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Hot Topic Deep Space Cosmic Evolution
Swooping Under the Sun
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
The Ulysses spacecraft has reached maximum latitude in its exploration of the heliosphere, the bubble in space blown out by the solar wind. The craft's position provides a unique look at the Sun and how it affects the environment of the Solar System.

Opening an Eye to the Stars
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
The COROT telescope has successfully opened its protective cover and began gazing at the stars. In February COROT will officially begin scientific observations, which include the search for extra-solar planets.

Hot Windy Nights
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
New measurements for three planets outside our solar system indicate their temperatures remain fairly constant - and blazing hot - from day to night, even though it is likely one side of each planet always faces its sun and the other is in permanent darkness.

Checking Out the Stellar Neighborhood
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
A recent study found 20 new star systems in the sun´s local neighborhood. Most of the new discoveries are red dwarfs, much smaller and dimmer than the sun. Yet scientists are growing more confident that these stars could host habitable planets.

From Snowballs to Planets
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
A nearby star only 12 million years old is surrounded by a dusty disk reminiscent of the disk from which the Earth and other planets formed more than 4.5 billion years ago. Peering into this dusty disk, astronomers have found that the dust is as fluffy as powder snow.

Birthing Gas Giants
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope show that gas giants like Jupiter and Saturn either form within the first 10 million years of a sun-like star's life, or not at all. Learning about gas giant formation is important for understanding solar system evolution and the potential for life.

Planetary Potential of Red Dwarfs
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
A recent study brings new insight into how planets form around red dwarfs, the most populous stars in the Milky Way galaxy.

Galactic Darwinism
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Astronomers have revealed that the evolution and formation of galaxies is strongly influenced by their surrounding environment. The new results will help scientists better understand the history of our own galaxy, the Milky Way.

Measuring a Magnetosphere
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
This first measurement of a magnetic field in a planet-hosting star has been obtained by an international team of astronomers. They measured the magnetosphere of tau Bootis, a star orbited by a giant planet on a close-in orbit. This result opens new prospects for studying planet-star interactions.

Solving the Moon through the Sun
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Ever since astronauts returned from the moon, scientists have been mystified by some of the rocks they brought back. Now one of the mysteries has been solved, and the findings provide us with a better understanding of what conditions were like in the earliest years of our solar system.

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