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Searching Distant Stars for Complex Molecules
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
12/12/12
Summary: On a series of nighttime flights, astrobiologists will soon use an airborne observatory to search newly born stars for molecules essential to the origins of life.

Brown Dwarfs May Grow Rocky Planets
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
12/01/12
Summary: Astronomers have found that the outer region of a dusty disc encircling a brown dwarf star contains millimeter-sized solid grains. The grains resemble those found in denser discs around newborn stars. The findings could challenge current theories of how rocky planets form.

Do Missing Jupiters Mean Massive Comet Belts?
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
11/30/12
Summary: Astronomers have discovered vast comet belts surrounding two nearby planetary systems. Both systems also host Earth-to-Neptune-mass worlds.

Dust Grains Highlight Path to Planet Formation
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
11/28/12
Summary: A detailed study of a protoplanetary disk shows that dust grains colliding with and adhere to each other. The process it what will eventually lead to the formation of planets.

Born-Again Star Shows the Fate of Our Solar System
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
11/18/12
Summary: Observations of a dying Sun-like star are helping scientists understand what the Earth and our solar system may experience billions of years from now.

Asteroid Belts of the Right Size are Friendly to Life
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
11/04/12
Summary: A new study indicates that size and location of a solar system's asteroid belt may determine whether or not complex life will evolve on Earth-like planets in the system.

A Crowded Planetary System
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
10/18/12
Summary: An extraordinarily crowded planetary system is providing critical clues for understanding why most known planetary systems appear different from our own solar system.

Most Planetary Systems are 'Flatter than Pancakes'
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
10/17/12
Summary: Using date from Kepler, researchers have statistically determined that most solar systems are similar to our own in that they are 'flatter than pancakes.'

How Galaxies Get Dusty
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
10/11/12
Summary: In one of the largest Hubble Space Telescope projects to date, astronomers are hoping to uncover how cosmic dust forms over time. The research is an important step in understanding the evolution of galaxies, stars and planets.

Clouds of Water Present at Star's Birth
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
10/10/12
Summary: Enough water to fill Earth's oceans more than 2000 times over has been discovered in a cloud of gas and dust that is on the verge of collapsing into a new Sun-like star. The finding could help astrobiologists understand the conditions of the early Solar System.

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