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Up in the Air: Hot Jupiters Highlight Challenges in the Search for Life Beyond Earth
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Summary: Astronomers have announced the confirmation of atmospheric water on five exoplanets. The accomplishment is a step forward in exoplanet studies, but also raises some new questions.

Astrobiology: The Search for Biosignatures in Our Solar System and Beyond
Topic: Alien Life
Summary: On December 4, the U.S. House Science Committee held a hearing on astrobiology and the search for signs of life in the Universe.

Martian Laser Surpasses 100,000 Zaps
Topic: Mars
Summary: NASA's Curiosity rover recently fired the 100,000th shot from its ChemCam laser instrument.

Current Events on Europa
Topic: Europa
Summary: A new study shows how the rise and fall of Europa's ice may bring evidence of life to the surface.

Cassini's View of Saturn's Hexagon
Topic: Saturn
Summary: Cassini has captured a spectacular movie of a six-sided jet stream around Saturn's north pole.

China Sends a Rover to the Moon
Topic: Moon to Mars
Summary: A new lunar rover launched from Earth on December 2nd, and is now on its way to the Moon's surface.

Ice on Ceres: 'An Interesting Paradox'
Topic: Meteorites, Comets and Asteroids
Summary: Indications that ice makes up a third of the mass of Ceres may make the dwarf planet the most easily explored icy body -- and NASA's Dawn mission is on its way there now.

Using Radio to Cut Through Orbital Clutter
Topic: Missions
Summary: Astronomers have developed a method for preventing catastrophic collisions with space junk in Earth orbit.

December Expedition to Explore Life in Hydrothermal Vent
Topic: Extreme Life
Summary: Scientists are preparing for an expedition this December that will use robotic explorers to study life beneath the sea crust. The team will study previously unexplored hydrothermal vent systems off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.

Jupiter's Red Spot and Planetary Formation
Topic: Jupiter
Summary: A new study explains why Jupiter's Giant Red Spot exists today, even though fluid dynamics suggest that it should have faded centuries ago.

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