Substellar Systems in the News

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Exoplanetary Scratchpad

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Index of systems that have been in the news. Sorted by the date of the most recent headline news the system is featured in. Each system should only appear once in this list. Each page should have links to various news articles for that system. Only systems prominantly featured in the news or are of special interest should be included here. For news articles not about any particular system, see General Exoplanet News.

Also see One Liner Systems.

Systems of 2012

  • GJ 1214 System (Feb 12) - A red dwarf system containing the first exoplanet discovered by the MEarth project, which seeks to detect transiting Earth-like planets around nearby red dwarves, and the second transiting super-Earth. The planet is the first of a new class of planets with low mass and low density. It is between Earth and Neptune in radius and it could be a small Neptunian, a terrestrial with an outgassed atmosphere, or a water world. Its featureless spectrum (the first Super Earth atmosphere ever studied) suggests a heavy atmosphere choked with water steam or one with thick water clouds above it, making viewing the surface impossible (further studies should resolve this). It may be the coolest transiting planet detected. Its close proximity (under 50 ly) assures promising future observation.

Systems of 2011

See also Systems of 2011.

  • KOI 55 System (Dec 11) - A hot class B sub-dwarf star (also called KIC 05807616) that has completed it expansion phase and retracted. Kepler detected two unconfirmed planets .01 and .02 at epistellar distances that apparently survived the expansion in-tact. It is thought that their outer layers were stripped away, leaving only their cores. It is thought that only massive planets could survive this, as terrestrial planets would be completely disintegrated. Engulfing planets like these may have hastened the loss of the star's outer layers and may be the only way of producing a star of this type. The planets were not detected using transit, but rather their reflected light may be enhancing the star's brightness, which also varies over time. The planets would have diameters of 76% and 87% that of Earth if they are rocky.
  • Kepler-20 System (Dec 11) - An unusual 5 planet system (b-e-c-f-d) discovered by the Kepler spacecraft containing 3 Neptune-sized objects (b, c, d) and 2 Earth-sized objects (e, f), which are in alternating distances from the star, with the outermost one orbiting only in 78 days. Planet f has nearly the identical radius as Earth (1.03 RE), while planet e is the first sub-Earth planet (0.87 RE) discovered around a normal star, and were the smallest discovered yet at the time.
  • Gliese 581 System (Dec 11) - 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.
  • KOI 736 System (Dec 11) - One of the 48 potentially habitable exoplanet Kepler candidates known in 2011, unconfirmed. It was judged to be the planet most similar to Earth in the Habitable Zone Index in 2011. It is 1,750 light years away and has an estimated surface temperature of 86F. One of the initial 16 to have been rendered by the Scientific Exoplanet Renderer.
  • KOI 255 System (Dec 11) - One of the 48 potentially habitable exoplanet Kepler candidates known in 2011, unconfirmed. Judged most likely to support life in the Habitable Zone Index. It is a warm super-Earth 1,169 light years away with a surface temperature of 86F. One of the initial 16 to have been rendered by the Scientific Exoplanet Renderer.
  • Kepler-22 System (Dec 11) - Contains the smallest planet in the habitable zone around a star at the time of its discovery by Kepler. The first around a sun-like star at Earth-like distances that is not probably tidally locked. The first potentially habitable planet confirmed (transits confirmed on other telescopes). Orbits around a sun-like star about every 290 days. It is about 2.4 times the radius of Earth. Its mass is difficult to measure and may be beyond the ability of modern telescopes (Keck will give it a try), so it has not been confirmed to be rocky yet (some planets the same size are either). It was the first of 54 habitable zone planet candidates to be independently confirmed. Depicted in art as blue with green clouds, the Scientific Exoplanets Renderer did not compute that it was habitable though. Its surface temperature is 76F, similar to a spring day on Earth.
  • Alpha Centauri System (Dec 11) - Alpha Centauri is the nearest star system to the Sun, just over 4 light years away. Alpha Centauri is a triple star system. It contains two stars similar to our Sun in mass and temperature. One a little larger than the Sun, Alpha Centauri A which is like our Sun a yellow dwarf star, and another star slightly smaller than the Sun, Alpha Centauri B, which is a very slightly cooler orange dwarf. They're in a close but eccentric orbit around a common centre of mass, and that orbit takes about 80 years to complete. Though relatively close to each other the distance between them varies greatly, between a maximum separation of about 36 au, which for comparison is a bit further out than the orbit of Neptune, down to a minimum separation of around 11 au, just a little bit further out than the planet Saturn's orbit. The star system’s third stellar member is much more distant at 15,000 au, which if it was in our solar system would place it out in the middle of the Oort cloud. It orbits the other two stars about every half a million years. It is a much colder and smaller star than our Sun, a Red Dwarf and its usual name is not Alpha Centauri C but Proxima Centauri. The triple star system also has one recently confirmed planet, it is nearly the same size as Earth but unlike Earth it is very tightly orbiting around its parent star, Alpha Centauri B. The planet, Alpha Centauri Bb, is in a torch orbit, just above the star, that is only about one tenth the distance out as Mercury's orbit is out from our Sun, and being so close it takes no more than a few days for the planet to complete a whole orbit.
  • Kepler-21 System (Dec 11) - One of the brightest systems in Kepler's field of vision (though not quite visible to the naked eye, the nearest Kepler system with a confirmed planet), also known as HD 179070, located 352 light years away. Kepler detected a 10 Earth mass and 1.6 Earth radii hot super-Earth orbiting 10 times nearer than Mercury does the Sun. Its temperature is about 2,960F.
  • Beta Pictoris System (Dec 11) - First star found to have a circumstellar disk and the source of most interstellar meteorites in the Solar System and the nearest star with a planet that has been visually detected (61 ly). Contains the youngest known exo-planet, which shows that Jupiter-like planets can form much quicker than previously believed. It is the closest-in exoplanet photographed and is at 8 AU and 7-11 Jupiter Masses and orbits in 20 years. This planet was first hinted at by studying dust disks in 2003 and first photographed in 2003, but it was not confirmed and was lost. It was imaged again in 2008, and became the first imaged exoplanet confirmed to move around its star in 2010. It has an effective temperature of 1,100 to 1,700C, showing that it is still warm and has retained much of its heat from its formation. Evidence of a planetary transit in 1981 was found in record. It was originally thought that a second planet must have caused a tilt in one of the disks, but now it known that the first planet is. Some data suggests the planet is unusually wide, perhaps evidence of a ring system around it. The planet is traveling through a relatively dust-free gap in the debris disk, and thought to be clearing it. The planet is losing momentum as it travels through the debris disk.
  • Gliese 370 System (Dec 11) - Also known as HD 85512, contains the second of three confirmed potentially habitable planet as of 2011. One of over 50 exoplanets and 16 Super-Earths discovered by HARPS at the ESO using the radial velocity method. It is about 3.6 Earth Masses at the inner edge of the habitable zone. The smallest exoplanet yet found potentially in the habitable zone when discovered. It could be between 85 to 120F. It could be habitable if it exhibited more than 50% cloud cover. It was rendered by the Scientific Exoplanet Renderer.
  • 55 Cancri System (Nov 11) - 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.
  • MOA266 System (Nov 11) - Full name is MOA-2009-BLG-226L. Contains a planet detected with microlensing. It was the first large planet discovered beyond the snow line that lacks a dense atmosphere.
