• Released Saturday, January 1st, 2000
  • Updated Tuesday, February 20th, 2024 at 12:00AM


An exoplanet is a planet orbiting a star other than the Sun. Of particular interest are planets that may orbit in their star’s habitable zone, the distance from a star where temperatures allow liquid water to persist on a planet’s surface, given a suitable atmosphere. Since water is necessary for life as we know it, its presence is required for worlds to be considered capable of supporting life. Exoplanets can also teach us more about planets in the universe, such as the diversity of planets in the galaxy, how they interact with their host stars and with each other, and how common solar systems like ours really are.

Using a wide variety of methods, astronomers have discovered more than 3,700 exoplanets to date, largely thanks to NASA's Kepler/K2 mission.

Other NASA missions also play a key role in detecting exoplanets. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, which launched in April 2018, will monitor 200,000 of the brightest dwarf stars for transiting exoplanets. Future missions like the James Webb Space Telescope will be able to study these discovered planets in greater detail, helping determine their composition.

Researchers in NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Sellers Exoplanet Environments Collaboration are leveraging work across disciplines to better understand exoplanets. Areas like planet-star interactions, planetary formation, and even study of the Earth itself enable researchers to develop tools to learn more about how exoplanets evolve, and what ingredients are necessary to support life.

Artist's Illustrations

Artist's illustrations of exoplanets, NASA exoplanet missions, and detection methods. Includes animations and stills.

Research Model Visualizations

Visualizations of exoplanets and models. Based on real data from modeling tools and/or missions. Learn more about the latest exoplanet modeling tools.

Exoplanet Videos

Informational videos on exoplanets and the search for life in our solar system and beyond.

Interviews with Researchers

Scientists discuss the latest advances in exoplanet research.

Exoplanet Missions

Learn more about the different NASA missions to study exoplanets.

Exoplanet Presentations

Presentations given by scientists describing the latest developments in exoplanet research.

Hyperwall Materials

Exoplanet-related resources that can be used for presentations on the hyperwall or other high-resolution formats.