Animated Map Dots the 4,000 Exoplanets Discovered beyond Our Solar System

Since 1992 astronomers have found 4,000 exoplanets, watch this musically animated map to see exactly when and where.
Fabienne Lang

Exoplanets are planets that orbit a star outside of our solar system. Astronomers look for them as they may offer signs of new life, or become liveable planets. Some are covered in water, others have none. Depending on their distance from their star, which offers heat, they are either potentially habitable or not at all.

They're extraordinary to discover. 

In this visually beautiful 60-second long video, accompanied by perfectly timed music, two artists show where and when each exoplanet was discovered. 

As per NASA researchers, 4,000 exoplanets have been found since 1992, as was disclosed in June this year. 

The impressive video was animated by Matt Russo, and scored by Andrew Santaguida, a musician. Both artists work with a science and art project named System Sounds.

What do you see in the video? A flat 360-degree view of the night sky as we see from Earth, with the Milky Way running through the middle of the map. 

The beginning of the music and animation starts off slowly, letting you pick up what's going on as each exoplanet is displayed on the map for every year they're discovered. Then the tempo picks up as more and more exoplanets are added to the map as more exoplanets were discovered as years went by.