  • LkCa 15 System (Oct 11) - One of the two youngest stars (about a million years old) detected with evidence for a planet-forming circumstellar disk. Has an outer dust disk (which would envelop the Solar System) and a thin inner dust disk (which would fit inside Mercury's orbit). The inner disk is somewhat lopsided. Planet b was later detected, the youngest and first direct photograph of a protoplanet. It is a giant planet orbiting at Uranus-like distances and appears as a blue dot. It is about 1,000C and surrounded by a red structure about 500C, which could be material colliding into the protoplanet or being ejected from it. Its mass, and planetary status, still needs to be determined.
  • TW Hydrae System (Oct 11) - The nearest planet forming age star discovered with a protoplanetary disk. Also the nearest classical T-Tauri star, 176 ly and 10 million years old. It is one of the oldest protoplanetary disks known, and if it ever would form planets, that time would be now. It was thought to have contained the youngest known exoplanet and first known one within its protoplanetary disk, but this was later chalked up to the rotation of starspots. Gives astronomers a glimpse of what the Solar System may have been like in its infancy and test planetary formation theories. Large amounts of water have been detected in this system. They occur in the outer parts of the system where comet formation is easy. It is formed from photodesorption, which liberates water molecules from rocks. They could provide enough water for a thousand Earths. This is the first time the amount of water could be measured.
  • Eta Corvi System (Oct 11) - A Billion year old system containing two dust belts perhaps experiencing a phase of heavy bombardment (thought to be caused by migration outwards of outer planets disrupting the Kuiper belt). One is interpreted as the result of the collision of a giant comet and a rocky planet, or with another comet. Another is a Kuiper-belt like structure, which may be the source of the comets.
  • WD 0806-661 System (Oct 11) - A white dwarf that has a companion imaged at 130arcseconds, or 2500 AU apart. This companion is about 6-9 Jupiter masses, making it either a large planet or small Y-class brown dwarf. The discoverers argue for the latter. The object must have a very cool surface though, perhaps 80 to 160F.
  • SAO 206462 System (Oct 11) - The first star with spiral arms seen in its dust disks. These could be signs of two planets tugging at material, though other processes could also explain them. The arms extend out to twice that of Pluto's orbit. These structures have been predicted in simulations before, but this is the first time it was seen in a photograph. It is a short-lived phase of star formation and thus very rare.
  • Kepler-18 System (Oct 11) - An unusual triple planet system around a very sun-like star discovered by Kepler. It contains a super-Earth and two outer Hot Neptunes which are in 1:2 resonance with each other. The outer two planets were verified via their gravitational interaction with each other, while the inner planet was only validated by ruling out most of the other things it could possibly be.
  • HR 8799 System (Oct 11) - Hot young star system which is the only imaged and wide multiplanetary system. The 30 MY old star is the only known Gamma Doradus variable that is also a Vega-like star. The innermost is e (14.5 AU, 10 MJ), followed by d (24 AU, 10 MJ), c (38 AU, 10 MJ), and b (68 AU, 7 MJ). Inside the inner planet's orbit is an asteroid belt, while outside of the outer planet is a cometary belt (including a clump at 1:2 resonance with the outermost planet), while further yet is a huge halo extending to 2000 AU. The outer three are planets are 2-2.5 times as far as Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are respectively, but receive similar radiation. The large planets would likely pull the system apart, leading scientists to believe the inner three planets are probably locked in a 1:2:4 orbital resonance in order to maintain stability. An inner planet is at Saturn-to-Uranus-like distances and challenges planetary formation models. Fomalhaut is the only other system where interaction between planets and dust belts can be observed. They are near the upper limits of mass to be classified as planets and could be Brown Dwarves. All three planets were later found in archived Hubble images. The middle planet became the first to have its spectrum directly measured. The spectrum confused scientists and didn't fit current formation theories. They contain carbon monoxide and are depleted in methane, which suggests they were formed in part by absorbing comets in the system. The outermost planet b has unusually thick dust clouds.
  • Kepler-16 System (Sep 11) - The first confirmed binary star found to have a planet revolving around both stars (a circumbinary planet, the previous one was uncertain and detected using astrometry). It is often compared to the Tattoine of Star Wars. It is a Saturn sized world thought to be of rocky and gaseous composition. It is at Venus-like distance from the center of gravity, but because the stars are so dim, lies outside the habitable zone and is a cold world.
  • KIC 10905746 System (Sep 11) - A system 500 light years away that may contain a candidate SuperEarth planet 2.5 times larger than earth. It is one of the first two Kepler observed systems possibly detected by amateur astronomers using the Planet Hunters' Zooniverse project.
  • KIC 6185331 System (Sep 11) - A system 3,000 light years away that may contain a candidate super-Earth 8 times larger than Earth. It is one of the first two Kepler observed systems possibly detected by amateur astronomers using the Planet Hunters' Zooniverse project.
  • Fomalhaut System (Sep 11) - Fomalhaut dust disk is observed in unprecedented detail. It appears reminiscent of the "Eye of Sauron" from the Lord of the Rings films. A planet suspected of causing a sharp gap in the ring was suspected and imaged, becoming the first undisputed exoplanet imaged and the first planet since Neptune to be predicted prior to its discovery. The planet orbits about 115 AU and is between Neptune and 3x Jupiter's mass in an eccentric orbit. Planet b was shown to deviate slightly from its predicted path, stirring up some controversy about the planets' existance. Material surrounding the planet may have been imaged, rather than the planet itself, which some say should bump it off the directly imaged list. Also, the Hubble instrument that detected it is damaged and will not be fixed, making it unobservable for a time.
  • CoRoT-2 System (Sep 11) - A younger version of the Sun with a transiting Inflated Hot Super Jupiter 880ly away. This planet has been used to identify star spots on its surface. It was found to be blasted with x-rays 100,000 times more powerful than the Earth is by the Sun, which is blasting 5 million tons of matter of the planet into space every second. The planet is unusually inflated for its distance. The system is believed to be 100 and 300 Million years old, young, but fully formed. The planet is 3 times as massive as Jupiter and orbits the planet about 10 Earth-Moon distances away. Its proximity may be speeding up its star, keeping its magnetic field active, and maintaining its volatility.
  • 2MASS 2139 System (Sep 11) - Brown dwarf (spectral type T1.5) which had a large storm observed on it 47 light years away. Over a course of several hours, the largest variation in brightness (30%) for a brown dwarf was observed. The best explanation is that large bright and dark patches were being rotated into view. Brown dwarfs are thought to have similar atmospheric characteristics to giant planets. Full name is 2MASS J21392676+0220226.
  • Kepler-19 System (Sep 11) - System with two exoplanets discovered by Kepler, 690ly away. Planet b is a small Neptunian about 20 Earth masses and 2 Earth radii. It takes about 9 days to go around its star and has a surface temperature of 480C. Outer Planet c was discovered based on differences in transit timing (5 minutes) that it caused for Planet b. It is tilted relative to 'b', so it itself never transits. It is not massive enough to have its mass estimated. It could be a rocky planet on a circular 5-day orbit or a gas giant in an oblong 100 day orbit. First TTV detected planet confirmed that doesn't transit due to the fact that Kepler continuously observes the planet's transits, rather than stitches together several observations. Future observations with HARPs using radial velocity method will be used to pinpoint planet c's mass.
  • PSR J1719-1438 System (Aug 11) - A millisecond pulsar containing a planet composed of a diamond. The planet is the remnant of a star.
  • PG1225-079 System (Aug 11) - White Dwarf that contains evidence of an absorbed dwarf planet. It contains magnesium, iron, and nickel in Earth-like ratios contaminates in its mostly Helium atmosphere. Some contaminants such as Calcium are two or three times greater than Earth.
