This article left me wondering what do they mean by the term alien planet? Aren't all planets simply alien by default, or do they mean planets outside our solar system are alien? Do they mean there is alien life there? Is this a a new keyword the astronomy community is using to generate more buzz and get more attention to their articles?

  • $\begingroup$ This term definitely seems to be in use at least by article authors as here is another one using the same term by a different author a couple of days later news.yahoo.com/… $\endgroup$
    – chaonomy
    Dec 29, 2013 at 19:23
  • $\begingroup$ Another different author, another article about alien planets, this term is really gaining traction foxnews.com/science/2014/01/03/… $\endgroup$
    – chaonomy
    Jan 3, 2014 at 17:22
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    $\begingroup$ cyberspace is a similar term. that's why android smartphones dont have a cyberspace browser and a cyberspace wifi connection. it's too sensationalist and dramatic sci fi terminology for scientists to take themselves seriously. If a scientist tried to publish serious research about "alien" things, he would be using more fictional terms than science ones. exoplanet sounds even more technical. $\endgroup$ Apr 29, 2017 at 19:47

2 Answers 2


Very interesting article!. The term alien planet is not a scientific one, so I think you already answered your own question by saying that it was used in the article to generate more buzz.

In the English language the word is used to describe something that's not familiar, so you could argue that this is in fact an alien planet, but because of the subject in question being an exoplanet I would bet they did this as a technique to get more attention.


Apparently the term is being used as a more common way to say exoplanet. Here is an Article with a hyperlink to the term Alien Planet. The hyperlink then references an article on exoplanets: worlds beyond our solar system.

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    $\begingroup$ However it's being used, it's not a scientific terminology. $\endgroup$ Jan 5, 2014 at 18:48

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