User:Søren Bertil F. Dorch/Proposed/Exoplanets
Dr. Gregory Laughlin accepted the invitation on 30 January 2008 (self-imposed deadline: 30 April 2008).
This article will briefly cover: current state of knowledge of extrasolar planets, including an overview of their census and properties, a summary of how they are detected, an introduction to the processes by which they form, and an outlook for future detections of planets that are potentially habitable and Earthlike.
THIS ARTICLE IS CURRENTLY INCOMPLETE!
Exoplanets are planets that orbit stars beyond the Sun. They exhibit a very broad variety of physical properties, and range in mass from objects smaller than Earth up to the deuterium-burning limit of ~13 Jupiter masses that marks the borderline between planets and brown dwarfs. The detection and characterization of extrasolar planets is currently one of the fastest growing fields of Astronomy. At the time of this writing in mid-2008, astronomers have discovered and cataloged over 300 planets orbiting other stars, and the number is increasing on a weekly basis. The number of known planets is now large enough that many aspects of the statistical outline of the galactic planetary census are beginning to reveal themselves.