Exoplanets and the Solar System

Will Yoder

What are exoplanets?

An exoplanet is a planet that orbits a star outside our solar system. There are 8 planets within our solar system that orbit our star the "Sun". Any planets beside these are considered exoplanets, and right now there are 976 exoplanets. Astronomers are trying to find the right exoplanet to support life. This term is called the Goldilocks zone where the planet is not too close nor too far. Also, another thing astronomers are trying to find in exoplanets is water, both things have not been discovered though.

What are the solar systetm planets?

The Solar System is the "neighborhood" within our planets. The solar system is within the galaxy, the Milky Way. There are 8 planets in our solar system that revolve around the Solar System's star, the Sun. They are classified as planets and not exoplanets because they are closer than exoplanets and revolve around the sun in the same orbit. Only one of these planets support life, it is the Earth. Most planets are just gaseous, meaning they have gas on the surface of the planet, but have a smaller core. Other planets have cores like Earth, Mars, Venus, and Mercury.

Comparing and Contrasting


The main similarity between exoplanets and Solar System planets are the kind of planets they are. Some exoplanets are gaseous such as Jupiter, where they have a core but more of the planet is covered with gas on the surface. An then, some exoplanets have cores as the whole planet such as Earth. Size is also very similar in exoplanets and Solar System planets, small exoplanets can compare to Mars and Mercury, and big exoplanets compare to planets like Saturn and Jupiter.


The similarities between Solar System planets and exoplanets are mainly the distance of a star between them, and how they orbit it. No exoplanets orbit the sun like the Solar System planets do, and if they did they wouldn't be exoplanets. Also, exoplanets may be to small and can't be a Solar System planet, kind of how Pluto was too small to be a planet. Exoplanets are planets similar to planets in the Solar System, but they aren't in the Solar System. Exoplanets orbit there own star, if they orbit one at all, that is the difference between exoplanets and Solar System planets.


This project showed the differences and similarities between exoplanets and the Solar System planets. Exoplanets and the Solar System planets are very similar, and can be almost identical, but the actual conditions of the planet, and it's orbit seperate the Solar System planets from the exoplanets. Exoplanets are still being discovered and astronauts and NASA are trying to find other life. Exoplanets are a great discovery, and may lead us to future discoveries and technologies. We learn new things everyday, and sooner or later something big will come from the exoplanets.
NASA - Exoplanets

Information about the exoplanets on JPL, one of NASA's webistes.