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