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‘Planetodiversity': the variety of planets and planetary systems in the Universe

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‘Planetodiversity' is a composite word from planetary diversity. This denomination wants to parallel the common use of the term biodiversity employed in biology but translated here to the context of planetary sciences due to the proliferating variety of planets discovered outside the Solar System and theoretically proposed to exist. There are two properties that allow us a classification of a body as a planet or more generally as a ‘planetary mass object': the orbital configuration and the physical structure (mass, energy and chemical composition). This leads respectively to the concepts that we term the ‘orbital planetodiversity' and the ‘physical planetodiversity'. We present in a comparative way the basic planetary types observed or expected to exist within the framework of these two concepts.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Grupo Ciencias Planetarias, Dpto. Física Aplicada I, Escuela Superior de Ingeniería – Universidad del País Vasco, Bilbao, 48013, Spain

Publication date: 2006-05-01

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