  • HS2253+8023 System (Aug 11) - White Dwarf with evidence that it has absorbed an Earth-like dwarf planet formed in about the same region that the Earth was formed. Contaminents are 85% oxygen, magnesium, silicon, and iron (very Earthlike).
  • NLTT 43806 System (Aug 11) - White Dwarf with evidence of a planetary collision similar in scale to a Mars-like planet striking an Earth-like planet, similar to the collision thought to create the Moon. The star is unique in that it is the only white dwarf with very high Aluminum abundance and relatively low Iron abundance. Its theorized that Aluminum, common in the outer parts of a planet, was knocked off during the collision and got swallowed by the star, while the Iron core remained in tact. The collision would have occurred very recently 50 million years ago.
  • GSC 03549-02811 System (Aug 11) - Contains TrES-2, which was the most massive nearby transiting planet until the discovery of Hat-P-2 b. It has a large radius for a planet not considered inflated. A large ground-based telescope method of observation was pioneered on this planet. Since its in Keplar's field of view, it was observed by it as a test subject and dubbed Kepler1b. A second planet is possibly responsible for fluctuations in the first's inclination. Kepler determined that it is the darkest known planet, blacker than coal, due to its extremely low dimming and brightening detected during transits. It would appear black except for some faint red tinge. This conflicts with current theories, which thought that a Hot Jupiter could only get as dark as Mercury. It appears that the planet is too hot for reflective clouds to form and instead its atmosphere contains light-absorbing chemicals. An off-the-cuff nickname Erebus (Greek god of darkness) has been suggested. It was also the first planet whose phases have been detected.
  • HD 189733 System (Jul 11) - 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.
  • CoRoT-24 System (Jun 11) - Contains one of the 10 new exoplanets announced by CoRoT team in June 2011. Contains the only planet of the bunch slightly smaller than Saturn.
  • CoRoT-22 System (Jun 11) - Contains one of the 10 new exoplanets announced by CoRoT team in June 2011. Contains the only planet of the bunch slightly smaller than Saturn.
  • CoRoT-20 System (Jun 11) - Contains a transiting Hot Jupiter, one of the 10 new exoplanets announced by CoRoT team in June 2011. One of two planets with highly elongated found in the batch, and will challenge theorists on how it survives on such an orbit.
  • CoRoT-18 System (Jun 11) - Contains a hot Jupiter, one of the 10 new exoplanets announced by CoRoT team in June 2011. The host star is only 600 Million years old, the youngest host star in the batch.
  • CoRoT-17 System (Jun 11) - Contains a hot Jupiter, one of the 10 new exoplanets announced by CoRoT team in June 2011. The star is 10 Billion years old - twice that of the Sun - and the oldest host-star in the batch.
  • CoRoT-16 System (Jun 11) - Contains a transiting Hot Jupiter, one of the 10 new exoplanets announced by CoRoT team in June 2011. One of two planets with highly elongated found in the batch, and will challenge theorists on how it survives on such an orbit.
  • Kepler-10 System (May 11) - An old sun-like star with two rocky Hot Super-Earths, b and a slightly larger outer c that needed to be confirmed with help of Spitzer. B is an airless Super-Earth covered in an ocean of magma with a high density, likely metallic. Its high density means its almost entirely composed of Silicate and metals. Has smallest measured diameter of any exoplanet (40% more than Earth, 4.5 Earth's mass, and nicknamed Vulcan by scientists) and is the first rocky exoplanet found by Kepler. Its daytime temperature is 1,500C, well over the melting point of Silicate and nearly that of Iron. The planet is glowing hot and lava pieces fly away from it like a cometary tail. Planet is similar to Corot-7b, but is around a more quiet star, making measurements more reliable, and thus this planet is the first certainly rocky planet discovered. Has circular orbit, so not likely a super-Io like that planet, instead considered a super-Mercury.
  • WASP-12 System (Apr 11) - The shortest period transiting Hot Jupiter known and the first carbon-rich planet ever found (more Carbon than Oxygen). One of the two largest known planets at 1.79 Jupiter radii. Hottest known exoplanet at time of its discovery. Planet is being ripped apart by star. It is stretched in the shape of a rugby ball and leaves a ring around its star. Huge cloud of material detected around the planet containing elements never before detected on an exoplanet. It has much more methane than water vapor. It may produce shock waves as it plows through its star's stellar wind (the first evidence of shocks around an exoplanet, like Earth and Saturn's bowshocks), possibly produced by a strong planetary magnetic field. This could protect its atmosphere from being stripped away. It could have a diamond core and other terrestrial planets in system would have black spots on them and also be carbon based.
  • Gliese 3483 System (Apr 11) - A star system containing a white dwarf 62% as massive as the sun. A planet or brown dwarf has been visually detected in a distant orbit. It is too small (6-10 Jupiter masses) to likely be a brown dwarf, but may be too far out (2,500 AU) to have formed like a planet (would have been 700 AU before star expanded).
  • KOI 326 System (Mar 11) - Red dwarf system containing what was at first thought the most Earth-like Kepler candidate planet, KOI 326.01. Thought to have average temperature less than the boiling point and a mass a big or smaller than the Earth, but was later found to be somewhat warmer and larger.
  • KOI 730 System (Mar 11) - Possible four-planet Kepler candidate system containing two planets that share an orbit, all planets being locked 8:6:4:3 orbital resonances. It was initially thought they were in a 6-4-4-3 resonance, with two planets sharing an orbit, presumably permanently 120 degrees apart. This had sparked comparisons with the theoretical Theia, which was thought to share Earth's orbit, then collided with it to form the moon.
  • AB Aurigae System (Feb 11) - Well studied young star (only 1 million years old). An image was produced that showed a tell tale arch in the debris of a protoplanet or proto-brown dwarf.
  • T Chamaeleontis System (Feb 11) - A distant star that contains possibly the first exoplanet visually detected that is still in the process of clearing out the gas in its orbit. Its presence was first suggested by a narrow gap in a debris disk and then a small object was found in the gap. Future observations will determine if it is a planet or brown dwarf.
  • Upsilon Andromedae System (Feb 11) - 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.
  • HD 209458 System (Feb 11) - 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.
  • KOI 314 System (Feb 11) - Potentially multi-planet system containing the second most Earth-like Kepler candidate planet as of Feb 2011, KOI 314.02, which is three times the diameter of the Earth and in the near-habitable zone.
  • Kepler-11 System (Feb 11) - System containing 6 transiting planets around a sunlike star. The system is too far away to be confirmed with dopplar spectrometry. Instead, the planets are close enough together that they were confirmed with Transit Timing Variation, which offered measurements for their mass and densities and compositions. The innermost five are Super-Earths and Neptunians and are compact and within Mercury-like distances, and are b (0.09 AU, 4 ME), c (0.10 AU, 13.5 ME), d (0.16 AU, 6.1 ME), e (0.19 AU, 8.4 ME), f (0.25 AU, 2.3 ME). The planets have surprisingly low density for such small planets and not likely rocky. The inner ones are likely mixture of rock/ice or rock/gas, while the outer three are so large for their mass that they have to have a lot of hydrogen/helium. Their outer shells are probably fluffy, while cores are rock hard. The outermost giant g is just outside Mercury's distance (0.46 AU, 1 MJ) and doesn't perturb neighbors enough for its mass to be calculated. They are all coplanar and have low eccentricities, none are in resonance, and the system is more compact than any other known system. Systems discovery prompted a briefing of Kepler's overall status.
  • WASP-33 System (Jan 11) - Aka HD 15082, this is the only known Delta Scuti variable star (kA5 hA8 mF4) known to host a planet. The star is much hotter than the Sun and 50% more massive. The planet is a retrograde inflated hot super Jupiter and is by far hottest measured exoplanet (3150C), 900C hotter than WASP-12b, and hotter than some red dwarf stars. It is one of the 6 out of 27 planets analyzed by the WASP team found to orbit backwards around its star in 2010. The planet may be responsible for the star's pulsations.

