It was only a little over a year ago that the 400th extrasolar planet was confirmed, but time flies when you’re discovering exoplanets. The 19th of November 2010 marked the date that over 500 exoplanets had been confirmed on The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopedia.
Though it’s an arbitrary number to celebrate, the fact that we’ve confirmed the existence over 500 exoplanets since their initial discovery 20 years ago is deserving of merriment. Discovery of exoplanets has really ramped up over the last few years, thanks in part to the ESA’s COROT satellite, the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes, the Keck Interferometer, and the improvement of observational techniques to discover and confirm exoplanets. NASA’s Kepler spacecraft has over 700 candidates for exoplanets. Only 7 planets have been confirmed after being discovered by the Kepler spacecraft so far, though.
Read the rest of Exoplanet Discovery Lists top 500 (435 words)