An extrasolar planet, or exoplanet, is a planet which orbits a star, aside from our own Sun, and therefore belongs to a planetary system aside from the solar system. As of November 2013, over 1000 extrasolar planets have been discovered so far (see List of extrasolar planets).
Extrasolar planets were a subject of speculation for centuries. Astronomers generally supposed that some existed, but it was a mystery how common they were and how similar they were to the planets of our own solar system. The first confirmed detections were finally made in the 1990s when the planet orbiting 51 Pegasi was discovered in 1995 by astronomer Aleksander Wolszczan. Since 2002, more than twenty have been discovered every year. It is now estimated that at least 10% of sunlike stars have planets, and the true fraction may be much higher. The discovery of extrasolar planets raises the question of whether some might support or even permit the development of extraterrestrial life.
- Aleksander Wolszczan — discovered first extrasolar planets, pulsar planets, 'solar system', pulsar planetary system.
- Michel Mayor — with Queloz, discovered first planet around a main-sequence star.
- Didier Queloz — with Mayor, discovered first planet around a main-sequence star.
- Geoffrey Marcy — discovered more extrasolar planets than anyone else
- R. Paul Butler — co-discoverer with Marcy
- Debra Fischer — co-discoverer with Marcy and Butler
Planets and their stars:
- PSR B1620-26c, the oldest planet, also known as Methuselah, around neutron star PSR B1620-26, and white dwarf binary companion PSR B1620-26b.
- 51 Pegasi b, a hot Jupiter, and the first planet found around a main-sequence star (51 Pegasi).
- PSR 1257+12's first extra-solar planets, planetary system, pulsar planets ever found.
- Appearance of extrasolar planets
- Asteroid belt
- Astrometric binary
- Hypothetical planet
- Interstellar planet
- List of stars with confirmed extrasolar planets
- List of extrasolar planet extremes
- Planetary habitability
- Planetary system
- Pulsar planets
- Search projects
- University of California Planet Search Project
- The Geneva Extrasolar Planet Search Programmes
- PlanetQuest distributed computing project
- German Center for Exo-Planet Research Jena/Tautenburg
- Astrophysical Institute & University Observatory Jena (AIU)
- The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia
- Table of known planetary systems
- Extrasolar Planet XML Database
- Andrew Collier Cameron, Extrasolar planets, Physics World (January 2001). (See the online version.)
- Diagram of planet detection methods - PDF
- searchable dynamic database of extrasolar planets and their parent stars
- List of important exoplanets
- Extrasolar Planets - D. Montes, UCM
- Extrasolar Visions
- 6-8 Earth-Mass Planet Discovered orbiting Gliese 876
- Newfound World Shatters Distance Record from space.com
- Oldest Known World from space.com
- Earth Sized Planets Confirmed from space.com
- Hubble telescope "discovers 100 new planets": BBC news story