The first super-Earth identified as a rocky exoplanet
The pull of gravity on a distant star can now be measured more accurately, shedding light on other worlds, say astronomers.
The method makes it possible to study even the faintest of stars.
"Our technique can tell you how big and bright is the star, and if a planet around it is the right size and temperature to have water oceans, and maybe life," said Prof Jaymie Matthews.
The findings appear in the journal, Science Advances.
Surface gravity is the intensity of the force that pulls everything on the surface of a star or celestial body towards the centre.
It is usually calculated by measuring a star's light or brightness - but this only works well for the closest, brightest stars.
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CSN Editor: It is only a question of time that we will be able to not only determine how many planets may be revolving around a distant star .... but to also be able to determine what are the gases/climate/conditions on these distant planets.