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Exoplanet Records

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Exoplanetary Scratchpad

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Smallest Planet Records

Smallest Planet Record

  • (Antiquity) Mercury - Home system of Earth, the only confirmed habitable planet. Also has three other terrestrials, two Jovians, two Neptunians, several rocky and icy Dwarf Planets, a asteroid belt, a kuiper belt, and an Oort cloud.
  • (1801) Ceres
  • (1802) Pallas
  • (1804) Juno
  • (1845) Mercury
  • (1930) Pluto
  • (2006) PSR B1257+12 A - The first extrasolar system confirmed and one of the only planetary systems known around a pulsar. Has three rocky planets that orbit closer than Venus. The innermost has a Moon-like mass, while the next two out are Super Earths. May also have an outer "comet" sized body, the first sub-planetary object detected and possibly a representative of a mini "kuiper belt" at asteroid belt like distance.

Smallest Exoplanet Record

  • (1991) PSR B1257+12 C - The first extrasolar system confirmed and one of the only planetary systems known around a pulsar. Has three rocky planets that orbit closer than Venus. The innermost has a Moon-like mass, while the next two out are Super Earths. May also have an outer "comet" sized body, the first sub-planetary object detected and possibly a representative of a mini "kuiper belt" at asteroid belt like distance.
  • (1994) PSR B1257+12 A

Smallest Exoplanet Around Normal Star Record (Minimum Mass)

  • (1995) 51 Pegasi b - Contains the first exo-planet around a normal star discovered and the first "Hot Jupiter" found, which is nicknamed "Bellerophon". Found to have supersonic winds that caused the eternal night-side hemisphere to be as hot as the day-side one.
  • (2000) 79 Ceti b - 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.
  • (2002) HD 49674 b - Contains the first planet found to have significantly less mass than Saturn.
  • (2004) Mu Arae d - 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, Mars-like, and Jupiter-like distances in addition to a Hot Neptune (the first Neptunian announced).
  • (2005) Gliese 876 d - Very nearby quadruple planet system and the first Red Dwarf found to have planets. The innermost planet (d) was the first found rocky planet around a normal star (the first true Super-Earth, at epistellar distances). The outer three planets c (Saturnian), b (Jovian), and e (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 however it is very much colder than Mercury. Gliese 876 e actually receives only slightly more warmth from Gliese 876 than Jupiter does from our Sun. 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.
  • (2005) OGLE-2005-BLG-390L b - 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.
  • (2007) Gliese 581 c - Small nearby Red Dwarf with six planets in tight circular orbits and a distant Kuiper belt where many comets orbit. Gliese 581 e was, at the time of its discovery, 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 habitable zone (initially heralded as habitable, but later thought too hot due to the greenhouse effect), g is a super-Earth and the first detected in the middle of the HZ (and is highly controversial, having many doubters and defenders), d is a super-Earth on the outer edge of the HZ which could support liquid water (due to its presumably large atmospheric pressure and carbon dioxide), and f (its existence is also highly controversial) is a cold super-Earth. Much further out, from 25 ± 12 AU to more than 60 AU, there is a cold debris disk reminiscent of the Kuiper belt but with 10 times more comets than the one in our solar system. The star is not very active.
  • (2008) Gliese 436 c - The second known red dwarf planetary system. Contains one of the first Neptunians discovered. 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. 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.
  • (2008) MOA-2007-BLG-192L b - 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.
  • (2009) Gliese 581 e - Small nearby Red Dwarf with six planets in tight circular orbits and a distant Kuiper belt where many comets orbit. Gliese 581 e was, at the time of its discovery, 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 habitable zone (initially heralded as habitable, but later thought too hot due to the greenhouse effect), g is a super-Earth and the first detected in the middle of the HZ (and is highly controversial, having many doubters and defenders), d is a super-Earth on the outer edge of the HZ which could support liquid water (due to its presumably large atmospheric pressure and carbon dioxide), and f (its existence is also highly controversial) is a cold super-Earth. Much further out, from 25 ± 12 AU to more than 60 AU, there is a cold debris disk reminiscent of the Kuiper belt but with 10 times more comets than the one in our solar system. The star is not very active.

Smallest Exoplanet Around Normal Star Record (Measured Mass)

Smallest Exoplanet Around Normal Star Record (Measured Radius)

  • Gliese 436 c (2008) - The second known red dwarf planetary system. Contains one of the first Neptunians discovered. 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. 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.
  • CoRoT-Exo-7 b (2009) - 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.

Smallest Jovian

(Hydrogen-Helium Gas Giant)

  • Jupiter
  • Saturn
  • HAT-P-12 b (2009) 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.

Star Size Records

Smallest Star With Exoplanet Record

  • (2008) MOA-2007-BLG-192L System - 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.
  • (2009) VB 10 System - A controversial "first" exoplanetary system discovered 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 system forms an astrometric binary (unbound) with a larger Gliese 752 binary system, which lies 434 AU away. The star will burn for 10 trillion years, then the planet will fall into it, fuelling it for another 100 billion years.

Largest Records

Largest Measured Radius Records

  • Jupiter
  • HD 209458 System - Has first discovered transiting planet which was nicknamed Osiris due to the comet-like tail detected and the first exoplanet around a normal star to have its mass directly measured. 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. 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.

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