The Complete History Of Exoplanet Detection In One 60 Second GIF

An exoplanet astronomer has made a GIF that graphs 250 years of planet discovery in just 60 seconds. It should come as no shock that the last couple of decades have been extensive with exoplanet findings as detection equipment has advanced. However, the GIF does more than just display the fresh exoplanet gold rush; it also matches the size and orbital distance of these planetary detections to our own solar system. Hugh Osborn, the creator of the GIF, on his website, wrotes “The idea of this plot is to compare our own solar system (with planets plotted in dark blue) against the newly-discovered extrasolar worlds. Think of this plot as a projection of all 1,873 worlds onto our own solar system, with the Sun (and all other stars) at the far left.”

Note: The first exoplanets were not found in the 1700s. Those dark blue dots are in fact our solar system planets that have been positioned there for contrast. Here is a color code to help distinguish between the marks.

Dark blue: Solar system planets.
Light blue: RV planets.
Maroon: Direct Imaging planets.
Orange: Microlensing discoveries.

Green: Planets found via the transit method.

Share it: