Exoplanet Criteria for Inclusion in the Archive

There are numerous exoplanet-related catalogs available online, each with its own criteria on which objects to include in their list of planets. As such, users may notice different numbers associated with each information source. At the NASA Exoplanet Archive, we monitor the literature for relevant planet publications from both NASA and non-NASA observing resources and include data from ground and space-based observations.

The NASA Exoplanet Archive has adopted a policy of including and classifying all objects as planetary that meet the following criteria:

  • The mass (or minimum mass) is equal to or less than 30 Jupiter masses.
  • The planet is not free floating.
  • Sufficient follow-up observations and validation have been undertaken to deem the possibility of the object being a false positive as unlikely.
  • The above information, along with further orbital and/or physical properties, are available in peer-reviewed publications.
  • The results must be peer reviewed and be accepted for publication in the astrophysical literature.

An example of an object that has not been included is the companion to SCR 1845. This object was detected via imaging and has an estimated mass larger than the 30 Jupiter mass criteria stated above.

The Exoplanet Archive team works to include the relevant parameter values from each reference. In some cases, these values may be assumed or taken from other literature references. Please use the provided links to see the details for any parameter value.

The Exoplanet Archive will include a note on System Overview pages of planets that are independently announced in multiple papers. The paper that is accepted first will be listed as the discovery paper; subsequently accepted papers will be listed as independent announcements if a submitted version of the paper was available online either before the discovery paper's acceptance date, or up to one month after the discovery paper's acceptance date.

Default and Multiple Parameter Values

For papers that report multiple values for an exoplanet or host star parameter, a single value is chosen as the default, and the user can access the paper for the additional values. Selection of the default parameter set is based on the number and precison of the published parameters, and the default reference is displayed in both the Planetary Systems table (denoted with a 1 in the Default Parameter Set column) and on the System Overview page.

For papers that report a range of values for an exoplanet or host star parameter, as opposed to a single value and uncertainties, we adopt the mean of the range as the single value and the range/2 as the uncertainty. For example, Liu et al. (2011) reports a mass for CFBDSIR J1458+1013 b of 6–15 Jupiter masses. We adopt a value of 10.5+/-4.5 Jupiter masses.

Targets Removed from the Archive

Occasionally, when an object's status changes, we will either exclude or change its disposition in the archive. These objects are listed on the is given on the Targets Excluded from the Archive page. If you have questions or an update about a particular target on the page, please let us know.

Discrepancies Between Literature and Archive Values

This table has been moved to its own page.

Last update: 20 December 2022