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Contact: Robert Sanders
University of California - Berkeley

Habitable Zones

Caption: Astronomers use the term "habitable zone" to indicate an orbit not too far from the star such that water freezes, and not too close such that water vaporizes. Habitable zones are orbital areas where the heat from the star creates lukewarm temperatures at which liquid water can exist, and water is the presumed prerequisite for life.

Credit: Petigura/UC Berkeley, Howard/UH-Manoa, Marcy/UC Berkeley

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Related news release: Astronomers answer key question: How common are habitable planets?

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