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Hot Topic Deep Space Cosmic Evolution
Two Belts Cinch System
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Astronomers have discovered two asteroid belts and an icy outer ring around a nearby star. Scientists believe that the system might resemble our own solar system at the time of life's origin on Earth.

The Little Bang
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
New research shows that a distant exploding star could have triggered the formation of our solar system. The study is helping astrobiologists understand the conditions in which habitable planets might form.

Our Mixed-Up Solar System
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Chemical studies of the comet Wild 2 are challenging views about the history and evolution of the solar system. Such studies could yield important clues about the early formation of the planets.

Immigrant Sun
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
New simulations show that stars like the sun can migrate great distances over time. The study may challenge the idea that galaxies have 'habitable zones' that are more suited for life than other areas.

Our Special Solar System
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
For the first time, scientists have used large-scale computer simulations to model the formation of planetary systems from beginning to end. The study will help scientists understand the likelihood of habitable systems forming elsewhere in the universe.

The Galactic Bar Scene
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
A new study indicates that spiral galaxies, like the Milky Way, evolve in shape over time. The finding is providing important information about the history of our galaxy and the conditions in which our solar system may have formed.

At the Edge of the Pinwheel
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
A new infrared image has revealed the distribution of important organic molecules in a distant galaxy. The finding is providing information about molecules in space that could have played a role in the origin of life.

Rare Jupiters?
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Astronomers have found that fewer than 10 percent of the stars in the Orion Nebula have enough dust to make giant planets. The study suggests that our solar system may have been lucky to form a planet like Jupiter.

Our Not-So-Special Sun
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
The most comprehensive comparison of our sun with other stars has shown that there is nothing 'special' about the sun. The findings add weight to the idea that life could be common in the universe.

The Drifting Star
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
By 'listening' to a planet-harboring star, astronomers have been able to determine its origin. The discovery may help us better understand star and planet formation.

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