One of the researchers said in a press release: "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. If you don't know the star, you don't know the planet."
So, how exactly do you determine a star's gravitational pull? The team used data of star brightness from Canada's MOST and NASA's Kepler satellites. (Video via NASA)
The researchers say they hope this new technique will help other astrophysicists correctly characterize the planets they find in the future. You can check out their findings in detail in the journal Science Advances.