How is it out there?
One of my childhood dreams is the possibility of getting a glimpse beyond our solar system. We are the first generation to know, with certainty, that Exoplanets are really out there. There are places we can't even imagine.
Terrestrial Exoplanets, for example, are at a very special distance from their star. This spot is called the habitable zone, where life might be possible. If a planet is at just the right temperature, it could contain liquid water.
Then, there could be LIFE.
As fast as tech advances, more and more Exoplanets are discovered exponentially. The 4001 Project is a very small sample of the universe. The possibilities are infinite, far beyond our imagination.
I wondered if it was possible to generate "candidates" based on known (real!) information, so with my dev team we started to teach our script where to find possible sources of information such as surfaces, terrains and many more. We called this process "feeding the code"
Then something came out.
An Unexpected Miracle.
What types of Exoplanets are known?
So far, scientists have categorized Exoplanets into the following types:
Gas giant, Neptunian-like, Super Earth and Terrestrial.
The planets beyond our solar system are called Exoplanets, and they come in a wide variety of sizes, from gas giants larger than Jupiter to small, rocky planets about as big around as Earth or Mars. They can be hot enough to boil metal or locked in deep freeze. They can orbit their stars so tightly that a year lasts only a few days; they can orbit two suns at once. Some exoplanets are sunless rogues, wandering through the galaxy in permanent darkness.
Each planet type varies in interior and exterior appearance depending on composition.
Gas giants are planets the size of Saturn or Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, or much, much larger.
More variety is hidden within these broad categories. Hot Jupiters, for instance, were among the first planet types found gas giants orbiting so closely to their stars that their temperatures soar into the thousands of degrees (Fahrenheit or Celsius)
Neptunian-like planets are similar in size to Neptune or Uranus in our solar system. They likely have a mixture of interior compositions, but all will have hydrogen and helium-dominated outer atmospheres and rocky cores. We're also discovering Mini-Neptunes, planets smaller than Neptune and bigger than Earth. No planets of this size or type exist in our solar system.
Super-Earths are typically terrestrial planets that may or may not have atmospheres. They are more massive than Earth, but lighter than Neptune.
Terrestrial planets are Earth sized and smaller, composed of rock, silicate, water or carbon. Further investigation will determine whether some of them possess atmospheres, oceans or other signs of habitability.
There are also some "theoretical" Exoplanets that haven't been confirmed yet.
You might discover some very rare gems hidden in our project.
Why is it called The 4001 Project?
Exoplanets, The 4001 Project was inspired by Project Mercury, the free world's first program for manned exploration of space. The chronology of this project was published by NASA in special publication SP-4001.
Greater significance is the fact that Project Mercury was conceived and carried out solely for peaceful purposes. In just 3 years, the goal of Mercury of orbiting a man in space and returning him safely to earth was accomplished, with less than the power of a modern cell phone. By decades of investigation and application of aerodynamics, rocket propulsion, celestial mechanics, aerospace medicine, and electronics, Project Mercury took man beyond the atmosphere into space orbit. It also confirmed the potential for man's mobility in his universe. Thousands of people dedicated efforts to this program.
Exoplanets, The 4001 Project is a way to honor them.