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In just a few years, astronomers — using tools such as the James Webb Space Telescope, the Extremely Large Telescopes, as well as mission concepts like Origins, HabEx, and LUVOIR — will be able to search for life on exoplanets.

White dwarfs are similar in size to Earth and have relatively stable environments for billions of years after initial cooling, making them intriguing targets for exoplanet searches and characterization of terrestrial planet atmospheres.

Their small size and the resulting large planet transit signal allow observations with the upcoming telescopes to probe the atmosphere of such rocky planets, if they exist.

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Category: Science