The Most Common Planet in the Universe?

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There’s one kind of planet we’ve found more often than any other in the universe so far: mini-Neptunes. Now, some scientists think they’ve figured out why there are just so many of them.

You can buy the mini-Neptune pin at

Tags: scishow, scishow space, Space, Science, hank green, astrophysics, astronomy, mini-Neptune, exoplanet, Planet, ice giant, protoplanetary nebula, radius cliff, atmosphere

  1. pnutz 2 - fmr. capnazrael

    most common planets are RICE.

    so says my planetary scanner

  2. Nicholas Albeck

    Mini-Neptunes?!? NIMBY!

  3. James Lucas

    Thank Jupiter! 😊

  4. Duncan Cameron

    I really love the enthusiasm Caitlin brings to Sci Show

  5. StarLord23

    Nobody wants to tell Her it’s Uranus & not YourAnus….

  6. jacobcoolguy

    Ugh. Caitlin should explain everything. I’m pretty sure I could stay engaged if she were talking about Mongolian tax codes.

  7. Pixie Fairy

    Did not have my glasses on and thought the title was “The most cannon planet in the universe” and had a mini existential crisis because I thought Earth was not cannon even though I live there.

  8. Shaggy Shazem

    I was hoping that Uranus would be the most common type

  9. SaiyanGohan

    Our Neptune is T H I C C

  10. Agent E.

    Title: The Most Common Planet in the Universe
    Me: ur mum

  11. Devwardhan Kothari

    Uranus is the most uncommon planet in the universe.

  12. ComradeCucumbers

    They definitely mistook protoplanetary nebula for protoplanetary disk at 1:59

  13. Benjy Strauss

    Around 1:55: “real Neptune”, you mean “local Neptune”

  14. martin11844

    maybe we had material for a lot of mini neptunes and there you go

  15. No Name


  16. Lauren Doe

    I suspect this title seriously needs a disclaimer “The Most Common Planet We Have Detected In The Universe” (and I suspect even this is inaccurate as I doubt we have detected many planets outside the Milky Way).

  17. Sagnik Mukherjee

    🎶It’s been Jupiter all along 🎶

  18. SomeoneCommenting

    For the moment it is easier for us to detect mostly those planets precisely because of their size, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that those stars cannot have many small planets too like in our solar system. Just look at the size of Mercury. Our technology will keep improving and we will start detecting many other smaller ones soon.

  19. Hilal Hajjo

    I just realized OUR SOLAR SYSTEM IS UNIQUE A F

  20. Juliana

    I love Caitlin she is always so enthusiastc about the universe!

  21. Joonbee

    I thought she said “that’s why there’s so _mini_ of them” 💀

  22. any wallsocket

    Wait did you explain our lack of mini Neptunes with our Jupiter? Because that would be using the fact that we’re on one side of the radial cliff to explain why we’re not on the other side. Maybe that’s a sound argument, but it doesn’t explain anything?

  23. Michael Holst

    Maybe instead of calling all those guys out there mini neptunes, we should call ours giant Neptune, since it seems to be in the minority

  24. George Willcox

    Perhaps they’re not the most common type of planet, but maybe there’s an unknown bias making them easier to detect.

  25. Glenn Babić

    If there’s ten types of planets and our solar system rolled the dice eight times then we won’t have all types!

  26. Glenn Babić

    Exoplanets we find are different because we mostly find ones with close orbits or around red dwarves. Our observational bias is grossly unscientific.

  27. grimwatcher

    A bit of a correction:
    You called the nebula from which the planets and solar systems form PROTOPLANETARY NEBULA when you meant PROTOPLANETARY DISK. As you might recall the nebulas in this case are actually what forms around stars at the end of their lives after the red giant phase, they’re just called that as misnomer that stuck around.

  28. Charlie Xu

    What I learned over the years of the apparent strangeness of our solar system:
    Jupiter, it’s you again isn’t it?

  29. Electro522

    Jupiter once again.

    At this point, any weird question that comes up about the formation of our solar system usually devolves into “…because Jupiter, and sometimes Saturn.”

    The influence this planet has over our system is just astounding.

  30. Aeturnalis

    It also seems like there are a hell of a lot of “hot Jupiters” in the galaxy too. Our stellar system is lacking that too, we must look bizarre to the other sentient species out there lol

  31. Recurve

    I really don’t like the slide down effect on these pictures; it makes me think I’m getting a notification and is distracting

  32. dd ee

    What I would like to know is: How close are these mini neptunes to their parent stars? Are they generally far from their suns like our neptune? Can a solar system have more than one mini neptune in it?

  33. Francesco Nicoletti

    Now I want the science fiction stories based on the creatures made from super-compressed hydrogen living on the molten magma surface of these mini Neptune’s. Do they even know the rest of the universe exists ?

