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Surfing the Wavelengths
Topic: New Planets
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 upcoming Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) mission.

Dying Stars, Melting Planets
Topic: New Planets
Dying stars may warm previously frozen worlds around them to the point where liquid water temperature exists long enough for life to form, according to a new analysis of the evolution of habitable zones around stars by an international team of astronomers.

First Light from Extrasolar Planets
Topic: New Planets
Most of the 150 known extrasolar planets are discovered and studied through techniques such as finding the telltale wobble of a star tugged by an orbiting planet, or the blink of a star as a planet passes in front of it. Now for the first time scientists have observed an extrasolar planet through the light it emits in the infrared.

Twinkle, Twinkle...Large Planet
Topic: New Planets
An international team of astronomers has accurately determined the radius and mass of the smallest core-burning star known until now. It is the first time that direct observations demonstrate that stars less massive than 1/10th of the solar mass are of nearly the same size as giant planets.

A Dozen New Planets Found
Topic: New Planets
The past four weeks have been heady ones in the planet-finding world: Three teams of astronomers announced the discovery of 12 previously unknown worlds, bringing the total count of planets outside our solar system to 145.

Carbon World
Topic: New Planets
Most of the rocky planets familiar to us are predominantly silicate worlds, but a proposal for carbon or even diamond-like planets may add to the diversity of known solar systems.

Moon, Planet or Star?
Topic: New Planets
A strange miniature solar system may be composed of a star only slightly larger than a planet. At this scale, are the celestial objects that orbit it, planets or moons?

Race for Pale Blue Dot Image Quickens
Topic: New Planets
Astronomers announced the first results of a search for extrasolar planets and brown dwarfs in an unlikely place--the stellar graveyard. A research team found two candidate planets in its survey of 20 dead stars--white dwarfs at distances between 24 and 220 light-years.

Hubble Spies New World
Topic: New Planets
In the southern constellation Hydra, about 225 light-years away orbits what may be a planet and its parent brown dwarf star. Because an extrasolar planet has never been directly imaged before, this remarkable observation required Hubble's unique abilities to do follow-up to test and validate if it is indeed a planet.

New Worlds, Living Large
Topic: New Planets
Counting down the top ten astrobiology stories for 2004 highlights the accomplishments of those exploring Mars, Saturn, comets, and planets beyond Pluto. Number three in this countdown was the remarkable progress in discovering new planets in other solar systems.

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