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From Cannibalism to Conception
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
09/17/10
Summary: An astronomer may have caught a star cannibalizing its companion. The event could allow a second generation of exoplanets to develop out of the resulting disk of dust and debris. The finding provides a unique view into the processes behind planetary formation.

Deadly Tides Mean Early Exit for Hot Jupiters
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
09/11/10
Summary: New research indicates that most of the 'hot Jupiter' planets that have been discovered beyond our solar system were likely destroyed by their stars long ago. The study provides new insight into the formation and evolution of planetary systems and will help astrobiologists determine where to search for habitable, extrasolar worlds.

Recipe for Water: Just Add Starlight
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
09/05/10
Summary: Astronomers have discovered that ultraviolet starlight is the key ingredient for making water in space. Water is essential for life as we know it, and understanding how water came to exist in the Universe could help astrobiologists uncover new clues about the origin of life.

A New Way to Weigh Planets
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
08/24/10
Summary: Researchers have come up with a new way to weigh the planets in our solar system using radio signals from pulsars. A better understanding of the conditions present in our solar system will ultimately aid astrobiologists in the search for habitable worlds around distant stars.

IBEX Maps the Boundaries
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
08/17/10
Summary: NASA's IBEX spacecraft has mapped the interstellar boundary at the edge of our solar system. IBEX has also provided measurements of the Earth's magnetosphere, which maintains our planet's habitability by protecting the biosphere from harmful radiation.

Supernova´s Spin on Life
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
08/12/10
Summary: A bias in the way amino acids twist could be due to supernovae, researchers now suggest. If correct, this could be more evidence that the molecules of life came from elsewhere in the cosmos.

A World of Difference between 'Earth-Like' and 'Earth-Sized'
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
07/31/10
Summary: In just 43 days of observations, NASA's Kepler mission found over 750 candidates for extrasolar planets. 706 of them are potentially from as small as Earth to around the size of Jupiter. Dimitar Sasselov, Co-Investigator for Kepler, recently spoke of the results at TED Global 2010. However, his talk caused a bit of controversy.

Dancing Around a Dying Star
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
07/30/10
Summary: Astronomers have discovered two planetary systems with gas giant planets locked in an 'orbital embrace.' If the planets weren't doing such a well synchronized dance, the closely spaced gas giants would be destroyed quickly. The finding provides new insight into the formation and evolution of planetary systems.

How Massive Can Stars Be?
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
07/24/10
Summary: Astronomers have discovered a star that is 300 times the mass of the Sun - twice as large as the previously accepted limit for the size of stars. The finding could alter theories of how solar systems form and evolve.

Recipes for Renegade Planets
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
07/08/10
Summary: Recent discoveries of gas giant planets in unusual orbits challenge the generally accepted theory of planet formation. While these discoveries do not disprove the theory, they have opened our eyes to chaotic solar systems quite unlike our own.

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