Watch: Animated NASA Video Maps 4,000 Exoplanets in Deep Space

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NASA's new animated video maps out 4,003 exoplanets that exist outside our solar system. (Photo Credit: APOD Videos / YouTube)

Our solar system has some company: More than 4,000 exoplanets are known to exist outside of our cosmic borders, and now, a new animated video from NASA highlights these bizarre worlds in light and sound.

The video, which was shared by NASA on July 10, shows these exoplanets in chronological order, starting from the first confirmed exoplanet detection in 1992, said a NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) blog post. From 1992 to 2019, you can spot each exoplanet discovery and see the total number of exoplanets discovered by that year in an easy format.

First, the entire night sky is shown compressed with the Milky Way Galaxy’s central band making a giant “U” shape across it. From there, the exoplanets are color-coded around this landscape with light music as a background soundtrack.

Exoplanets found by slight jiggles in their parent stars’ hues (radial velocity) are shown in pink, while exoplanets discovered by small dips in their parent stars’ brightness (transit) appear in purple. Exoplanets that were directly imaged are represented in orange and those detected by gravitationally magnifying the light of a background star (microlensing) are detailed in green. Music plays an important role in the video, too: The faster a planet circles its parent star, the higher the accompanying tone is played.

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