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NASA's Fermi Makes First Gamma-ray Study of a Gravitational Lens
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
An international team of astronomers, using NASA's Fermi observatory, has made the first-ever gamma-ray measurements of a gravitational lens, a kind of natural telescope formed when a rare cosmic alignment allows the gravity of a massive object to bend and amplify light from a more distant source.

Challenging General Relativity
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Astronomers have found a system with three stars that are packed tightly into a space smaller than Earth's orbit. This unique system is helping scientists study the nature of gravity.

Astrobiology Top 10: Astronomers Anticipate 100 Billion Earth-Like Planets
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
As 2013 draws to a close, Astrobiology Magazine highlights the year's top stories. At number 10, researchers have proposed a new method for finding Earth-like planets--a method that could identify as many as 100 billion extrasolar worlds. (Originally published on 04/05/13)

Using an Atmosphere to Weigh a Planet
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
A new study finds that the mass of an exoplanet can be determined solely by looking at the starlight that passes through the planet’s atmosphere.

Nearby Failed Stars May Harbor Planet
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
When studying the nearest pair of brown dwarfs to the Sun, astronomers discovered that a planet-sized object might be keeping them company.

Astronomers Solve Temperature Mystery of Planetary Atmospheres
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
A new study on planetary atmospheres could help in the search for habitable worlds in the Universe.

Where Do Stars End and Brown Dwarfs Begin?
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
A new study is shedding light on how small stars can be.

Up in the Air: Hot Jupiters Highlight Challenges in the Search for Life Beyond Earth
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Astronomers have announced the confirmation of atmospheric water on five exoplanets. The accomplishment is a step forward in exoplanet studies, but also raises some new questions.

The State of Super Earths
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Over the past few years, astronomers have found Super Earth planets orbiting different types of stars. One scientist has reviewed the latest discoveries for insight into how these planets form and whether such worlds could be habitable.

A Solar System Similar to Ours, but More Compact
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Astronomers have found the closest match to our own solar system yet known.

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