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New stellar database created for exoplanet exploration

29 Aug 2018, 08:45 UTC
New stellar database created for exoplanet exploration NASA/JPL-Caltech

A Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) scientist is using big data to help the scientific community characterise exoplanets, particularly alien worlds orbiting nearby stars. Of particular interest are exoplanets that could harbour life.

“At first scientists focused on temperatures, looking for exoplanets in the ‘Goldilocks zone’ — neither too close, nor too far from the star, where liquid water could exist,” says Dr. Natalie Hinkel, a planetary astrophysicist at SwRI. “But the definition of habitability is evolving beyond liquid water and a cosy temperature.”

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