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Titan-like Exoplanets
Topic: New Planets
A new study says that worlds that orbit red dwarfs, and even rogue planets with no stars to call home, might have surface oceans loaded with organic compounds. Like the seas of liquid methane on Saturn´s moon Titan, such environments are speculated to have the potential for alien life.

Doubt Cast on Existence of Habitable Alien World
Topic: New Planets
Last month, astronomers announced the discovery of the first potentially habitable extrasolar planet. But at an astronomy meeting this week, doubts were raised about whether this new planet really exists.

Hunting for Planets in the Dark
Topic: New Planets
A proposed space mission that aims to measure dark energy could also detect planets that current surveys are unable to find.

Double Discovery: Super-Earth and Ocean World
Topic: New Planets
Researchers have made two amazing discoveries regarding the Gliese 581 system. The star is orbited by the lightest exoplanet ever found, less than twice the mass of the Earth. One of the other planets in this system, a super-Earth, orbits within the star´s habitable zone. Astronomers may have found a solar system where alien life is possible.

Starlight, Star Bright
Topic: New Planets
On March 6, NASA launched Kepler, a telescope that will search for distant Earths by studying 100,000 stars simultaneously. But to examine the atmospheres of distant Earths for signs of life, says Sara Seagar of MIT, NASA may need to build a fleet of hundreds of tiny orbiting telescopes.

Cutting Life Short
Topic: New Planets
Imagine a solar system where a life-bearing planet is slowly pulled in closer to its star. If life could survive the ensuing climate change, it would provide a clear example of the Gaia hypothesis in action.

Predicting Planets
Topic: New Planets
Finding new planets around distant stars has become commonplace. But now a team of astronomers has succeeded in predicting the orbit of a planet that hadn´t yet been discovered. The last time that happened was more than 150 years ago.

Off-Center Optimism for a Planet
Topic: New Planets
A dust ring around the bright star Fomalhaut is off-center, suggesting a planet may be orbiting the star. Visible images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope show details of this dust ring staring back at us from space.

Just How Earth-Like is the Newest Planet?
Topic: New Planets
In the land rush known as extrasolar planet hunting, the most prized real estate is advertised as "Earth-like." On Monday, June 13, scientists raced to plant their flag on a burning hunk of rock orbiting a red star.

Extrasolar Planets: A Matter of Metallicity
Topic: New Planets
The 130 extrasolar planets discovered so far are in solar systems very different from our own, in which life-bearing planets like Earth are unlikely to exist. But an obscure characteristic of these planets and their stars has led astronomers to predict that our galaxy is brimming with solar systems like ours.
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