Systems of 2010

  • Qatar 1 System (Dec 10) - First exoplanet discovered at Qatar observation site. Contains a transiting hot Jupiter.
  • HIP 13044 System (Nov 10) - The first found planetary system that originated from another galaxy and lies 2000 ly away in the constellation Fornax. The star is slightly less massive than the sun and is near the end of its life. It has already passed through the Red Giant phase, but may soon envelope its epistellar giant planet during its next expansion. This is the only star at such a stage known to have a planet and may have swallowed smaller planets. Planet b must have originated further away from the star in order to have survived the Red Giant phase of the star and was then pulled inward to its present location. The star is from the Helmi stream, which is a remnant of a dwarf galaxy enveloped by the Milky Way 6 to 9 Billion years ago. It is the first planet discovered around a star that is both very old and very metal poor, the poorest star known so far with a planet, showing that planets could form around such stars, probably due to gravitational collapse rather than core accretion. It may be made completely of Hydrogen and Helium with no core. It was discovered just prior to the 500th exoplanet.
  • NN Serpentis System (Oct 10) - Old binary star system with two planets. The binary star consists of a white dwarf and a red dwarf star that orbit each other very closely and transit each other. Variations in transit times have confirmed that two planets, inner planet (1.6 MJ, 7.7 years) and outer planet (6.6 MJ, 15.5 years) in 1:2 resonance (?), orbit both stars. A red, white, and two colored objects all around reminds astronomers of a game of Snooker. The stars originally orbited each other every two years. After the primary star became a Red Giant, it swelled up and enveloped the Red Dwarf in its outer envelope. This friction caused the primary star to lose 75% of its mass and the stars were drawn inwards to form a tight binary. The primary star then became a white dwarf star about a million years ago. The gravity lost by this star might have destabilized any planets orbiting them. It's possible that the planets were formed after the primary star sluffed off much of its mass. An earlier planet was announced, but disproven.
  • HR 7162 System (Oct 10) - Binary star system (aka HD 176051) with a period of about 61 years consisting of a 1.07 and 0.7 mass stars. Astrometry has discovered a planet (nicknamed Inrakluk by its discoverers) around one of these stars (one of many such claims to be first planet discovered with this technique), though it is not certain which star it is orbiting. If it is orbiting the smaller star, it is 1.5 MJ and 1.76 AU, while if it is orbiting the larger one, it is 2.26 MJ and 2.02 AU. Its existence presents a challenge to the core accretion model because the other star is close enough that it should have disrupted any such material before a planet could have formed. This supports the gravitational collapse method, which could have occurred much quicker. The planet is often compared to Tattoine.
  • OGLE-TR-113 System (Oct 10) - A binary orange dwarf star 1800 ly away in a crowded star field in Carina. It contains the second discovered Very Hot Jupiter (34 hours, 0.023 au, 1.3 MJ) and one of the first discovered transiting planets. At one time it was the only known transiting Hot Jupiter with a surface gravity greater than Jupiter's. Between 2002 and 2009, its transit times were found to shorten by 60 ms per earth year. This indicates that it is slowly spiraling towards its sun, the first exoplanet found to be doing this, and may get ripped apart by its star in 1.4 million years, when its period is reduced to 10.8 hours. An alternate explanation may be that an unseen planetary companion is causing the timing differences.
  • Kepler-9 System (Sep 10) - Contains the 6th planet found by Kepler and the first star containing multiple transiting planets. The first system where transit times noted to vary due to interaction between planets, pioneering the transit timing variations method of confirmation. Has a hot Super-Earth that could be used to test the core accretion theory and two Saturn-sized planets. The two giant planets could have pushed the super Earth towards the star, which was unable to get the gasses needed form a Jupiter sized planet as the dust near the star rapidly dispersed.
  • Gliese 436 System (Sep 10) - 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-7 System (Sep 10) - 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.
  • TMR-1C System (Aug 10) - A binary star in the Taurus molecular cloud with a photoed object C (potentially a planet or brown dwarf) appearing to have been ejected by the system and shown pulling some dust away from the binary. This could have been the first visually detected planet, found in 1998. Later, it was said to be a background star by its discoverer. New evidence supports that this is indeed a planet, as archive photos found the star to have brightened in the past.
  • HD 200964 System (Jul 10) - A sub-giant star found with planets found by the Keck Subgiants Planet Survey. It has two super-Jupiters in 4:3 resonance orbiting at Mars like distances that orbit very close to each other.
  • 24 Sextanis System (Jul 10) - A sub-giant star found with planets found by the Keck Subgiants Planet Survey. It has two super-Jupiters in 1:2 resonance orbiting at Mars like distances that orbit very close to each other.
  • WASP-3 System (Jul 10) - One of three systemss discovered by Super WASP containing a transiting planet so close to its star that it is evaporating. Like the other two, WASP-4 and 5, it is incapable of radiating away heat from its star and instead swells up to significantly larger than Jupiter. This is a planet 81% more massive than Jupiter with 13% larger radius going around in just less day 2 days. Its transit time varies by up to 3 minutes, which indicates that a further planet may be in this system. This would be a further Neptunian planet and would be the first exoplanet detected by measuring eclipse timing deviations of an earlier discovered planet (Transit Timing Variation method). Further observations are needed to confirm the planet, but the best fit is that it is in 2:1 resonance with the larger planet.
  • SDSS J073842.56+183509.6 System (Jul 10) - System containing a white dwarf star. Its atmosphere has the highest degree of metal contamination of any white dwarf, which suggests that it had consumed a rocky dwarf planet. Find may be the best way to study the composition of a rocky exo-planet. Six elements have been detected so far, including Iron and Silicon, suggesting an Earth-like composition.
  • Gliese 876 System (Jul 10) - 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.
  • HD 10180 System (Aug 10) - A star containing an uncertain Earth-sized planet (b), five confirmed Neptunians, and an an uncertain Jovian outer planet (h). All planets were found using dopplar spectrometry and were announced at the same time. They are named according to their distance from the star at the time of the announcement, including the uncertain ones. Briefly held record for number of planets until Kepler-11 announced.
  • 1RXS J160929.1-210524 System (Jun 10) - Contains first exoplanet (full name 1RXS J160929.1-210524) imaged around a sun-like star, photographed in 2008 and confirmed to orbit star in 2010. The planet's very large distance from the star 330 AU causes problems for planetary formation theories. Some liken it to an unbalanced binary star system where one component gobbled up the vast majority of the dust. It has about 8 times Jupiter's mass and 11 times Neptune's distance. It could be a new type of sub-stellar object between a planet and a Brown Dwarf. First exoplanet to have its spectrum taken, which revealed evidence of water, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen. Its star is young enough (5 MY) so that the planet has not had enough time to cool (1,500 C) and thus detectable.
