Artist Creates Stunning Infographics Showcasing Over 1,600 Exoplanets

A graphic artist has utilized the most up-to-date astronomical observation data to create two expansive infographics that visually represent and compare over 1,600 exoplanets of all sizes and types. An exoplanet is any planet that orbits a star other than our sun. Well over 5,000 exoplanets have been discovered in our Milky Way galaxy, according to NASA’s Exoplanet Archive. Martin Vargic, a Slovakian artist and author of the book ‘All the Planets,’ published these exquisite images on his website, Martin Vargic Art, where they are also available as high-resolution downloads.

The first infographic, ‘Icy and Rocky Worlds,’ features over 900 individually illustrated Earth and ‘super-Earth’ sized planets arranged by their equilibrium temperature. “It includes the majority of known Earth-size and super-Earth planets below six Earth masses, especially those likely to be terrestrial,” Vargic told Live Science.

The second infographic, ‘The Exoplanet Zoo,’ focuses on larger gas and ice giants. “Finishing both infographics took about six to seven months,” Vargic said. “I worked on both simultaneously while creating planetary textures and rendering the planets one by one.” While illustrating the exoplanets for these infographics, Vargic also found time to create dozens of individual artist impressions of specific exoplanets.

Vargic aimed to reflect the sheer diversity of exoplanets in the infographics. “I tried to include a good, representative number of exoplanets from all equilibrium temperature classes, from cryogenic to yellow-hot, for maximum variety, as well as most of the record-holding exoplanets,” he said. The illustrations, therefore, encompass the largest, hottest, and most distant exoplanets known.

“I have several favorite planets,” Vargic said. “One is Kepler 277b, an ultra-dense rocky planet more massive than Earth with a surface gravity of over 10 Gs.” Another of Vargic’s favorites is WASP-12b, a giant puffy hot Jupiter tidally stretched into an egg-shape, which is being consumed by its star. His pantheon of exoplanets includes extreme worlds unlike anything in our solar system, from lava planets in the process of being vaporized by their star to others where salts, silicates, metals, and even diamonds evaporate and condense to form exotic clouds, rain, and hail.

However, Vargic is excited by exoplanets because of “the possibility of finding habitable exoplanets that could shed much light on the origin and nature of life or nurture intelligent civilizations unlike anything we can imagine.” A future project will be to make a super-sized infographic showing every known exoplanet, he added.

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