  34. Green Koopa

    How fascinating 🤔

    #greenkoopa 🐢

  35. Bob Spitfire

    Hmm, the video doesnt really explain why this couldnt just be a limitation of our instruments. They must have eliminated such an obvious factor, but I wonder how exactly you know what you dont know in this case.

  36. CrankyApes

    I love how happy she sounds when she says things like uranus.

  37. he_who_is_nobody

    It should have been Mini-Uranuses.

  38. Yiglic Persfactious

    Do planet mixews change depending how close to the galaxy core the syste forms? Isn’t Uranus a mini-Neptune in size, or is it still bigger?

  39. TigerHawk709

    Maybe it’s not that these Mini-Neptunes are mini, but are actually regular size. Meaning that our Neptune is a Mega-Neptune

  40. Blaze

    Scientists only know what they can see, we can’t see everything. We don’t know everything.

  41. JustJimus

    Caitlin is SooOOooOOooo enthusiastic!!! Wow! Thanks for SciShow *

  42. Skyblaze71325

    Maybe Kepler only found more of its findings to be Mini-Neptunes due to the fact most Mini-Neptunes have atmospheric compounds that increase their Albedo above most other types of planets.
    This really could be another situation like the red dwarfs discovery that they were more common than our own star, at its time of discovery.

  43. Hershy

    Could these results be off because of the limits of our techniques?

  44. zxana

    what if we originally had 2 mini Neptunes and they cooled down and then as Jupiter left the inner solar system and moved to the outer solar system it tugged with it some of that gas cloud and they siphoned it off Jupiter’s orbit preventing Jupiter from reaching its full potential of being a brown dwarf.

  45. Leo Hultén

    …. miniptune ;w;

  46. Char char k

    Just soooo many minis out there, that’s nice…

  47. Gertjan Eisink

    Neptune has a year of 165 Earth years. Did we detect all the mini-Neptunes nearby their stars? With shorter years?
    Since we detect exo-planets mostly when they pass their star, a longer year would result in less detections right?

    So that would be in line with the Hypothesis that stars strip off the atmospheres more easily (Especially for nearby planets).

  48. Zellia Torsema

    What is the difference between a mini neptune and a super earth?

  49. Andrew Via

    Yay Caitlin! Perhaps you and Rose could co-host a video – maybe two views of a phenomenon or something.

  50. SN CY

    Uranus… gets me every singe time 🤪

  51. Mark Pendragon

    If you make a “Pluto is a planet” pin, I will buy it. :-)

  52. Rafael G Lopez Roman

    Maybe the Neptune like planets are way harder to detect, Neptune’s takes 185 years to travel its orbit, most methods of detecting planets are based on how a planet orbits its star. It might take decades to see any evidence.

  53. Álvaro Brandón

    I love how everything weird about our solar system is Jupiter’s fault

  54. BigMobe

    Jupiter strikes again. The mini Neptune pin looks a bit like an orbiting star being pulled into a black hole

  55. shiva Subramanian

    I like the way the host of this episode talks just saying ….

    Ps – I can’t hold that back I’m sorry.

  56. Jansen Art

    I think it’s very important to emphasize just how limited in scope KST was in its mission, especially the secondary, two-axis portion, after the gyroscopic failure, when it was STILL producing results. That needs to be a documentary all on its own.

  57. RedLeader327

    4:16 yay, Pluto gets some love!

  58. James Mitchell

    Thank you for pronouncing Uranus correctly (I know there’s multiple pronunciations, I just prefer the naughty one)

  59. Joshua Gafford

    It’s always, “man our solar system is weird and shits is off, probably Jupiter’s fault.” 😂

  60. DoctorHabilTHC Jesus

    Our solar system is only weird compared to what we are able to detect around other stars. Would we be able do detect any exoplanet that needs 84 years (Uranus) or 165 years (Neptune) for completing a full orbit around its star? I doubt it. There might be many systems with exoplanets very similar to what we find in our solar system, but they are not visible for us.

  61. Adil Zia

    I was for some reason reminded of the “Metal Stars” episode and “Totally Metal” joke while watching this one. granted when that episode came out it became an a astronomy in-joke/meme between me and my fiends… so i guess…. it would just happen with anything remotely triggering the memory

  62. Brad McClelland

    Maybe we do have a mini Neptune, way out there!!!

  63. New Message

    They’re quite common… yes. They haven’t a clue what fork to use for the fish course.

    * adjusts monocle *

  64. Kakarotto MUI

    *I need her optimism* 😀

  65. Nazamroth

    Is it not possible that Kepler is just really good at detecting mini-Neptunes?


    Oh we always have to deal with missing links from human to planetary evolution.

