habitable

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Just how big can a super-Earth get while staying ‘habitable’?

Of the thousands of exoplanets discovered so far, the most common are “super-Earths” — worlds bigger than Earth but smaller than Neptune. Some of these planets even lie within the habitable zones of their parent stars, meaning the conditions there might be right to host liquid water on their surfaces.  But could these giant, rocky …

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planet/star diagram

Super-Earth planet zips through the habitable zone of red dwarf star

Astronomers have discovered a ‘super-Earth’ orbiting a red dwarf star just 37 light-years from our solar system.  The exoplanet Ross 508 b skims the so-called habitable zone of its parent star, the area in which surface temperatures are suitable to allow for the existence of liquid water, a key ingredient of life. The newly discovered …

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