Introduction to Exoplanets 1

This is the beginning of a series of posts on extrasolar planets. References and further readings are indicated by [number] and can be found at the bottom of the page under “References”.

What is an extrasolar planet?

An extrasolar planet (or exoplanet) is a planet that orbits a star other than our Sun. This leads us to the question “What is a planet?”. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has come to the following definition of planets in our Solar System [1]:

A planet is a celestial body that
(a) is in orbit around the Sun,
(b) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, and
(c) has cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit.

TO BE CONTINUED!

References:

[1] http://www.iau.org/static/resolutions/Resolution_GA26-5-6.pdf

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: