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Chemical Soups Around Cool Stars

Adler Planetarium

Adler Planetarium
Chicago, United States

This artist's conception shows a young, hypothetical planet around a cool star. A soupy mix of potentially life-forming chemicals can be seen pooling around the base of the jagged rocks. Observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope hint that planets around cool stars -- the so-called M-dwarfs and brown dwarfs that are widespread throughout our galaxy -- might possess a different mix of life-forming, or prebiotic, chemicals than our young Earth.

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