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Scratchpad

Planetary Systems By Name Type

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Exoplanetary Scratchpad

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Planet Nicknames

Some exoplanets have been given unofficial nicknames by Astronomers or the media. These names are either descriptive or named after something based on observed properties of the planet.
Pseudo-Proper Names

  • Bellerophon - 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.
  • Osiris - 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.
  • Methuselah - 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.

Descriptive Names

  • Goldilocks Planet -
  • Fire and Ice Planet - A nearby (44 ly) multi-star system which is the first multiplanet system found around a main sequence star. 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 Planet b (0.05 au, 1.4 MJ, e=0.013) 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. The middle planets c (0.83 au, 14 MJ, may actually be a brown dwarf star, e=0.224) and d (2.5 au, 10 MJ, e=0.26) have had their inclinations and masses determined with astrometry. 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. The star appears to have no Kuiper-belt like disc, perhaps due to its companion star sweeping away this material.
  • Bull's Eye Planet - Planet b (the first nearby Very Hot Jupiter, originally thought to be inflated) is the nearest planet discovered using the transit technique (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. 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. Hubble found that its atmosphere was a uniform blue haze.
  • Tatooine Planet - First triple star system found to have a planet.

Proper Names

Very bright stars others that form key points in a constellation's pattern often have proper (mostly Arabic and some Latin) names associated with them. Most other stars do not. These stars usually go by their Bayer names in scientific journals. Stars with proper proper names that have confirmed planets include:

  • Pollux System - Planet confirmed that was first suspected in 1993. This is the brightest star in the sky known to have a planet.
  • Errai System - Primary star also known as Gamma Cephei. It is the first close in binary star found to have a planet. May contain the nearest "Sulfurous Cloud Giant" planet.
  • Ain System - First system in the Hyades star cluster found to have a planet and the brightest star in the cluster. Also known as Epsilon Tauri.
  • Edasich System - Contains the first planet discovered orbiting a giant star, proving planets at Earth-like distances can survive the evolution of their stars to giant phase. It is in an eccentric orbit at 1.5 AU, which aided its detection as giant stars have pulsations which can mimic the presence of a planet.

Bayer Names

See Wikipedia Article.

Original Bayer Names

These stars have a form of the constellation they are in and a greek letter indicating the brightness rank within that constellations. Stars that have Bayer Names include:

  • Gamma Cephei System - (see Errai System above)
  • Beta Geminorum System - (see Pollux System above)
  • Epsilon Tauri System - (see Ain System above)
  • Iota Horologii System - Contains the first planet discovered with an ESA instrument.
  • Iota Draconis System - (aka Edasich) Contains the first planet discovered orbiting a giant star, proving planets at Earth-like distances can survive the evolution of their stars to giant phase. It is in an eccentric orbit at 1.5 AU, which aided its detection as giant stars have pulsations which can mimic the presence of a planet.
  • Upsilon Andromedae System - A nearby (44 ly) multi-star system which is the first multiplanet system found around a main sequence star. 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 Planet b (0.05 au, 1.4 MJ, e=0.013) 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. The middle planets c (0.83 au, 14 MJ, may actually be a brown dwarf star, e=0.224) and d (2.5 au, 10 MJ, e=0.26) have had their inclinations and masses determined with astrometry. 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. The star appears to have no Kuiper-belt like disc, perhaps due to its companion star sweeping away this material.
  • Rho Corona Borealis System - Template:Rho Corona Borealis System
  • Epsilon Eridani System - Nearest single non-red dwarf star to the Sun and the second nearest system with a confirmed planet. The planet is a very elliptical Jupiter-like world. It also has two asteroid belts and a kuiper belt, with evidence of planets in between.
  • Tau Bootes System - (aka Tau Bootis) Contains one of the first discovered Hot Jupiters, which was one of the largest and hottest of the earlier discovered ones. First planet-bearing star to have its magnetosphere probed. Hot Jupiter is embedded within it and tidally locks the star's rotation.
  • Pi Mensae System - Very eccentric jovian around a yellow giant star.
  • Rho Indi System - Eccentric water cloud giant around a yellow sub-giant star.
  • Rho Cancri System - (aka 55 Cancri) Wide binary star consisting of a sun-like primary (A) 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 this many. It has three tightly packed eccentric planets close in to the star, including planet e (hot Super Earth/Neptunian), b (hot Jupiter), and c (hot Saturn). Planet e was the first Neptunian discovered. It was later found to be the shortest-period planet discovered (18 hours) and to transit. The planet has about half of Neptune's mass, but is Earth-like in size and density (2.17 Earth Radius). It is composed 70% of rock and the outer 30% is likely an ocean of super-critical water (between a gas and liquid state) that is 3000km thick. This is the hottest and densest super-Earth and the is the most watery planet found to date. It likely possesses a thick atmosphere of CO and CO2. 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. Planet f 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. The distant outer star causes planet d's axis to flip on its axis every million years. Planet d 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.
  • Epsilon Reticuli System - A cloudless blue jovian around an orange sub-giant star.