  67. Osmosis Jones

    I wonder it was a black hole passing by that’s why ours
    Solar system is different

  68. Massimo O'Kissed

    2:39 ” (In range 2R

  69. Osmosis Jones

    Wonder if. Mini. Neptune’s. Have earth like moons .
    Could think of Yavin as a ninny neptune

  70. mienzillaz

    Aren’t mini neptunes more common in red dwarf systems which are happens to be most common star types by themselves?

  71. Tyrandus

    Our solar system only looks weird because of the bias built into the inadequacies of our ability to look for them.

    Why is this so brazenly ignored by science educators and journal publishers?

  72. Theron Gilliland, Jr.

    Me, watching the video: “Awww . . . mini-Neptunes sound so-o-o-o cute! I want one!”
    [some time later]
    “OMG, THEY MADE A PIN!!! 😄”

  73. Obsidian Rose

    Aliens be scanning the sky and see our solar system be like: wtf is that?!

  74. NorthObsidianG

    I was getting into the zone of the video but that Uranus planet threw me off.

  75. John Rich

    I love the idea that someone, somewhere is examining our ancient earth trying to determine its composition, and that somewhere could be a planet we are trying to study.

  76. OldGamerNoob

    The way we find exoplanets gets easier results if it can see frequent, large shadows cast in the stars’ light.
    Large shadows come from larger objects (mini-neptune and bigger)
    and frequent shadows come from objects moving fast and close around the star.
    My theory is that mini-neptunes are short lived and either fall into their stars or have their atmospheres burned off and become terrestrial planets
    since they’re so easy for us to see, they show up more in our data, where the far more common planets like we have in our solar system are close but small terrestrial or large but slow and distant giants that are harder to detect.

  77. dementiasorrow

    I love how she added YET to “we cant replicate the intense pressures inside a mini neptune here on earth” It says so much about her personality…So optimistic! 😅

  78. Raum Bances

    I get why we use pet names when talking about scientific topics. It works to improve accessibility. But I think you should also say the actual term along with them. Someone wanting to research this or ask a professor about it could end up feeling embarrassed when they say “mini-Neptune” and the person responds “Oh you mean a Gas-Dwarf.”

  79. andyman aus

    How can we say that mini-Neptunes are the most populous type of planet? Current detection methods can only detect planets which have very specific attributes. If the orbit, size and orientation is not favourable, a planet simply can’t be seen. It is to be expected that an awful lot of planets, maybe even the majority of them, lack the right conditions for detection with our current methods.

    Could it be that mini-Neptunes tend to supply more of the right conditions, are therefore easier to find and seem to be more common?

  80. Bashar Mously

    It’s amazing that everything about our solar system eventually leads to Jupiter and its effects. Like hey why our planets weird ?? Everyone points fingers at Jupiter.

  81. Omega Turtle

    It’s always because of Jupiter, I swear

  82. StickManApple

    How do we know it’s because they’re not just so numerous because of the way they’re observed? Kepler might just be really good at finding mini-Neptunes.

  83. Logan X

    Why’d she say Uranus like that😭

  84. x603x

    Alot of the time, when there is a question about why our solar system is different from others. The answer is Jupiter. So my question is how many stars has a Jupiter like we do?

  85. Greg Merritt

    We may not have a mini-neptune, but we have a mega-comet.

  86. Siyabonga Nobela

    Scishow knows how to choose hosts, I must say😭😭you guys are the best

  87. J M

    Hey, we still might have a mini-Neptune! Just waiting on planet 9

  88. Matthew Ellis

    That sounds awesome but I have a question. If mini Neptunes are so common and this theory explains why, how did our solar system end up with, not one, but two large versions, if they’re so difficult to make?

  89. Marcel Szpak

    Could planet 9 be a mini-Neptune?🤔

  90. Jamie G

    PLUTO. is it pluto?

    wait, no Uranus would be funnier. IS IT URANUS?! it’s uranus, isn’t it?

  91. Maxwell

    Help. Bluey won’t stop giving me massages.

  92. 桜ヶ丘ジン

    1:00 My What?

  93. Robin Hahn

    Obligatory comment about how Caitlin’s enthusiasm for space in general is inspiring, wholesome and completely infectious. :)

  94. Mathieu Leader

    lots of these Neptunes are dead ringers

  95. Etherealstardescendantx

    Our solar system is the weirdo family in the rest of the galactic family!🙂

  96. PaleGhost69

    Our Neptune used to be mini but it kept getting gas from Uranus

  97. hamza

    superb hair!!

  98. Genessa

    Baby Neptune so cute 🥺

  99. Antonio Trav

    URANUS !!!!!!!!!

  100. Glorywhole

    Uranus is still very nice to see throughout the universe.

Comments are closed.