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Hot Topic Deep Space Cosmic Evolution
Super-Earth or Mini-Neptune? Telling Habitable Worlds Apart from Lifeless Gas Giants
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
New models could allow today's telescopes to discern what elements and compounds are harbored in the atmospheres of mysterious, larger-than-Earth worlds.

Quantum Tunnelling Could Aid Life’s Chemistry in the Coldest Places
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Chemical reactions once thought to be 'impossible' in the incredible coldness of space can actually occur thanks to a phenomenon called ‘quantum tunnelling.’ This also could mean that biochemical reactions occur in places once considered too frigid for life, like Saturn’s moon Titan.

A Super Time for SuperEarths
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
A new model could indicate whether an exoplanet has a light but extended atmosphere, or a relatively thin and heavy atmosphere. This knowledge could help refine the targets in the search for planets like Earth capable of sustaining life.

Revisiting Water's Fate Around Low-Mass Stars
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Previous studies suggested that planets in the habitable zone of red dwarfs should be dry, but more recent work refreshes the possibility of water on these distant worlds.

'Water-Trapped' Worlds
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
A new study takes a deeper look into the fate of water on Earth-like planets that orbit red dwarf stars. Many of these exoplanets quickly become "tidally locked," with one side always facing their reddish star while the other side freezes in permanent night.

Habitable Binary Star Systems
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Habitable planets hoping to see a double sunset stand the best chance when orbiting twin stars that are close together.

How Hot are Super-Earths?
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
A new study suggests that rocky super-Earths might cool down very slowly after their formation, making them hotter than previously thought. The research could have implications in understanding how "Earth-like" these planets truly are.

Meteors Might Add Methane to Exoplanet Atmospheres
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Researchers says that methane generated by meteors could make alien worlds look like they are inhabited by life -- even though they are not.

How Old are the First Planets?
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Heavy elements – ‘metals’ in astronomer-speak – are created within stars and then spewed out across the cosmos by supernovae. Scientists are now asking: when did the Universe have enough metals to start building planets?

When Stellar Metallicity Sparks Planet Formation
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
New research predicts the criteria needed for Earth-like planets to form around a star that have one-tenth the metallicity of our Sun. If researchers find small, rocky planets orbiting stars with lower metallicity, it may challenge the presently accepted “core accretion” model of planetary formation.
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