(From STARS, featuring the Star of the Week.)

More than 1500 planets are known to orbit other stars, many in multiple planetary systems. While a few have been detected directly, most of these extrasolar planets are located by effects they have on their parent stars, either through their gravity or by slightly dimming the star as they transit in front of it. Many of these planet-holding stars are visible to the naked eye and several even carry ordinary names, a growing sample of which (including a few that require binoculars) are listed in the table below. Click on them to find labelled constellation photos that show the locations of the stars, along with descriptions of the stars and their planets. Technical details, citations of original discovery papers, and a great deal of other information can be found at the Exoplanets Data Explorer, The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopia, which is a primary source of data for the planets presented here, and at the Kepler site for transiting planets.

Go find them, and stand outdoors in wonder.

Bright Stars with Planets

Listed alphabetically by constellation.

Upsilon Andromedae Psi-1 Aquarii HD 210277 Aquarii Xi Aquilae Mu Arae HD 20367 Arietis
Tau Bootis 55 Cancri HR 2447 Canis Majoris HD 47186 Canis Majoris Rigil Kent (Alpha Centauri) Errai (Gamma Cephei)
79 Ceti 94 Ceti Kappa Coronae Borealis Rho Coronae Borealis 16 Cygni HD 188753 Cygni
HR 7907 Delphini HD 195019 Delphini Edasich (Iota Draconis) HR 6817 Draconis Epsilon Eridani q-1 Eridani
Pollux (Beta Geminorum) HR 2877 Geminorum HD 50554 Geminorum Tau-1 Gruis 14 Herculis Iota Horologii
HD 10180 Hydri Algieba (Gamma Leonis) 23 Librae HR 7272 Lyrae Pi Mensae HR 2622 Monocerotis
Nu Octantis HR 1988 Orionis 51 Pegasi HR 8799 Pegasi HR 6 Phoenicis Beta Pictoris
54 Piscium 109 Piscium HR 8734 Piscium Fomalhaut (Alpha Piscis Austrini) HR 6907 Sagittarii HR 7291 Sagittarii
HR 6094 Scorpii 24 Sextantis Ain (Epsilon Tauri) Pi-2=4 Ursae Majoris 47 Ursae Majoris HR 4067 Ursae Majoris
HR 3497 Velorum 61 Virginis 70 Virginis HD 189733 Vulpeculae

How are these planets found?

Valid HTML 4.0! Image of Saturn: Hubble Space Telescope, Space Science Telescope Institute. Other pictures and text copyright © James B. Kaler. All rights reserved. These contents are the property of the author and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the author's express consent except in fair use for educational purposes. This page was last modified on 20 May, 2013. Thanks to reader number counter on myspace.