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Top Exoplanet
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Simplify and visually represent a complex multivariate dataset in a clear and compelling way


Have you ever wondered if humanity has the potential to live on another planet? Habitable exoplanets are planets outside our own solar system that have the potential to house liquid water, with there currently being 21 potentially habitable exoplanets in the conservative catalogue.


Using data from Nasa and the Planetary Habitability Laboratory, I created this poster to inform on the classification of a habitable exoplanet, and to serve as an educational piece on the many differences between these exoplanets, comparing them both to Earth and to each other.


Date: April 2020

Client: Professor Jodie Jenkinson

Audience: Educated Lay Audience

Software: After Effects, Illustrator

Format: Didactic poster

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I created my piece based on data from the Planetary Habitability Laboratory’s ‘Habitable Exoplanet’s Conservative Catalogue’, supplemented with data from Nasa. I chose variables that would be relevant to a lay audience, choosing to forego variables that would not benefit from being presented in a visual manner. I simplified and compiled the data, choosing to focus on the following variables: Earth Similarity Index (ESI), stellar classification, year of discovery, distance from Earth, distance from each respective star, orbital period, mass, radius, and equilibrium temperature.


After deciding on the significant variables in my piece, I explored various ways to show this data in a compelling way. I decided to group several variables together and showcase the information in 4 major parts: the 1st part focuses on Earth Similarity Index (ESI), stellar classification, year of discovery, and distance from Earth, with the 2nd part focusing on mass and radius, the 3rd part depicting equilibrium temperature, and the 4th part visualizing distance from respective star and orbital period.


Once I had a layout in mind, I began to create the visual element for my piece, the Earth, in After Effects using the VC Orb plug-in. I then brought this image into Illustrator where I began the design process to visualize the data in a clear and compelling manner and supplemented it with complimentary copy.  

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