There are various factors that affect a planet’s ability to support life – and we can study them.

However, the huge distances to exoplanets – planets outside our Solar System – impede direct observations and the search for life, so scientists have had to come up with novel solutions.

A team of astronomers from Cornell University in the United States has proposed a new way to learn whether an exoplanet is potentially habitable. According to their study, which appeared in the scientific journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, the novel approach is based on a planet’s surface colour and how much light it reflects.

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