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Planetary habitability

Planetary habitability is the measure of an astronomical body's potential to develop and sustain life.

It is generally assumed that any extraterrestrial life that might exist will be based on the same fundamental chemistry as found on Earth, as the four elements most vital for life, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen, are also the most common chemically reactive elements in the universe.

Note:   The above text is excerpted from the Wikipedia article "Planetary habitability", which has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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