A Periodic Table of All the Exoplanets Found So Far

The Planetary Habitability Laboratory has made up some periodic tables of all of the confirmed and suspected exoplanets so far, plus planetary bodies in our own solar system.

Exoplanets are hot right now. In the popularity sense. Thermally, they’re also cold and medium. But ever since the first one was discovered nearly 26 years ago — or 9,457 days as of this writing — we’ve been fascinated by them. Some people are intrigued by the potential any of them may hold for migration from Earth should it become inhabitable. Some wonder if other life on our level could be there. And then there’s their most undeniable value: science. If you’ve been having trouble keeping track of what we’ve found so far, the Planetary Habitability Laboratory (PHL) of the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo has just published its Periodic Table of Exoplanets, which it’ll presumably keep up to date as more of them are found. It’s actually a set of three tables:


  • confirmed exoplanets
  • exoplanet candidates observed by NASA’s Kepler spacecraft
  • planetary bodies in our own solar system
  • The PHL is in a great location for this kind of thing, being near one of the world’s most important celestial observatories, the Arecibo Telescope.

    The exoplanets are far away, of course, and so we know little about them other than their sizes and distances from their stars. It’s with these two attributes that PHL is able to sort the exoplanets.

    Each table’s column, or Y axis, contains the exoplanets of a particular size, going from the smallest — miniterrans — at the left, to the largest — Jovians — at the right.

  • Miniterrans — are probably spherical and with low mass and no atmospoheres, like Mercury and our own moon.
  • Subterrans — are roughly the size of Mars.
  • Terrans — are about the size of Earth and Venus.
  • Superterrans — are bigger than us but not quite Neptunian.
  • Neptunians — are equivalent to Neptune and Uranus.
  • Jovians — are as big as Jupiter and Saturn or bigger.
  • Here's an overview of how many exoplanets of each type there are so far:

    Simple summary of exoplanets by size (PHL)

    There’s also the issue of an exoplanet’s distance from its sun, which is shown along the X axis at the left edge of each table:

  • Hot Zone exoplanets — are too close to their suns and too hot to have liquid water.
  • Warm “Habitable” Zone exoplanets — are in the sweet spot for life as we know it, with a capacity for liquid water.
  • Cold Zone exoplanets — are too far from their suns, and too cold, for anything but frozen ice.
  • Confirmed Exoplanets

    There are 3,700 of these as of November 15, 2017.


    Click image to expand. (PHL)

    Kelper Exoplanet Candidates

    NASA’s Kepler observatory has spotted 4,303 possible exoplanets so far.

    Click image to expand. (PHL)

    Planetary Bodies in Our Own Solar System


    Click image to expand. (PHL)

    These counts are accurate as of November 15, 2017. Some of the candidates will probably be confirmed and others ruled out in time. Many more will no doubt be found eventually out there in this vast, vast universe that's probably teeming with life. At least these bodies are places that life could be.

     

    'Upstreamism': Your zip code affects your health as much as genetics

    Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."

    Sponsored by Northwell Health
    • Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
    • Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
    • Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
    Keep reading Show less

    In U.S. first, drug company faces criminal charges for distributing opioids

    It marks a major shift in the government's battle against the opioid crisis.

    George Frey/Bloomberg via Getty Images
    Politics & Current Affairs
    • The nation's sixth-largest drug distributor is facing criminal charges related to failing to report suspicious drug orders, among other things.
    • It marks the first time a drug company has faced criminal charges for distributing opioids.
    • Since 1997, nearly 222,000 Americans have died from prescription opioids, partly thanks to unethical doctors who abuse the system.
    Keep reading Show less

    Following sex, some men have unexpected feelings – study

    A new study shows that some men's reaction to sex is not what you'd expect, resulting in a condition previously observed in women.

    Credit: Pixabay
    Sex & Relationships
    • A new study shows men's feelings after sex can be complex.
    • Some men reportedly get sad and upset.
    • The condition affected 41% of men in the study
    Keep reading Show less

    Calling out Cersei Lannister: Elizabeth Warren reviews Game of Thrones

    The real Game of Thrones might be who best leverages the hit HBO show to shape political narratives.

    Photo credit: Mario Tama / Getty Images
    Politics & Current Affairs
    • Sen. Elizabeth Warren argues that Game of Thrones is primarily about women in her review of the wildly popular HBO show.
    • Warren also touches on other parallels between the show and our modern world, such as inequality, political favoritism of the elite, and the dire impact of different leadership styles on the lives of the people.
    • Her review serves as another example of using Game of Thrones as a political analogy and a tool for framing political narratives.
    Keep reading Show less