credit: David A. Aguilar (CfA)] Mona Evans, "Hunting for Extrasolar Planets" www.bellaonline.c...

Exoplanets. It *is* an exciting time. This drawing was done in June 2012. By October 2013 there were over 1000 known exoplanets. (Credit: XKCD) Mona Evans, "Searching for Exoplanets" www.bellaonline.c...