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Kepler Stars and Planets Bigger Than Thought
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
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
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
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.

Turbulence in Planet-Forming Disks
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
A new research project is focusing on two challenges in the quest to understand turbulence in protoplanetary disks and the role that it plays in planet formation.

Astronomers Anticipate 100 Billion Earth-Like Planets
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Researchers have proposed a new method for finding Earth-like planets. They also estimate that the method could identify as many as 100 billion extrasolar worlds.

Planck Findings May Lead to a New Model of the Universe
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
The most detailed map ever created of the cosmic microwave background could challenge the foundations of our current understanding of the Universe.

Determining the Age of 'Methuselah', the Oldest Known Star
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Astronomers are a step closer to timing the birth of the oldest known star with a well-determined age. This "Methuselah star" could be as old as 14.5 billion years, which is a dilemma considering the calculated age of the Universe is only 13.8 billion years.

Water Signature in Distant Planet Shows Clues to its Formation
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Scientists have made the most detailed examination yet of the atmosphere of a Jupiter-size exoplanet. Their accomplishment could have implications in the search for habitable worlds around distant stars.

Calculating the Odds of Habitable Worlds Nearby
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
A new study shows that the number of potentially habitable planets in the Universe is greater than previously thought. The study focuses on Earth-sized planets in the habitable zones of low-mass stars.

Closest Star System Found in a Century
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Scientists have reported that a newly discovered binary star system is the third-closest star system to the Sun. In fact, the brown dwarf stars are the closest star system discovered since 1916.

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