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Radius of orbit relative to Earth's

Fig. 9.23 The extent of the habitable zone as a function of the mass of the parent star

Spectroscopic observation of a star enables us to determine its spectral type and its equivalent temperature. It is then possible to determine the extent of the habitable zone for each spectral type. Figure 9.23 shows the position of the habitable zone, as defined earlier, as a function of stellar type.

Even if it is not absolute, the notion of a habitable zone is extremely useful in determining the favourite or at least what are, on the face of it, the most favourable zones in which to search for habitable planets.

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