We live in a universe full of planets outside our solar system, some that are similar to Earth and others that look like the homes of extraterrestrials. No wonder the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) developed a tool that presents a virtual map with some of the strangest exoplanets ever found.
On the Exoplanet Exploration website, the Eyes on Exoplanets app allows fans of the theme to explore different exoplanets that are several light years away from Earth, through a map with a 360 degree view.
For example, the exoplanets PSR B1251+12 b and TOI-3757 b were discovered in 1994 and 2022, respectively, and both have amazing features, but are too far away from Earth for a good view. That’s why, the online tool allows enthusiasts to view the various characteristics of exoplanets, with magnification, 360-degree rotation and many other details.
Screenshot of the Eyes on Exoplanets view map; exoplanet, also called extrasolar planet, is the concept of a planet located outside the solar system.Source: NASA
Though knowledge about how these distant worlds work is limited, scientists believe the map could help them understand some of the possibilities exoplanets offer. Users can access Eyes on Exoplanets through computers, mobile devices or virtual reality headsets.
Planets outside the solar system
NASA is learning more about exoplanets from data from telescopes and observatories around the world, with the aim of studying places that might be habitable outside our solar system.
“Even the closest exoplanets are too far away to visit. But… what if they weren’t? We worked with NASA scientists, futurists, and artists to imagine exoplanet tourism,” is described on NASA’s exoplanet exploration website.
To use the tool, simply access the official NASA website and select from the available options.
Strange exoplanets available on the site
Kepler-16b;Kepler-22b;Kepler-7b;Kepler-452 b;Kelt-9 b;Wasp-12 b;55 Cancri e;TYC 8998-760-1 b;GJ 15 A b;GJ 15 A c;Kepler-36 b;GJ 504 b;GJ 436 b;TOI-849 b;AU Microscopii b;PSR B1257+12 b;HD 189733 b;KOI-55 b;HD 17156 b;GJ 1132 b;TIC 172900988 b;Wasp-96 b;TOI-3757 b.
For example, it is possible to visualize the exoplanet HD 189733 with a strong blue color, caused by the surrounding atmosphere. The tool even shows that the ‘alien’ planet has temperatures that exceed 930 °C during the day, with very strong winds that reach 2 kilometers per second.
The tool is managed by the Exoplanet Exploration Program and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA’s Astrophysics Division.