Watch all the exoplanets orbit their stars simultaneously

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Beautiful and inspiring.

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“Watch all the exoplanets that we know of orbit their stars simultaneously”

/ my kinda headline: “Mill Strike Looms!”


if I understand it correctly the animation shows only planets found in Kepler’s data

eta, after watching the video: this is beautiful


it was beautiful, i agree. it reminded me of something i’d see in a petri dish, it has an almost biological microscopic feel to it.


Hate to be a downer, but there are an INFINITE number of exoplanets, let that roll around in all your little pea brains for a while.

(Can never understand that infinity thing, it justs keeps on going)

I don’t think it does. I think things are just bogglingly huge, but not infinite. Did I get that wrong?

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This animation actually answered a question I’ve had in muh leetle brain for a long time. Since Kepler is finding planets by detecting a star dimming when something passes in front of it, how would it know about, say, a planet like Neptune that orbits once every 165 years? Answer: It doesn’t. Look how close all of those planets are to their star! Tiny orbits.

Now I’m wondering if Kepler has a list of dimmings that it’s waiting 165 years to confirm.

Now I’m wondering if there are planets orbiting a star perpendicularly, and kepler would never detect it.

Now I’m wondering if I can build a rocket ship.


Right, as far as I know Kepler won’t detect

  • any planets whose orbital plane doesn’t pass in front of the star as viewed from Earth,
  • any planets too small to noticeably dim the starlight reaching us,
  • almost any planets with very long periods
  • almost any planets sufficiently far away from their star so as to subtend a very small angle with respect to it, or
  • transparent planets. (What, it could happen.)


Sure, it’s easy. First, you found PayPal…

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