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Extrasolar atmospheres

Studying the atmospheres of earthlike planets may be a few years in the future, but astronomers are analyzing weather on the largest worlds now.
In the April 2011 issue, Ray Villard wrote about the steps in the search for planets similar to Earth. First, astronomers need to find worlds similar in size that are orbiting within the star’s habitable zone — a region around a sun that liquid water might be able to exist on the planet’s surface.

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