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Titan's haze gives clues to clouds on exoplanets

Studying haze in the atmosphere of Titan, Saturn's largest moon, may give astronomers a better sense of how the cloud layers can affect calculations of exoplanets' size and other characteristics.

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Titan’s hazy atmosphere may help astronomers better understand what’s going on in the clouds of exoplanets. Data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft suggest that haze in a moon's or planet's atmosphere can block signatures of important gases and limit the characteristics, such as size, that astronomers can infer about the body.

The results, which appear May 26 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, provide a way of testing proposed approaches for determining exoplanets' characteristics, the researchers write.

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