Something useful on the Internet

(Well, use­ful for some­one of my ilk, at any rate.)

Today I learned that there’s an Open Exo­plan­et Cat­a­logue online, with all the cur­rent­ly-known extra­so­lar plan­ets list­ed. This will come in handy, I’m sure, when writ­ing sci­ence fic­tion.

It lives at the inter­sec­tion of astron­o­my and Open Source:

The Open Exo­plan­et Cat­a­logue is a cat­a­logue of all dis­cov­ered extra-solar plan­ets. It is a new kind of astro­nom­i­cal data­base, based on small text files and a dis­trib­uted ver­sion con­trol sys­tem. It is decen­tral­ized and com­plete­ly open. Con­tri­bu­tion and cor­rec­tions are wel­come. The Open Exo­plan­et Cat­a­logue is fur­ther­more the only cat­a­logue that can cor­rect­ly rep­re­sent the orbital struc­ture of plan­ets in arbi­trary bina­ry, triple and quadru­ple star sys­tems as well as orphan plan­ets.

It even has, as they put it, “an xkcd-style bub­ble chart” of the plan­ets.

found via this io9 sto­ry

Musi­cal pair­ing: “We Are Not Alone”, Voivod