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AI can reliably spot molecules on exoplanets – and might one day even discover new laws of physics

By Kai Hou (Gordon) Yip, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at ExoAI, UCL
Quentin Changeat, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Astronomy, UCL
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Do you know what the Earth’s atmosphere is made of? You’d probably remember it’s oxygen, and maybe nitrogen. And with a little help from Google you can easily reach a more precise answer: 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen and 1% Argon gas. However, when it comes to the composition of exo-atmospheres – the atmospheres of planets outside our solar system – the answer is not known. This is a shame, as atmospheres can indicate the nature of planets, and whether they can host life.

As exoplanets are so far away, it has proven extremely difficult to probe their atmospheres. Research suggests that…The Conversation


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