Artistic rendering of a planet's transmission spectrum (Image: Christine Daniloff/MIT, Julien de Wit)
The Hubble telescope (Image: NASA)
The Spitzer telescope (Image: NASA)
A team of MIT researchers has described a new method for finding the mass of exoplanets by studying the spectra of light passing through the planet's atmosphere. Because a planet's mass can tell us a lot about its potential for harboring life, this development could provide an important tool in solving the puzzle of whether or not we're alone in the universe.
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