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Alien planets circling the most common stars in the universe may often have strange lobster-shaped oceans on their surfaces, researchers in China now say.

What the day side of a tidally locked exoplanet orbiting a red dwarf might look like, given atmospheric carbon dioxide levels similar to modern-day Earth. On the top frame, white represents ice while blue represents open water; on the bottom frame, colors represent surface air temperatures. The top image in each frame represents a computer model that does not take ocean heat flow into account; the bottom image in each frame does take such heat flow into account. Credit: Yongyun Hu

These findings suggest the habitable zones where life as we know it might dwell around these stars is smaller than previously thought, scientists added.

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