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Witnessing a Planet's Birth
Topic: New Planets
Astronomers have identified the youngest forming planet yet seen. The discovery is providing a window into the early stages of planet formation and may help in the search for distant, habitable worlds.

SuperWASP Nets 10 New Planets
Topic: New Planets
By watching for planets that transit in front of their host stars, the SuperWASP system has detected ten new extrasolar planets. SuperWASP data will help astronomers understand how habitable environments might form around distant stars.

Organics Found on Alien World
Topic: New Planets
Hubble has made the first detection of an organic molecule in an extrasolar planet. The breakthrough is an important step toward identifying signs of life on a planet outside our Solar System.

Watching Alpha Centauri
Topic: New Planets
Scientists have determined that one of the Solar System's closest stellar neighbors, Alpha Centauri, should harbor Earth-like planets. Knowing where to look for rocky planets is the first step in searching for habitable worlds around distant stars.

The Commonality of Earths
Topic: New Planets
Astronomers have discovered that terrestrial planets might form around most of the nearby, Sun-like stars in our galaxy. The finding has important implications in the search for habitable planets.

An Earth Hidden in Dust
Topic: New Planets
Astronomers are hoping that a small, dusty disk around a nearby star is hiding Earth-like planets. Using the Subaru telescope, the team is hoping to obtain the first image of a terrestrial exoplanet by observing the young star FN Tau.

Planets of Scale
Topic: New Planets
Astronomers have found two planets that resemble small versions of Jupiter and Saturn in a distant solar system. The discovery suggests that solar systems like our own may not be rare in the Universe.

Hunting Earths with EPOXI
Topic: New Planets
In 2005, NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft directed an impactor into comet Tempel 1 and collected valuable information about the composition of comets. Now the spacecraft is turning its largest telescope toward the stars in order to search for exosolar planets.

MARVELS of the Stars
Topic: New Planets
A new sky survey may double the number of known extrasolar planets. The MARVELS survey, a component of the recently announced Sloan Digital Sky Survey III, is scheduled to begin mid-year and will last until mid-2014.

Finding Planets While They're Hot
Topic: New Planets
Astronomers may have observed the aftermath of a collision between two distant planets. A strange object orbiting a star 170 light-years away doesn't match any theory for planetary formation, and may have been formed by two protoplanets crashing together.

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