Exoplanetary Orrery V

An exoplanet is a planet that orbits another star other than the Sun; since 1988, approximately 2000 of them have been confirmed. This post, inspired by Ethan Kruse‘s Kepler Orrery IV, visualises and animates exoplanets, together with their habitable zones. The data come from the NASA Exoplanet Archive and it only includes the confirmed exoplanets with known orbits and temperature. You can find a complete list of all the exoplanets here.

Solar System

Before introducing the exoplanetary orreries, this is the inner part of our solar system.

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Exoplanetary Orrery V

Animated orreries for the confirmed exoplanets from the NASA Exoplanet Archive. Main article here. Notes and units here. For licensing and enquires, contact email.


  • Distance: 195 pixels = 149597871 Km = 1 Astronomical Unit;
  • Planets: Confirmed planets from the NASA Exoplanet Archive (last update: December 2015); only planets with known orbital period, semi-axis major and radius are shown;
  • Orbits: 1 second = 3 day; orbits with unknown eccentricity in light grey. Initial positions are synchronised so that when they hit zero degrees, they transit in front of their stars, from the Earth’s perspective;
  • Planet size: 100 pixels = 69911 Km=1 Jupiter Radius (square root);
  • Temperature: planetary equilibrium temperature goes from 0K (−273.15°C) to 1500K (=1226.85°C); green area from 274K (0°C) to 313K (40°C);
  • Habitable zone: inner bound: \sqrt{L/1.1} Astronomical Units, outer bound: \sqrt{L/0.53} Astronomical Units (L is the star luminosity relative to the Sun); habitable zones are calculated taking into account only the first orbit;
  • Stars: for systems with multiple stars, only the primary one is visualised; stars are always assumed to be in the right focus of elliptical orbits;
  • Star size: 100 pixels = 696000 Km=1 Solar Radius (square root); stars with unknown radius are represented as 1 Solar Radius;
  • Stellar type:
  • Nomenclature:
    • Kepler: Kepler spacecraft by NASA;
    • KOIKepler Object of Interest via Kepler spacecraft;
    • PH: Planet Hunters via Kepler spacecraft;
    • WASP: Wide Angle Search for Planets;
    • CoRoTCOnvection ROtation and planetary Transits project by CNES & ESA;
    • HATHungarian Automated Telescope Network by Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics;
    • WTSWFCAM Transit Survey;
    • HIP: High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher for the Northern hemisphere (HARPS-N).