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Life on the Borderline
Topic: New Planets
If the Earth was slightly smaller and less massive, life may have never gained a foothold on our planet. A new study shows that when searching for habitable planets around distant stars, astronomers might need to focus on planets Earth-sized or larger.

Astrobiology Top 10: Astronomers Find Habitable Earth-like Planet
Topic: New Planets
Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2007, highlighting the Top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 1 is the announcement that astronomers had found a habitable Earth-like world in another solar system. Since this discovery, some have said the planet may have a runaway greenhouse effect and therefore would not be habitable. Even if true, there is another planet in the same system that could possibly support life as we know it. (This story was originally published on April 25, 2007.)

Astrobiology Top 10: COROT Sets its Sights on the Stars
Topic: New Planets
Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2007, highlighting the Top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 3 is the COROT space telescope. Launched in late December of 2006, COROT opened its telescope eye in January and detected its first extrasolar planet in May. Scientists hope COROT will find small rocky worlds similar to the Earth orbiting other stars.

Hazy View of a Planet
Topic: New Planets
Astronomers have detected, for the first time, strong evidence of hazes in an extrasolar planet's atmosphere. The discovery may help develop techniques for examining the atmospheres of distant, Earth-like planets.

Hunting the Little Fox
Topic: New Planets
Astronomers have made the first ground-based detection of an extrasolar planet's atmosphere. The finding will expand our ability to examine planets beyond our Solar System and will aid in the search for life in the Universe.

Racing to Picture a Planet
Topic: New Planets
A new instrument may help astronomers see past the glaring light of stars in order to take direct pictures of exoplanets. Such technology will help us view planets around distant stars and determine whether or not they could be habitable for life as we know it.

Star Sprouts Planets Early
Topic: New Planets
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has spotted a very young star that may already be surrounded by young planets. Scientists hope that the new system will help us understand when planets in our own Solar System began to form.

And Then There Were Five
Topic: New Planets
Astronomers have discovered a fifth planet circling the star 55 Cancri – a record number of confirmed planets for a star beyond our Solar System. The new planet is probably similar to Saturn, except that it rests within the 'habitable zone' of its parent star.

Predicting Planets
Topic: New Planets
Finding new planets around distant stars has become commonplace. But now a team of astronomers has succeeded in predicting the orbit of a planet that hadn´t yet been discovered. The last time that happened was more than 150 years ago.

The Planetary Horizon
Topic: New Planets
A newly published review outlines the prospects of finding Earth-like, habitable planets around distant stars using current planet-hunting techniques.

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