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Space Sunflower Could Help Photograph Alien Planets

And let us work out whether they're habitable or not.

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This giant shade is designed to block the light of a star so that astronomers can take pictures of its planet.

NASA / JPL / Via jpl.nasa.gov

It works a bit like holding your hand up to block the sun so you can see on a really bright day.

By blocking out light from the star, a telescope would be able to see the planets that orbit it.

NASA / JPL / Via jpl.nasa.gov

Directly imaging exoplanets, rather than just inferring their existence through other means, would give us a much better insight into what the planets are like and, crucially, whether they could be habitable or not.

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