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When Stellar Metallicity Sparks Planet Formation
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
04/09/12
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.

Planet Starship
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
03/24/12
New research shows that planets can be tossed out of galaxies at extremely high speeds - up to 30 million miles per hour. These 'runaway' planets would be some of the fastest objects in the galaxy.

The Interiors of Ice Giant Planets
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
03/23/12
A new study shows that current extimates of ice-giant planetary interiors overstate water's compressibility by as much as 30 percent. The findings could dramatically change our understanding of the physical properties of such worlds.

Some Orbits are More Popular Than Others
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
03/21/12
New research has provided an explanation for a question that has long puzzled astronomers: why do gas giant planets appear to prefer to occupy certain regions in mature solar systems?

The Infrared Sky
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
03/19/12
NASA has unveiled a new atlas and catalog of the entire infrared sky showing more than a half billion stars, galaxies and other objects.

Stars with Dusty Disks Should Harbor Earth-like Worlds
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
03/08/12
Stars with disks of debris around them might be good targets to search for Earth-like planets, researchers say.

A New Model for Planet Formation
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
03/03/12
A new model could help explain how our solar system formed. The three-dimensional model examines the possibility that planets were created at essentially the same time as the Sun - during the collapse of the pre-solar nebula.

Galaxy May Swarm with Nomad Planets
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
02/29/12
A new study shows that our galaxy could host 100,000 times more 'nomad planets' than stars. These wandering planets drift through space instead of orbiting a star, and could change our understanding of life's potential in the Universe.

A Galáxia Pode Fervilhar de Planetas Nômades
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
02/29/12
Um novo estudo mostra que nossa galáxia pode abrigar 100.000 vezes mais “planetas nômades” que estrelas. Estes maravilhosos planetas derivam pelo espaço ao invés de orbitar uma estrela, e podem mudar nossa compreensão do potencial para vida no Universo.

Earth Siblings Can Be Different
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
02/28/12
A new study could shed light on the composition of exoplanets. By studying the abundance of elements in stars, researchers have shown that there are a wide variety of planetary systems that are unlike the Solar System. Ultimately, this could affect processes like plate tectonics on any planets they host.

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