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Hot Topic Deep Space Cosmic Evolution
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.

Star, Dwarf, Planet
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Astronomers have discovered the coldest brown dwarf star ever observed. The finding is a step toward filling the gap between stars and planets.

Topic: Cosmic Evolution
The world's thinnest material has been used to study the 'fine structure constant', one of physic's universal constants. This number is important because it underlies reactions in stars that generate carbon - a molecule essential for life.

Finding More Organics in Space
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Researchers have detected a molecule closely related to an amino acid at the center of our Milky Way Galaxy. The finding provides more evidence that precursor molecules important for the origin of life can be found in interstellar space.

The Oldest Asteroids
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Scientists have discovered three asteroids that appear to be among the oldest objects in the Solar System. Studying these asteroids could yield important clues about the origin and evolution of the planets.

Grains of Sand Grow Into Planets
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Astronomers have found small, sandy particles orbiting a newborn solar system at about the same distance as the Earth orbits the Sun. Their report could shed new light on how distant, Earth-like planets might form.

From Gas to Planets
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Astronomers have discovered large amounts of organic gases and water vapor in a possible planet-forming region around a distant star. The findings provide a better view of early planet formation and could aid in the search for habitable extrasolar planets.

The 'Planet' in Planetary Nebulae
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Scientists have found that planets may be partly responsible for the breathtaking appearance of planetary nebula. The research is helping astrobiologists understand the environments in which extrasolar planets develop, and providing insight into the future of our own Solar System.

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