" />

Exoplanet – an App about Extrasolar Planets, Created by an Astrophysicist


My alternative title for this post was ‘We Just Got an Email from an Astrophysicist’ – because we did, and how cool is that? We get a large number of approaches about new apps / accessories / Apple –related stories every day. What we don’t get a lot of is emails from astrophysicists at Princeton. I know this for sure because every time I go to type the word astrophysicist I feel sure I’m going to be bugger it up.

The reason for the email (To us! From an actual astrophysicist!) was to let us know about his free app called Exoplanet. Exoplanet is a universal app for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad that provides a daily updated database of all discovered extrasolar planets.


Here are some of the app’s key features:

* Database with physical parameters of every known exoplanet.
* Interactive visualisations and animations accommodate the scientific information.
* Interactive 3D plot shows the position of all exoplanets in our Milky Way. You can zoom into any planetary system.
* Push notifications are sent out whenever a new planet is discovered.
* Interactive multi-touch correlation plots.
* Extensive background information on exoplanets and detection methods.
* Direct links to over 50.000 scientific publications
* Physical properties of all detected exo-planets and their host stars, updated on a daily basis
* Links to over 50.000 scientific publications (via NASA ADS)
* Easily search and filter the database
* Real telescope images of the host star
* Visualisations of the orbits and the habitable zone
* Interactive 3D size comparison to planets of our own solar system
* Animation of the detection method (radial velocity/transit)
* Sky charts of the planet’s position in the night sky including constellations
* 3D visualisation of the position of all exoplanets in the galactic coordinate system
* Animations of the orbital motion of all planetary systems
* Correlation diagrams can be created on the fly
* Full compatibility with iOS 4 and iPhone4
* Backwards compatible to iOS 3.1.3
* High resolution graphics for the iPhone4’s Retina display


I don’t know about you, but I can’t recall too many times I’ve seen an app feature that sounded cooler than this one from the list above:

Push notifications are sent out whenever a new planet is discovered

Until I get more comfortable with spelling astrophysicist, I’m not sure I’m going to get maximum value out of Exoplanet – but for all of you who are interested in astronomy, or have kids who are, I imagine this one is going to have great appeal. I have a feeling my daughter may be very keen on the app.

You can find Exoplanet in the App Store now, and it’s a free app.

Continue reading: