A planetary system is a set of gravitationally bound non-stellar objects in orbit around a star or star system. Generally speaking, planetary systems describe systems with one or more planets, although such systems may also consist of bodies such as dwarf planets, asteroids, natural satellites, meteoroids, comets and planetesimals as well as discernable features including circumstellar disks. The Sun together with its planetary system, which includes Earth, is known as the Solar System. The interchangeable terms extrasolar system and exoplanetary system are sometimes used in reference to other planetary systems. Individually they may be referred to as system prefixed by the name of the star or star system that it orbits or sometimes simply the name of the star system.
Before the 16th century and Copernican heliocentrism, human knowledge of planetary systems was limited to heliocentrism and our own planetary system (the Solar System). Despite the discovery and exploration of the Solar System and centuries of conjecture, it remained this way until the groundbreaking discovery of the unusual PSR B1257+12 system and its extrasolar planets, confirmed in 1992, holds a number of significant records, including the first discovered, as well as the first pulsar, multi-star planetary system.
The 21st century has become a golden era of planetary system discovery with findings occurring at a rapid rate. As of 2012, 670 such systems have been confirmed including 126 which contain two or more planets. Hundreds more systems are unconfirmed. In terms of total confirmed planets, the Solar System with 8 remains the largest planetary system, however HD 10180 has a total of 7 confirmed planets and a total of 2 unconfirmed planets which would bring the total to 9 and is currently the largest known exoplanetary system. A wide range of planetary systems have been discovered, with a variety of different orbital arrangements around different types of stars. The closest confirmed system is Gliese 832 at 14.8 light years (ly) with one confirmed planet, while the closest unconfirmed system is Alpha Centauri at 4.37 ly with a planet of Earth mass. The closest multi-planet system is Gliese 876 at 15.3 ly with four confirmed planets.
While knowledge of the nature of planetary systems including our own has increased considerably, much is unknown of their origin and evolution and current theories of their formation and evolution are relatively new to the field of Planetary science.
Of particular interest to astrobiology is the habitable zone of planetary systems, believed to be the region with the most potential to develop and sustain extraterrestrial life.
Other articles related to "planetary system, system, planetary systems, systems, planetary":
... The HD 41004 A system Companion Mass Semimajor axis Orbital period Eccentricity Radius b >2.56 MJ 1.70 963 0.74 — ...
... Transiting planetary systems are those with multiple planets in orbital planes along the line of sight between their star and Earth ... The Kepler mission was designed to discover systems of this type and has found numerous candidate systems ... Kepler 11 is a prominent example of a transiting system in which multiple simultaneous planetary transits have been observed ...
... circumstances the disk, which can now be called protoplanetary, may give birth to a planetary system ... This mixing can explain some peculiarities in the composition of solar system bodies such as the presence of interstellar grains in the primitive meteorites and ... Planetary formation can also be triggered by gravitational instability within the disk itself, which leads to its fragmentation into clumps ...
... The Lupus-TR-3 system Companion Mass Semimajor axis Orbital period Eccentricity Inclination Radius b 0.81 ± 0.18 MJ 0.0464 ± 0.0007 3.91405 ± 4e-5 0 — — ...
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