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A New Way to Weigh Planets
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.

Astro Anthracene
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Summary: A team of scientists has succeeded in identifying one of the most complex organic molecules yet found in the interstellar medium. The findings will help astrobiologists understand the production of organic molecules in space and how these molecules could have played a role in the origin of life on Earth.

Zooming In on an Infant Solar System
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Summary: For the first time, astronomers have observed distant solar systems in the making in great detail. The work provides an unprecedented view into the processes that give rise to stars and plants, and could help astrobiologists narrow the search for habitable planets.

Evidence for Why We Exist
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Summary: Scientists may have found an answer to a basic cosmological question. If the universe is composed of matter and anti-matter, then how do we exist?

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