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Problems with Red Dwarf Habitable Zones

1 Dec 2017, 16:01 UTC
Problems with Red Dwarf Habitable Zones ESO/M. Kornmesser
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Why all the fuss about red dwarf planets? We’re seeing so much ongoing work on these worlds because when it comes to terrestrial-class planets — in size, at least — those around red dwarfs are going to be our first targets for atmospheric characterization. A ‘habitable zone’ planet around a red dwarf throws a deep transit signature — small star, big planet — so that we can use transit spectroscopy to puzzle out atmospheric components. Getting an actual image would be even better, and modifications to the VISIR instrument at ESO’s Very Large Telescope, a project Breakthrough Initiatives is involved in along with the ESO, could eventually yield such.

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