Scientists May Use Lasers to Gauge if "Super-Earths" are Fit for Humans

So-called “super-Earths” are the exoplanet du jour, probably because they remind us so much of home. These worlds — which have a mass higher than Earth’s but less than Neptune’s — are thought to be fairly common outside our solar system. Now, scientists using lasers to test iron samples in an experiment that could set up how we one day will gauge whether super-Earths are fit for humans.

In a new study published Monday in Nature Astronomy, physicist Raymond F. Smith and his...

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