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The Star, the Dwarf and the Planet
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Astronomers have detected a new faint companion to the star HD 3651, already known to host a planet. This companion, a brown dwarf, is the faintest known companion of an exoplanet host star imaged directly and one of the faintest T dwarfs detected in the Solar neighbourhood so far.

Comets R Us
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Could all of the asteroids, comets, and planets in our Milky Way galaxy be made of a similar mix of dusty components?

Super Snowballs
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
The 200 known planets that orbit other stars exhibit incredible variety. Among them are a handful of worlds that weigh between 5 and 15 times Earth. Astronomers believe these "super-Earths" are rocky iceballs rather than gas giants like Jupiter.

Celestial Siblings
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Astronomers at the University of Illinois say that rather than being an only child, the sun could have hundreds or thousands of celestial siblings that are now dispersed across the heavens. The researchers conclusions could reshape current theories on how, when and where planets form around stars.

Sweeping for Planets
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has discovered 16 extrasolar planet candidates orbiting a variety of distant stars in the central region of our Milky Way galaxy.

Sun Size Comets?
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
A star must live in a relatively tranquil cosmic neighborhood to foster planet formation, say astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

Planet Forming Preview
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
With the VISIR instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers have mapped the disc around a star more massive than the Sun. The very extended and flared disc most likely contains enough gas and dust to spawn planets.

SuperWASP Hunting
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
A team of astronomers has discovered two new Jupiter-sized planets orbiting stars in the constellations of Andromeda and Delphinus. They are among the hottest planets yet discovered, and their atmospheres are slowly being whipped away into space by the searing radiation from their parent stars.

Discovering T Dwarfs
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Scientists using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have discovered and directly imaged a small brown dwarf star, 50 times the mass of Jupiter, orbiting with a planet around a Sun-like star. Such an arrangement has never been seen, the scientists say, leading to solar systems with distorted planetary orbits.

The Potential for Alien Oceans
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
More than one-third of the giant planet systems recently detected outside Earth's solar system may harbor Earth-like planets, many covered in deep oceans with potential for life, according to a new study led by the University of Colorado at Boulder and Pennsylvania State University.

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