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One-AU Exoplanets

posted Aug 12, 2013, 12:42 PM by Abel Mendez   [ updated Aug 12, 2013, 1:01 PM ]
Most known exoplanets are within one astronomical unit (AU) from their stars, a bias of our detection methods. Here are graphical representations of 417 stellar systems with planets within one AU from their star, out of 712 stars with 927 confirmed planets (some have multiple planets). Each system is represented in individual files for convenience but we plan to create a few posters out of these figures. Some interesting examples are shown below (click to enlarge) starting with our own Solar System. More specific explanations of the plots are at the end. You can download all 418 PNG figures as a single ZIP file, including our Sun, from this link.

Images description: The star and planets are magnified for clarity, by x10 and x50 respectively, otherwise they would look like dots at the one AU scale of the plots. Since the scales are different for the stars and planets, the planets are always 5 times smaller than they appear compared to the star. Some stars are so big that they are out of the scale or overlapping the planets. The size of Earth, Neptune, and Jupiter is shown in each plot for reference. The stars are colored by their spectral color. Planets are colored red if hot, green warm (in the habitable zone), and blue cold. The size of the habitable zone, many times extending beyond one AU, is illustrated in light green.