Exoplanet mass revealed in light

By Andrew Grant, 15:22 PM December 19, 2013

A distant planet has been weighed with light that passed through its atmosphere 63 years ago. This new mass-measuring technique should allow researchers to determine which distant planets could support life.

To identify a truly Earthlike exoplanet with the potential for life, astronomers need to confirm three essential attributes: an atmosphere that contains life-supporting molecules such as oxygen and water, plus a size and mass similar to Earth’s. The only attribute easy to measure now is si...

Source URL: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/exoplanet-mass-revealed-light?mode=magazine&context=187892