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Elusive Earths
Topic: New Planets
06/22/05
What have scientists learned in a decade of searching for extrasolar planets? Are there other solar systems just like our own waiting to be discovered, or are our Sun and its contingent of planets in some way unique?

Just How Earth-Like is the Newest Planet?
Topic: New Planets
06/15/05
In the land rush known as extrasolar planet hunting, the most prized real estate is advertised as "Earth-like." On Monday, June 13, scientists raced to plant their flag on a burning hunk of rock orbiting a red star.

Super-Earth Sought and Found
Topic: New Planets
06/13/05
Taking a major step forward in the search for Earth-like planets beyond our own solar system, a team of astronomers has announced the discovery of the smallest extrasolar planet yet detected.

Backyard Astronomers Discover Planet
Topic: New Planets
05/26/05
An international collaboration featuring Ohio State University astronomers has detected a planet in a solar system that, at roughly 15,000 light years from Earth, is one of the most distant ever discovered.

Clues to Molding Planets
Topic: New Planets
05/23/05
The detailed measurements of dusty disks around young stars confirm a new theory that the region where rocky planets such as Earth form is much farther away from the star than originally thought. These definitive measurements of planet-forming zones offer important clues to initial conditions that give birth to planets.

First Light from Faraway Planet
Topic: New Planets
04/30/05
An international team of astronomers reports today confirmation of the discovery of a giant planet, approximately five times the mass of Jupiter, that is gravitationally bound to a young brown dwarf. This topic has spawned a year long discussion on the nature of this object.

Questioning Terrestrial Planets
Topic: New Planets
04/27/05
Looking for biosignatures that would be characteristic of intelligent life is not always about extrapolating the most intelligent things a species might be doing. For instance, would one look for pollutants in the atmosphere?

Crunching the Numbers
Topic: New Planets
04/18/05
Maggie Turnbull, an astronomer with the Carnegie Institution, has spent many years thinking about what kind of stars could harbor Earth-like planets. Her database of potentially habitable star systems could be used as a target list for NASA's forthcoming Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) mission.

Explaining Eccentricities
Topic: New Planets
04/15/05
When astronomers discovered that the planets around Upsilon Andromedae had very strange orbits, they weren't sure what could have caused it. Researchers from Berkeley and Northwestern have developed a simulation that shows how an additional planet could have given the other planets the orbital kick.

The Wolf: New Planet or Brown Dwarf Star?
Topic: New Planets
04/12/05
Located in the Lupus I (the Wolf) cloud, a region of star formation about 400 or 500 light-years away, a young T-Tauri star may be either a new planet or a failed star. Although the borderline between the two is still a matter of debate, one way to distinguish between the two is by their mass.

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