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Exoplanet database ExoKyoto now online (31 August 2016)


10 Oct 2016



      On 31 August, a Kyoto University team led by Professor Yosuke Yamashiki, of the Graduate School of Advanced Leadership Studies (Shishu-Kan), announced the launch of ExoKyoto, an online database of extrasolar planets, or "exoplanets". Project members include Assistant Professor Takanori Sasaki of the Graduate School of Science, and astronaut Takao Doi, a program-specific professor at the Unit of Synergetic Studies for Space.

      Built on extensive astronomical observation and research data accumulated over many years at the University, ExoKyoto enables users to compare different calculations and definitions of the habitable zone for each planet, making it the world's first open platform with such capabilities.

      The database covers over 3,500 confirmed exoplanets as well as more than 120,000 stars, for every one of which the habitable zone can be calculated.

      ExoKyoto also contains imagined images of many of these planets, created based on data indicating their environmental characteristics. Some of this artwork was created by students at Shiga Prefectural Moriyama High School, a Super Global High School since 2014 and a partner in the ExoKyoto project.

      ExoKyoto is expected to be particularly useful for locating target stars for exoplanet searches. In addition, the database is anticipated to facilitate extrasolar observation projects using Kyoto University's new 3.8-meter telescope in Okayama Prefecture, which will go into operation next year, as well as other types of astronomical projects, including those of scientists at other universities and amateur astronomers.

      In the meantime, researchers at Kyoto University's Kwasan Observatory are hoping to use ExoKyoto for large-scale exoplanet observations to be conducted in collaboration with amateur astronomer networks.

      The Gliese 876 planetary system as depicted in ExoKyoto, with relative sizes of the star Gliese 876 and its four planets (b, c, d, and e) indicated at the bottom

      SGH Moriyama students discussing their imagined renditions of exoplanets

      Imagined images of exoplanets featured on the ExoKyoto website, drawn by three Shishu-Kan researchers -- Professor Yamashiki, Program-Specific Assistant Professor Natsuki Hosono, and Mr Ryusuke Kuroki, a doctoral student.

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      Exoplanet database ExoKyoto now online (31 August 2016)
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