  • GSC 03089-00929 System (Jun 10) - Has planet TrES-3, the most massive transiting Very Hot Jupiter planet. Planet has one of the first two ground-detected atmospheres. A large ground-based telescope method of observation was pioneered on this planet.
  • CoRoT-8 System (Jun 10) - One of seven transiting exoplanet systems discovered by CoRoT announced in Jun 2010. Contains the smallest of the bunch, which is 70% as large and massive as Saturn, and second smallest found by CoRoT at the time. Should have an internal structure similar to Neptune.
  • CoRoT-10 System (Jun 10) - One of seven transiting exoplanet systems discovered by CoRoT announced in Jun 2010. Has an extremely eccentric orbit that causes a tenfold difference in stellar radiation (250 to 600 C) over its 13 day period.
  • CoRoT-11 System (Jun 10) - One of seven transiting exoplanet systems discovered by CoRoT announced in Jun 2010. It is the third exoplanet discovered around an extremely rapidly rotating star, which spins in under 2 days, compared to the sun's 26 days.
  • CoRoT-12 System (Jun 10) - One of seven transiting exoplanet systems discovered by CoRoT announced in Jun 2010. Orbits close to its star. A bloated Hot Jupiter, its diameter is 150% that of Jupiter's.
  • CoRoT-13 System (Jun 10) - One of seven transiting exoplanet systems discovered by CoRoT announced in Jun 2010. Smaller than Jupiter, but twice as dense, suggesting a massive rocky core.
  • CoRoT-14 System (Jun 10) - One of seven transiting exoplanet systems discovered by CoRoT announced in Jun 2010. Has a similar size to Jupiter, but is 7.5 times as massive and 6 times as dense. This is only the second such very hot planet discovered.
  • CoRoT-15 System (Jun 10) - Transiting Brown Dwarf discovered by CoRoT along with 7 transiting exoplanets around different stars. It is 60 times as massive as Jupiter.
  • HAT-P-13 System (Jun 10) - A star containing the first transiting planet (inner planet) in a multiplanet system. Important clues about dynamics and interior dynamics can be studied in this case. In 2010 it was found to be only one of the two out of all 79 known transiting exoplanetary systems that could not support a habitable Earth-like planet, since it is too close to the habitable stars.
  • HD 80606 System (Jun 10) - Multiple star system with a planet, which has a higher period (111 days) than any other known transiting planet and highest eccentricty (Halley's comet-like). Discovered in 2001, but found to transit in 2009. Its orbit brings it from epistellar distances to Earth-like distances. Planet is the first one for which changes in weather have been observed. Potassium was detected from the high wind regions of the exosphere. In 2010 it was found to be only one of the two out of all 79 known transiting exoplanetary systems that could not support a habitable Earth-like planet, since its elongated orbit would destabilize any such planets.
  • WASP-2 System (Apr 10) - Contains second planet discovered by WASP program. This planet is a rather heavy transiting planet, has a large rocky core, and conforms to present models (in contrast to WASP-1). One of the 6 out of 27 planets analyzed by the WASP team found to orbit backwards around its star in 2010. Shows signs of atmospheric blow-off.
  • WASP-5 System (Apr 10) - One of three systems discovered by Super WASP containing a transiting planet so close to its star that it is evaporating. Found to orbit in the same manner as its star's rotation, while 6 out of 27 planets analyzed by the WASP team were found to orbit backwards around its star in 2010. Has a candidate planet detected by the Transit Timing Variation method.
  • WASP-8 System (Apr 10) - One of the 6 out of 27 planets analysed by the WASP team found to orbit backwards around its star in 2010.
  • WASP-15 System (Apr 10) - One of the 6 out of 27 planets analysed by the WASP team found to orbit backwards around its star in 2010.
  • WASP-17 System (Apr 10) - An F6 type star which has the first exoplanet discovered in a retrograde orbit. Also the largest known exoplanet at 1.74 RJ and 0.5 JM. Discovered by transit. It may be "flipping" its star's axis. Orbit hints at a near planetary collision in its early years. One of the 6 out of 27 planets analyzed by the WASP team found to orbit backwards around its star in 2010. It was found to be abundant in CO, depleted in water and methane. It lacks a prominent stratosphere and has efficient day-night energy circulation.
  • CoRoT-9 System (Mar 10) - First temperate transiting Jupiter discovered. An 80% Jupiter Mass planet orbiting at a Mercury-like distance. Temperature could be between -20 to 160 C. Liquid water in the form of water clouds could exist. If its too hot, it could be cloudless. A moon covered by ice or liquid oceans could be around it, depending on its temperature.
  • HD 156668 System (Jan 10) - Contains a super-Earth that is second smallest exoplanet found with the dopplar method (after Gliese 581 e, 4 ME) at time of its discovery by Caltech astronomers at Mauna Kea. It had the smallest light amplitude detected using the dopplar spectrometry method. Found because of improved understanding of stellar phenomena that can mimic a planet.
  • HD 131488 System (Jan 10) - A star containing a temperate dust belt made up of an unknown new material. Belt caused by planetary collisions. One of first systems found with a cold belt that also contains a warm belt. The sixth star found with belt in terrestrial planet zone. One of the smaller stars to have such disks.
  • Kepler 4 System (Jan 10) - One of first transiting exoplanets discovered by Kepler announced in a batch of 5 Jan 2010 (Kepler 4-9). This system has the lowest assigned Kepler number, as Kepler 1-3 had been discovered by earlier studies. The only Hot Neptunian in the initial batch and about 3.8 RE.
  • Kepler 5 System (Jan 10) - One of first transiting exoplanets discovered by Kepler announced in a batch of 5 Jan 2010 (Kepler 4-9). It, like the others, is a hot Jupiter. Second hottest of the batch, it is likely quite dark. Its host is about the same temperature as the sun, but is larger and on its way to becoming a subgiant.
  • Kepler 6 System (Jan 10) - One of first transiting exoplanets discovered by Kepler announced in a batch of 5 Jan 2010 (Kepler 4-9). It, like the others, is a hot Jupiter.
  • Kepler 7 System (Jan 10) - One of first transiting exoplanets discovered by Kepler announced in a batch of 5 Jan 2010 (Kepler 4-9). It, like the others, is a hot Jupiter. It is the largest of the batch in diameter, its mass is 50% of Jupiter's, but its diameter is 50% greater than Jupiter, making its density that of styrofoam. This is the least dense planet found to date.
  • Kepler 8 System (Jan 10) - One of first transiting exoplanets discovered by Kepler announced in a batch of 5 Jan 2010 (Kepler 4-9). It, like the others, is a hot Jupiter. It is the hottest of the initial batch.
  • KOI 81 System (Jan 10) - Contains one of two of a new class of objects discovered in early Kepler data that is too hot to be a planet (13,500K), but too small to be a star (0.9 RJ), and is actually hotter than its host star (10,000K). Possibly a white dwarf star that lost much of its mass to be Jupiter sized, rather than Earth sized. Mass measurements are needed.
  • KOI 74 System (Jan 10) - Contains one of two of a new class of objects discovered in early Kepler data that is too hot to be a planet (12,000K), but too small to be a star (0.4 RJ), and is actually hotter than its host star (10,000K). Possibly a white dwarf star that lost much of its mass to be Jupiter sized, rather than Earth sized. Mass measurements are needed.

Systems of 2009

  • 61 Virginis System (Dec 09) - A system containing a 5.1 ME Hot Super-Earth b (which is hot enough to have emissions on its night side) and two other further out Neptunians (c and d and possibly a fourth), and a Kuiper Belt around a very Sun-like star only 28 light years away. All planets would fit inside Venus' orbit and have high eccentricities, especially the outermost one. This is the closest planetary system around a G-type star, which is one of the only very sun-like stars visible to the naked eye. It is the first non-borderline G-class main sequence star found to have a super-Earth.
  • HD 1461 System (Dec 09) - A nearby (76 ly) yellow dwarf star with a hot super-Earth and possibly a Neptunian and a Saturnian further out. It and 61 Virginis are the first sunlike stars found to have Hot SuperEarths.
  • 23 Librae System (Dec 09) - 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.
  • VB 10 System (Dec 09) - 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.
  • GJ 758 System (Dec 09) - Star with a giant planet or Brown Dwarf (M betw 10-40MJ) which has been directly photographed. Reguardless of its nature, it is the first and coolest substellar companion to a sunlike star ever photographed (333 C, about as hot as Mercury). It orbits at about Neptune's distance and is still in the contraction phase. A possible third companion may have been imaged, later observations should determine if it is bound to the system or merely an object in the background.
  • Gliese 667 System (Oct 09) - A triple star system 23 light years away, consisting of binary of orange dwarf stars about 12 AU apart (ranging from 5 to 20 AU), around which a distant red Dwarf C orbits (ranging from 56 to 215 AU) and the nearest multiple star system known to harbor a planet. A temperate super Earth planet (5.7 ME) discovered around star C was the poster child for an announcement of 32 exoplanets discovered by European astronomers working on the HARPs project and brought the total number of exoplanets to near 400.
  • WASP-18 System (Aug 09) - A hot F6 star that has Super Jupiter that is only 2.5 stellar radii from its host star. It may perish soon once it reaches its star's roche limit, but astronomers are puzzled why it hasn't already. Because it orbits much faster than its star rotates, tidal effects should be causing it to fall inwards. Further observations should reveal its rate of decay. Has the shortest period of any Hot Jupiter at the time of its discovery (22hours).
  • HD 172555 System (Aug 09) - A star in the Beta Pictoris moving group in which a collision between two small planets took place about a few thousand years ago. One planet is thought to be the size of Mercury, while the other the size of the Moon. Signatures of refrozen lava and vaporized rock were picked up by the Spitzer Space Telescope at about 5.8 AU.
  • HAT-P-7 System (Aug 09) - Contains a transiting hot Jupiter. This planet was used as a test for the Kepler mission, which was able to detect the planet's occulation, as well as evidence of phases. It was found to be orbiting backwards only a day after the first retrograde exoplanet WASP-17b was announced. Very little of its heat is transported to its night side. There is some evidence for a planet further out that may be responsible for its orbit. Observed by Kepler and also dubbed Kepler 2b.
  • XO-3 System (Jun 09) - Planet is the first transiting object with mass on the borderline between being a planet and a Brown Dwarf. The largest known planet in a torch orbit at time of its discovery. Found to be inclined to its star 37degrees, while every other torch planet aligns with their star's equator. Heat received from star varies three-fold due to its eccentricity. Larger than models predict. Has a temperature inversion in its stratosphere.
  • V4046 Sagittarii System (Jun 09) - Close binary system with evidence of a protoplanetary disk. Almost twice as near as any other planet forming stars. May be the oldest known planetary forming disk.
  • Andromeda Planetary System (Jun 09) - Star in the Andromeda galaxy that may contains a planet that was detected with microlensing. May be the first planet detected outside of our galaxy.
  • SR 21 System (Jun 09) - Newly forming star in the Ophiuchus Star Forming region. Contains a circumstellar disk with a hole in it, but it seems to be too young for a planet to have already formed.
  • Corot-exo-1 System (May 09) - Contains the first transiting planet found by the French COROT mission. It was discovered during a test run and promises to be the first of many detected. One of the largest exoplanets found (and least dense), it has about Jupiter's mass, but 50% more diameter. The planet later became the first exoplanet whose phases were detected from Earth.
  • HAT-P-12 System (Aug 09) - 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.
  • HAT-P-11 System (Jan 09) - Star system with the second discovered transiting Super-Neptune and the least massive transiting planet known at the time. Also observed by Kepler and dubbed "Kepler 3b".
  • MOA-2007-BLG-192L System (Jan 09) - 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.
  • OGLE-TR-56 System (Jan 09) - Contains first planet discovered by transit and later confirmed by Dopplar Spectroscopy (rather than the other way around). The first OGLE planet confirmed with the Dopplar method. It is 6000 ly away, 10 times as far as any previous known planet, in a different arm of the galaxy. Also the first Very Hot Jupiter discovered. It may meet its doom in less than a million years. Planet has one of the first two ground-detected atmospheres. Has an atmosphere hotter than any other measured so far. Unlike other hot Jupiters observed, it is way too hot for clouds of silicon or iron to form which would keep it dark.

Systems of 2008

  • OGLE2-TR L9 System (Dec 08) - First planet discovered around a rapidly rotating hot star and the hottest star with planets. Was detected by students while testing a method for investigating light fluctuations in the OGLE database. An inflated hot super Jupiter. Nicknamed "ReMeFra-1" for its discoverers.
  • HD 102272 System (Nov 08) - A system composing of a Red Giant star and a planet that is as close to a giant as thought possible and closer than any other known. A second planet is suspected that would make this the first multiplanet red giant system known.
  • Epsilon Eridani System (Nov 08) - 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.
  • Corot-exo-3 System (Oct 08) - A star with possibly the most massive planet known at 20 Jupiters and most dense at about Jupiter's radius. The planet is technically classified as a brown dwarf, but they haven't ruled out it being a planet. It could be the first of a class of massive planets orbiting stars more massive than the Sun. It's the first object found with a period of less than ten days greater than 12J and less than 70J.
  • CT Chamaeleontis System (Oct 08) - T Tauri star with possible photoed planet or brown dwarf.
  • BD+20 307 System (Sep 08) - Close binary star with an age comparable to the Sun's. It has a 1 million times as much dust as the Solar System which points to a very recent (less than 100,000 years) collision between two terrestrial planets. This would be the first evidence of any planets in a close binary system.
  • CoRoT-exo-4 System (Jul 08) - Sunlike star containing the first known transiting planet that has the same period as its star. Also the second longest period known transiting planet from its star of 9.2 days.
  • HD 40307 System (Jun 08) - A bright orange dwarf star that lies 42 light years away, which is of spectral type K2.5v and has a temperature of 5000 Kelvin. It has 6 super-Earths in orbit. They each have 4.0, 6.6, 9.5, 3.5, 5.2 and 7.1 times as much mass as Earth and periods of 4.3, 9.6, 20.4, 34.6, 51.8 and 197.8 days, respectively. Dynamic studies suggest that the planets are smaller versions of Neptune, rather than larger versions of Earth. The sixth planet out from the star orbits within the habitable zone.
  • CFBDS J005910.83-011401.3 System (Apr 08) Free floating brown dwarf that is the coolest and least massive brown dwarf discovered to date. Could be the first of class Y brown dwarves.
  • OGLE-2006-BLG-109L System (Apr 08) - The first multi-planet system discovered via microlensing. Contains a Jupiter and Saturn analog, the first such system discovered in positions predicted by classical theories of solar system formation.
  • HL Tau System (Apr 08) - Star that is only 100,000 years old that contains a protoplanet 14 times as massive as Jupiter and the youngest planet so far discovered. It was spotted as a clump and beat the previous youngest planet record holder (TW Hydrae) found earlier that year by a long shot, which was 10,000,000 years old.
  • CM Draconis System (Jan 08) - Eclipsing binary star. A planet is hypothesized due to variance in eclipse timing.
  • HD 74156 System (Jan 2008) - Sunlike star with two planets more massive than Jupiter, one in about Mercury's position, and one at an Asteroid Belt-like position. A planet was predicted in between these two at Earth-like distances and later found, the first vindicated prediction since Neptune. This supports the "Packed Planetary Systems" theory. Some have suggested that it's one Earth year orbit period may mean its detection is due to Earth based observation errors.
  • 2M1207 System (2008) - A Planemo orbiting a brown dwarf 172 ly away. The planemo is possibly the first "planet" imaged. A disk around the Brown Dwarf was known, but recently a disk around the Planemo was also detected. It is believed to be glowing hot from a recent collision with a Uranus sized planet. The planemo probably didn't form the way planets do, but rather, in the same manner as binary stars do.

