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Exoplanets are also known as extrasolar planets as these planets exist outside our solar system and orbit some other stars. Special telescopes and methods are needed to find them. The first ever exoplanet was discovered in 1992 named 51 Pegasi b which was similar to Jupiter in radius. Since then hundreds of other have been found. Some of them could sustain organic life.

The closest exoplanet to the Earth is Alpha Centauri Bb. It was first discovered in 2012. They are identified using methods like transit photometry and radial velocity.


Quick Facts: –

  • Till now, only two exoplanets have been directly observed using earth based telescopes.
  • The oldest exoplanet that has been discovered is ‘PSR B1620-26b’. It is estimated to be around 13 billion years old.
  • The lightest exoplanet discovered till now is a planet in the Gliese 581 system. Gliese 581 is a small red dwarf.
  • All the exoplanets are completely different from each other.
  • The habitable zone of a star can be defined as the area where liquid water could exist on a planet’s surface.
  • In 2014, Kepler Mission found an earth-sized planet named Kepler 186f. It is located in the habitable zone of a star.
  • PSR 1267+12 B and C are the first Pulsar planets that were found in 1992. One of them is a super earth.
  • There can be various types of an exoplanet like water world, super earth, hot Jupiter, gas giant, ice giants, Exo earth, hot Neptune, chthonian planets etc.
  • Kepler 11-f is a planet that orbits a sun like star. This planet itself is 2.3 times more massive as compared to the earth.



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