Extended Bayer Names

The Bayer system was extended to use Roman letters instead of Greek letters, starting from a to z and then A to Q. Stars that have extended Bayer Names include:


Superscripted Bayer Names

Superscripts are added to some Bayer letters to distinguish between components in visual binaries or star cluster or specify a member of a "chain" of stars across the sky.

Flamsteed Names

See Wikipedia Article.
These names are like Bayer names except they use numbers instead of greek letters. Stars that have Flamsteed names that do not also have Bayer Names include:

  • 4 Ursa Majoris System - Template:4 Ursa Majoris System
  • 14 Herculis System - Contains the first discovered exoplanet orbiting beyond the habitable zone. An eccentric ammonia cloud giant ranging from 1.9 to 3.7 au from a yellow dwarf star.
  • 16 Cygni System - 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.
  • 23 Librae System - 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.
  • 47 Ursa Majoris System - (aka Ursae Majoris) One of earliest systems discovered one. Planets b (2.5 MJ, 2.1 AU) and 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. 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. Planet d has not yet completed a full year yet since its discovery, 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.
  • 51 Pegasi System - 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.
  • 54 Piscium System - Nearby star with an eccentric planet. A recently discovered faint distant T type brown dwarf may be the cause of this eccentricity.
  • 55 Cancri System - Wide binary star consisting of a sun-like primary (A) 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 this many. It has three tightly packed eccentric planets close in to the star, including planet e (hot Super Earth/Neptunian), b (hot Jupiter), and c (hot Saturn). Planet e was the first Neptunian discovered. It was later found to be the shortest-period planet discovered (18 hours) and to transit. The planet has about half of Neptune's mass, but is Earth-like in size and density (2.17 Earth Radius). It is composed 70% of rock and the outer 30% is likely an ocean of super-critical water (between a gas and liquid state) that is 3000km thick. This is the hottest and densest super-Earth and the is the most watery planet found to date. It likely possesses a thick atmosphere of CO and CO2. 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. Planet f 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. The distant outer star causes planet d's axis to flip on its axis every million years. Planet d 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.
  • 70 Virginis System -
  • 79 Ceti System - 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.
  • 83 Leonis System - Multiple star system with a planet.
  • 91 Aquarii System - (aka Psi1 Aquarii) A dark hot jupiter around an orange giant star.
  • 94 Ceti System - A yellow water cloud jovian around a hot yellow dwarf star.
  • 109 Piscium System - A white Water Cloud Jovian around an yellow sub-giant star at near Earth-like temperatures.

Variable Names

See Wikipedia Article.
Variable stars are given special names if they don't have greek letter Bayer designations. They look similar, except use a roman letter, two roman letters, or a roman letter with a multi-digit number.

  • AB Pictoris System - Contains one of the first exoplanets directly imaged. The young planet is just under the Brown Dwarf threshold in mass and was observed 275 AU from its orange dwarf host star.
  • GQ Lupi System - 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.
  • HO Librae System - (aka Gliese 581) 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.

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