Writer's Guide to Government Information

Resources to inject real life detail into your fiction

Archive for the tag “extrasolar planets”

New Worlds Atlas (Extrasolar planets)

New Worlds Atlas – http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov/newworldsatlas

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • Where is a terrestrial planet orbiting a star that can be seen from Earth with the naked eye?
  • What’s the closet planet orbiting a pulsar?
  • What’s the closest multiple planetary system to Earth?


This resource can be searched by system type (star visible to the naked eye, multiple planets, transiting planets), planet type (size, pulsar planet, etc). The database may also be browsed.

Each planetary entry starts with a description of the system, with a photo of the star and an artist’s conception of the planet.

This is followed by specifications of the planet and star.

For the Planet:

  • Average distance from primary, with its orbit plotted against planets in our solar system.
  • Mass – expressed in terms of Jupiters, Saturns, Neptunes or Earths.
  • Discovery Date
  • Orbital period

For the Star:

  • Stellar Type
  • Mass – expressed in terms of suns.
  • Coordinates
  • Magnitude
  • Planets

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