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Variations in the Atmospheres of Hot Jupiters
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
07/08/13
When studying eight 'hot Jupiter' planets, astronomers found that winds and clouds play an important role in their atmospheric makeups.

Deadly Stellar Winds Could Put a Stop to Life
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
07/06/13
A new study could allow astronomers to observe shockwaves created when charged particles crash into the magnetic fields of planets around distant stars. Studying the magnetospheres of extrasolar planets could help determine if they are habitable for life as we know it.

Red Dwarf Stars Could Strip Away Planetary Protection
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
07/03/13
A new study casts doubt on the idea that red dwarf stars could host numerous habitable planets in the Universe. The magnetic field of such stars could adversely affect the magnetic fields of orbiting planets, leaving life at their surfaces vulnerable to space radiation.

Sunny Super-Earth?
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
06/25/13
Astronomers have observed the atmosphere of the super-Earth “GJ 3470b” using two telescopes. The study indicates that the planet, which is about 14 times the mass of Earth, is not covered by thick clouds.

Exoplanet Formation Surprise
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
06/23/13
Astronomers have discovered what looks like a planet forming at an incredible distance from its host star. The finding adds to the variety of planetary systems known in the Milky Way.

Star's 'Dust Trap' May Solve Planet Formation Mystery
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
06/15/13
Astrobiologists using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope have uncovered new clues about how rocky planets form and evolve from disks of gas and dust.

Stellar Winds May Electrify Planets
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
06/11/13
A new model suggests that some exoplanets may be heated by electric currents linked to their host stars. The phenomenon arises from interactions between a planet's magnetic field and the hot charged wind from its star.

Kepler Stars and Planets Bigger Than Thought
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
06/09/13
Astronomers using a ground-based telescope to study stars with candidate planets identified by the Kepler mission have revealed that many of the stars, and their planets, are larger than originally thought. The study could have implications in the search for habitable worlds in Kepler data.

Dead Stars 'Polluted' with Planet Debris
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
05/14/13
Astronomers have found the building blocks for Earth-sized planets in the atmospheres of burned-out stars. The pair of white dwarfs is being polluted by asteroid-like debris.

Retired Star Found with Planets and Debris Disc
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
04/10/13
Astronomers have provided the first images of a dust belt orbiting a star that hosts a planetary system. The belt is formed by dust from colliding comets or asteroids.

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