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Cosmic Cowboy
Topic: New Planets
A brand of researcher can now breathe life into the aura of a patient nomad who searches the horizon for signs of a new world. McDonald Observatory astronomer Bill Cochran discusses how a West Texas telescope has begun chalking up discoveries of extrasolar planets.

The Search for More Earths
Topic: New Planets
When astronomers first realized that the stars in the sky were like our Sun, only more distant, they wondered if those stars had planets too. And if they have planets, is there life? Intelligent life? There's an answer - yes or no - but we don't know it yet.

Get in Line to Find Extrasolar Planet
Topic: New Planets
The largest continental telescope also sees in the darkest sky. Using a novel method to queue its best exposures on a schedule with the full moon, the West Texas observatory has identified its first extrasolar planet around a star comparable in composition to our own Sun.

Young Planet Challenges Old Theories
Topic: New Planets
The Spitzer Space Telescope has detected youngest planet ever found, claim NASA scientists. Planets are thought to take millions of years to form after a star is born, but discovery of a million-year old star with planet already in orbit around it means scientists may have to rethink planetary formation models.

Two New Very Hot Jupiters
Topic: New Planets
The transit method of new planet discovery relies on observing distant eclipses. Faint starlight decreases once during each orbit as the inferred planet passes between Earth and the star. The second and third new planets discovered using this technique are reported to be large, inner planets, or so-called "hot Jupiters".

Nearby Planet Nursery
Topic: New Planets
In an exclusive interview with Berkeley astronomer, Paul Kalas, he describes how their planet-finding team uncovered a nearby nursery that may include the closest star with an embryonic solar system in the making.

New Planet, Magnified
Topic: New Planets
The gravity of a star can act as a lens, focusing and intensifying the light of a star behind it. The combined light from the two stars causes that point in the night sky to suddenly appear much brighter. For the first time, a planet has been discovered using this "gravitational microlensing." technique.

How Many Earths?
Topic: New Planets
About half of hundred solar systems with known planets may hold potential Earths. Simulating whether such stars and outer planets might eject an Earth-like world, the results also suggest another possibility, a habitable moon around a much larger Jupiter-like world.

Nearest Young Planet-forming Star Found
Topic: New Planets
The nearest, youngest star with dusty debris disk - the stuff from which planets form - has been found by Berkeley and Hawaii astronomers a mere 33 light-years away.

A Good Planet Is Hard To Find?
Topic: New Planets
Harvard-Smithsonian astronomers have simulated the early planet formation around stars like our own. It turns out that an alien astronomer could have seen the embryonic Earth in its earliest dusty stages.

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