Systems of 2007

  • GD 66 System (Dec 07) - Contains the first planet discovered around a white dwarf star.
  • UX Tau System (Nov 07) - Of of the two youngest stars detected with evidence for a planet-forming circumstellar disk. Ring-like gaps where planets may be forming were detected.
  • HD 23514 System (Nov 07) - 100 Million year old system in the Pleiades Cluster that contains warm dust which is likely the result of the impact of two earth-like protoplanets.
  • WASP-4 System (Oct 07) - One of three systemss discovered by Super WASP containing a transiting planet so close to its star that it is evaporating.
  • HD 17156 System (Oct 07) - Star system containing a planet discovered by dopplar spectrometry method and later found by amateurs to transit. At the time, it smashed the records for the furthest transiting planet (period of 21 d) and most eccentric orbit. A second, unconfirmed planet has also been proposed for this system.
  • HD 113766 System (Oct 07) - System found to likely be forming an Earth-like planet. This is the first system detected that contains planetesimals. It is also a peculiar binary system where one star has a debris disk, but the other does not.
  • AU Microscopii System (Oct 07) - First red dwarf found with a circumstellar disk and the nearest planetforming disk. Also the first system where particle size in disk determined. Constraints on where planets could exist was recently published.
  • V391 Pegasi System (Sep 07) A post-red giant star (a sub-dwarf)containing a planet that was nearly devoured by the expanding star, but which has survived. The planet was originally at an Earth-like distance but had since been pushed out to a safer distance.
  • IRAS 4 System (Aug 07) Embrionic star where water source was detected.
  • GSC 02620-00648 System (Aug 07) Contains the transiting planet TrES-4, the largest (volume) exo-planet at the time of its discovery, orbiting a sub-giant star.
  • HD 17092 System (Aug 07) - A large Jovian in an "Earth-like" orbit (more eccentric though) around an orange giant star. Planet discovered by A. Niedzielski's team, the same one that discovered the first exoplanet.
  • GD 362 System (Aug 07) - White dwarf star around which the remains of a shredded earthlike planet may have been detected.
  • HD 98800 System (Jul 07) - Infant quadruple star system with a debris disk around only one of its stars and has evidence of planets.
  • AB Doradus System (Jun 07) - Nearby triple star system. The very dim star C was resolved with a technique that will next be used to attempt to resolve exoplanets. This found that it was a very dim red dwarf instead of a brown dwarf.
  • HD 3651 System (2007) - A system with planets and a distant brown dwarf that may act like a "Nemesis".
  • ULAS J0034-00 System (May 07) - The first discovered Y-Type brown dwarf and the coolest of all brown dwarves discovered so far.
  • 40 Eridani System (May 07) - Triple star which is Gene Roddenberry's favored location for Spock's home planet of Vulcan. While no planet has been discovered in this sysem yet, it has been selected as a target for the SIM Planet quest when launched in 2015 for signs of a habitable planet.
  • HD 155358 System (May 07) - The extrasolar system with the lowest metalicity host star. Its two known Jovian planets were discovered recently and challenged planetary formation theorists. The two planets interact gravitationally with each other and are on opposite sides of the star's habitable zone.
  • HD 149026 System (May 07) - Contains the first Saturn mass transiting planet. Also the first planet found with a dense core, leading credence to the core-accretion theory. Sometimes called a Super-Neptune, though it is not known if its core is rocky or icy. Also the first TEP discovered smaller than Jupiter. It was revealed to be as black as coal, twice as hot as any other known exoplanet, and hotter than some stars.
  • Hat-P-2 System (May 07) - Hat-P-2b (aka HD 147506b) is the most massive measured exoplanet discovered that is clearly not a Brown Dwarf and the first transiting Hot Super Planet discovered. It is the first known transiting planet with a significantly eccentric orbit and experiences significant seasons. It briefly held the record of furthest out transiting planet.
  • OGLE-TR-10 System (May 07) - Contains a bloated Hot Jupiter expected to be losing its atmosphere. Noted for its similarity to the first transiting exoplanet. Thought to not be so bloated, but then confirmed to really be bloated. Found to have the lowest measured surface gravity of any of the transiting exoplanets, considerably less than Earth. 5th confirmed OGLE planet.
  • 2MASSW J0746425+2000321 System - Binary Brown Dwarf system. One was found to pulse radio waves similar to a pulsar, outshining its companion during a pulse in IR.
  • Helix Nebula (Feb 07) - The nearest planetary nebula. The dust observed may be from thousands of comets banging into each other.
  • Epsilon Tauri System (Feb 07) - The brightest star in the Hyades star cluster. It is a super-Jovian around an orange giant star. This is the first planet discovered in an open star cluster.
  • Mira System (Jan 07) - Well known binary star. It was found that material from the dying red giant was being syphoned off by the white dwarf in the system, beginning a new planetary system.
  • 51 Pegasi System (Jan 07) - 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.
  • HD 179949 System (Jan 07) - Contains the first planet discovered by the Anglo-Australian Planet Search, which is also the first exoplanet whose Magnetic Field was observed. This tidally locked Hot Jupiter was also found to have supersonic winds that caused the eternal night-side hemisphere to be as hot as the day-side one. This system is also the first observed to have planet-induced stellar X-ray activity.

Systems of 2006

  • Tau Bootes System (Nov 06) - (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.
  • 54 Piscium System (Oct 06) - Nearby star with an eccentric planet. A recently discovered faint distant T type brown dwarf may be the cause of this eccentricity.
  • Sweeps 10 System (Oct 06) - Has the planet with the shortest period among the five Ultra-Short-Period Planets detected by Hubble near the Galactic Bulge. Orbits small star in only 10 hours.
  • HD 97048 System (Oct 06) - A young star in the Chamelion I Dark Cloud discovered to have a "Flaring" disc of dust.
  • WASP-1 System (Sep 06) - Has the first planet detected by the WASP program, which is the third "inflated" Hot Jupiter detected, which suggested these planets were fairly common. It was nicknamed "Garafía-1" after the municipality that hosts the Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory. Was the largest known exoplanet for about a year. Shows signs of atmospheric blow-off.
  • HAT-P-1 System (Sep 06) - A stellar binary believed to contain the planet with the biggest known diameter and the least dense. This would have been only the second planet with such a low density. Later measurements showed it wasn't that inflated, and has the expected radius for a highly irradiated core-less Hot Jupiter.
  • CHXR 73 System (Sep 06) - Contains a very large planet detected by Hubble in a very distant orbit around a Red Dwarf. Imaged object is basically a planet formed the way a brown dwarf is.
  • Oph1622 System (Aug 06) - Discovery of a planemo orbiting another planemo announced. Later mass estimates proved these to both be Brown Dwarves though.
  • Mu Arae System (Aug 06) - 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).
  • OGLE-2003-BLG-235L System - A red dwarf around which the first planet discovered through microlensing was detected in 2004, shattering planetary distance records. It took a few years to actually image the star itself (by Hubble).
  • HD 38529 System (Jul 06) - Subgiant star with a cloudy Hot Jupiter, Brown Dwarf, and Red Dwarf companion. Simulations showed that Earth-sized planet could exist between the planet and brown dwarf, but that an asteroid belt can be expected there instead.
  • HD 37124 System (Jul 06) - The fourth triple planet system discovered around a normal star, the last one announced with 4 other multiplanet components in 2005. A Sunlike star with Jovian planets that received Venus-like, Mars-like, and Asteroid Belt-like radition from their stars. Simulations showed that no terrestrial planets could form between the Venus-like and Mars-like Jovian planets.
  • HD 154345 System (Jul 06) - Closest solar system analog to date. Contains a Jupiter like planet at Jupiter like distances 4.18 AU in a circular orbit with no known giant planets orbiting inside it. The star is dimmer than the Sun and habitable region at Venus like distances.
  • Cassiopeia A System (Jul 06) - A supernova remnant and the brightest extrasolar radio source in the sky. Planets may be forming in the debris field.
  • Pollux System (Jun 06) - Planet confirmed that was first suspected in 1993. This is the brightest star in the sky known to have a planet.
  • HD 69830 System (May 06) - First planetary system found that does not have a Jupiter-sized planet around a normal star (K0 spectrum). Contains 3 Neptunians and the first discovered asteroid belt that is like the size and age as the Sun's. The debris from this belt that was detected was from the breakup of an asteroid, is 20 times as massive as our own, and would cause zodiacal lights 1000 times brighter than we see from Earth. The smallest and outermost planet may be a 10 ME super Earth, is within the habitable zone, and is an inner shepherd for the asteroid belt. Halo 3 features a fictitious moon around this planet.
  • XO-1 System (Apr 06) - Transiting hot jupiter discovered with the use of backyard telescopes. It is about the same size of Jupiter and has a very small core. 10th discovered transiting planet. Its star was the most sun-like star with transiting planets at the time.
  • 4U 0142+61 System (Apr 06) - The first Neutron Star to have a debris disk detected, possibly forming planets.
  • OGLE-2005-BLG-169L System (Mar 06) - Contains the second discovered icy Super-Earth or Neptunian. This planet was detected via the Microlense technique.
  • Ophiuchus Mixed Up Disk System (Feb 06) - The first solar system observed with the inner disk rotating in the opposite direction as the outer disk (not sure what its name is).
  • R 66 System (Feb 06) - One of two hypergiant stars (also R 126 System) in Large Magellanic Cloud that have detected dust disks and are possibly forming planets.
  • R 126 System (Feb 06) - One of two hypergiant stars (also R 66 System) in Large Magellanic Cloud that have detected dust disks and are possibly forming planets.
  • OGLE-2005-BLG-390L System (Jan 06) - 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.
  • HD 53143 System (Jan 06) - Old nearby sunlike star with wide kuiper belt similar to solar system's.
  • HD 139664 System (Jan 06) - Old nearby sunlike star with narrow kuiper belt similar to solar system's.
  • G29-38 System (Jan 06) - The first White Dwarf found to have a dust disk in 1987 and remains the only one detected for a long time. This disk is now believed to be the result of an asteroid collision.

