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January 29 2013

'Habitable Zone' for Alien Planets, and Possibly Life, Redefined


One of the most important characteristics of an alien planet is whether or not it falls into what's called the habitable zone ­ a Goldilocks-like range of not-too-close, not-too-far distances from the parent star that might allow the planet to host life.

Now scientists have redefined the boundaries of the habitable zone for alien planets, potentially kicking out some exoplanaets that were thought to fall within it, and maybe allowing a few that had been excluded to squeeze in.

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