Take a thrilling ride through space and visit strange new worlds orbiting alien stars. Beautiful music and graphics will carry your imagination deep into the Milky Way galaxy!
Exoplanet Explorer presents interactive 3D models of real solar systems. It visualises planets that have been discovered around distant stars.
From the lonely Earth sized rock orbiting Alfa Centauri just four light years away, to distant systems with enormous gas giants, exploring the galaxy has never been more exciting!
The intuitive interface is easy to use and the built-in filtering tool makes it simple to find worlds that you are interested in. You can search and sort by name or the number of objects in a system, to name just a few of the many options.
For the global perspective, statistics are provided to summarise the information in the galaxy database.
The data is provided by the Planetary Habitability Laboratory (PHL), a research and education virtual laboratory dedicated to studies of the habitability of Earth, the Solar System, and exoplanets. The PHL is located at Aricebo, near the largest radio telescope on Earth. The database is a compilation of discoveries made by astronomers and telescope from all round the world.
The PHL divides each planet into one of 6 mass classes, and further subdivides it into one of 3 temperature classes based on its known astronomical information. The app uses this to create a model which represent what it may look like. These models are then assembled into working solar systems for your viewing pleasure.
Exoplanets are divided into the following mass classes:
* Mercurian - dwarf rocky worlds that have the approximate mass of Mercury
* Sub-terran - rocky globes with a mass similar to Mars
* Terran - rocky worlds with similar mass to Earth
* Super-terran - rocky worlds with a higher mass than Earth
* Neptunian - gas giants similar to Neptune
* Jovian - gas giants as massive or more massive than Jupiter
The exo planets are further divided into the following temperature classes:
* Hot - temperatures are too hot to support liquid water
* Warm - the star’s habitable zone is where liquid water could exist on the surface
* Cold - temperatures are low enough that water would only exist as ice
In addition to temperature and mass classes, the PHL database also includes:
* Composition class - defines whether the planet is composed of iron and rock like the Earth, gas like Jupiter, Saturn Neptune or Uranus, or large quantities of water, perhaps similar to Jupiter's moon Europa
* Habitability class - for worlds similar to Earth, this identifies whether they they are too cold for life, like Mars, or too hot like Venus
* Surface temperature - surface temperature based on the distance from the star and the star's energy output
* Surface gravity - an estimate of their gravity