Systems of 2005

  • Cha 110913 System (Dec 05) - First planemo (possibly a tiny brown dwarf) found with a protoplanetary disk. Not Nibru and we won't die in 2012.
  • BD +20 307 System (Jul 05) - Sunlike star with a warm dust disk which may be signs that an Earth-like planet is forming there.
  • Stephenson 34 System (Jul 05) - Binary Red Dwarf star discovered to have a very old planetary disk. Why haven't planets already formed around it?
  • HD 188753 System (Jul 05) - First triple star system found to have a planet.
  • GQ Lupi System (May 05) - 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.
  • OGLE-2005-BLG-071 System (May 05) - Contains the second planet discovered by micro-lensing, validating the technique.
  • GSC 02652-01324 System (Mar 05) - Contains the first transiting exoplanet discovered with the TrES amateur equipment and second transiting exoplanet close enough to have its atmosphere studied. It is the first Hot Jupiter that had the expected radius. Was the one of the first two exoplanets to have its light separated from its host star.
  • OGLE-TR-122 System (Mar 05) - The star has a very small stellar companion whose mass is only 10% the Sun's. It is the first star that size to have its diameter measured, proving that very small stars are only slightly larger than gas giant planets.
  • PSR B1257+12 System (Feb 05) - The smallest exoplanet (exo-comet?) is found around the pulsar where the first exoplanets were found.
  • OTS 44 System (Jan 05) - Very low mass Brown Dwarf found to have a circumstellar disk.
  • Vega System (Jan 05) - Nearby star with one of the first detected circumstellar disks. Recently, it was surmised that this disk was caused by a collision between Pluto sized objects.

Systems of 2004

  • HD 170146 System (Dec 04) - Dust disk much larger than the Solar System's imaged in great detail by Spitzer and Hubble.
  • HD 117176 System, HD 33636 System, HD 52265 System, HD 82943 System, HD 50554 System, HD 128311 System (Dec 04) - Six systems known to have planets were observed by Spitzer to also have dust disks, the first time disks have been found around stars that also have planets.
  • OGLE-TR-111 System (Sep 04) - Has the first OGLE-detected transiting "normal" Hot Jupiter (the others had unusually short periods). Data suggests the presense of a second planet, which, if confirmed, would make this the first system with more than one transiting planet.
  • HD 37605 System (Jul 04) - Contains the first exoplanet discovered by the Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET), which was the third most eccentric planet found, ranging from Hot Jupiter distance to Mercury-like distance.
  • Tau Ceti System (Jul 04) - The nearest single G-class yellow dwarf to the sun. It has five super-Earth sized planets in orbit around it, discovered using a new and very powerful but also controversial technique, and an outer debris disk with ten times more material than our solar system's Kuiper belt has.

Two of the planets in the Tau Ceti system are located on opposite edges of a very liberally described habitable zone, analogous to Venus and Mars. No planet has as yet been detected near the middle of the habitable zone, in a situation similar to Earth.

  • CoKu Tau 4 System (Jun 04) - Young star with protoplanetary disk. It was once thought that the youngest known planet could be forming in the hallowed out center, but it turns out that this was due to the center star being a binary star.
  • White Dwarf Planetary System (May 04) - An unnamed white dwarf star with a potential planet that may have been directly imaged by Hubble, which would make it the first planet imaged.
  • OGLE-TR-132 System (Apr 04) - Has the third discovered Very Hot Jupiter, validating the believability of the first one found.
  • OGLE-2003-BLG-235L System (Apr 04) - A red dwarf around which the first planet discovered through microlensing was detected in 2004, shattering planetary distance records. It took a few years to actually image the star itself (by Hubble).
  • 37 Gemini System (Jan 04) - Determined to be the most Sun-like star nearby and a prime target for finding Earth-like planets.

Systems of 2003

  • Rho Ophiuchus B-11 System (Nov 03)- Central object is a large free-floating planet formed the way a star does located in the Rho Opiuchus B star forming region. Evidense for polar jets was found here.
  • HD 100546 System (Nov 03) - First protostar found to have a circumstellar disk. There is also evidense for a forming Jovian planet.
  • HD 172051 System (Nov 03) - Sunlike star is a prime target for the future Darwin mission.
  • KH 15D System (Aug 03) - System in NGC 2264 that was recently found to "wink", possibly due to a circumstellar disk.
  • Epsilon Indi System (Sep 03) - Second nearest single sunlike star to the Sun. Orange dwarf with a binary brown dwarf orbiting it. The smaller of the two is the closest thing to an "extrasolar moon" found so far.
  • PSR B1620-26 System (Jul 03) - 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.
  • HD 70642 System (Jul 03) - First Jupiter analog discovered in a system with no giant planets further in, making it the closest solar system analog. Planet is 3.3 AU from an aging yellow dwarf star 90 light years away.

Systems of 2002

  • Errai System (Oct 02) - 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.
  • Tau 1 Gruis System (Sep 02) - Contains one of the first Jovians found at a Jupiter like distance, indicating that they are starting to detect further and further planets.
  • HD 49674 System (Jul 02) - Contains the first planet found to have significantly less mass than Saturn.
  • Edasich System (Jan 02) - 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.
  • 15 Sge System (Jan 02) - Template:15 Sge System

Systems of 2001

  • CW Leonis System (Jul 01) - A dying red giant star which has the first evidence for water in another solar system. The water is believed to be the remnants of a Kuiper Belt.
  • Zeta Leporis System (Jun 01) - A massive young star around which the first direct evidence for an asteroid belt were detected in 2001.
  • HD 168443 System (Jan 01) - Contains the first planet discovered whose minimum mass was near the planet/brown dwarf boundary which orbits at a asteroid belt-like distance. Also contains a second huge planet at least 7 times as massive as Jupiter orbiting at Mercury-like distances.

Systems of 2000

  • 79 Ceti System (Mar 00) - 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.
  • HD 46375 System (Mar 00) - An orange subgiant around which the larger of the first two Saturnians discovered (79 Ceti b was the other one) orbits, which was the first "Epistellar Saturn" discovered.

Systems of 1997

  • 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.

Systems of 1996

  • 47 Ursa Majoris System - 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.
  • 70 Virginis System - The second normal star found to have planets, which is the first Eccentric Giant discovered and the first discovered by the Carnegie team. Planet nicknamed "Goldilocks" because it was perceived as the first planet discovered in its star's Habitability Zone. It was found to be much further away from Earth than initially believed and the star thus brighter, so the planet is now known to be too hot to have habitable moons.

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