How big can a super-Earth reach while remaining “habitable”?

Of the thousands of exoplanets discovered so far, the most common are “super-Earths” – worlds larger than Earth but smaller than Neptune. Some of these planets lie even within the habitable zones of their parent stars, which means conditions may be right to host liquid water on their surfaces.

But can these giant, rocky exoplanets sustain conditions for life? Or is life restricted to smaller planets like ours? In the end, only future observations will give us a definitive answer. But in the meantime, the question gives us the perfect opportunity to explore the frontiers of our understanding of where life might find a home.

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