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View from the Center of the Solar System
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
12/08/09
Summary: New results from NASA's Cassini spacecraft have overturned a decades-old belief about the shape of our solar system. The findings yield important information about the fundamental traits of our solar system.

Superior Super Earths
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
11/30/09
Summary: Super Earths are named for their size, but these planets – which range from about 2 to 10 Earth masses – could be superior to the Earth when it comes to sustaining life. They could also provide an answer to the ‘Fermi Paradox´: Why haven´t we been visited by aliens?

Terzan 5, Galaxy Building Block
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
11/28/09
Summary: New research shows that an unusual mix of stars at the center of our galaxy might be the remnants of a dwarf galaxy that merged with the Milky Way long ago. The findings could help astrobiolgists understand how galaxies evolve and, ultimately, the processes behind solar system and planet formation.

Subaru Spots Strange Spin
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
11/18/09
Summary: Astronomers have found that the extrasolar planet HAT-P-7b has a retrograde or highly tilted orbit. Studying such planets is important in understanding the diversity of planetary systems and assessing current models of how planets migrate. The findings could help astrobiologists in the search for habitable planets beyond our solar system.

Lacking Lithium
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
11/14/09
Summary: A census of 500 stars has successfully linked the 'lithium mystery' observed in our Sun to the presence of planetary systems. The study shows that Sun-like stars with planetary systems lack lithium, and could help astronomers identify more stars that host planets.

Unsettled Youth
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
11/07/09
Summary: NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has discovered a young star where young planets jostle about like unsettled children. The system may be similar to our own solar system before our planets settled into their familiar orbits.

Detecting Life-Friendly Moons
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
10/26/09
Summary: The search for life-friendly real estate around distant stars doesn't have to be limited to planets. New research shows that habitable exomoons can be detected with a new method using current technology.

IBEX Maps Our Place in the Galaxy
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
10/25/09
Summary: NASA's IBEX spacecraft has made it possible for scientists to construct the first comprehensive sky map of our solar system and its location in the Milky Way. The new view will help researchers study the interaction between our galaxy and sun, and the conditions that allow for habitability in our solar system.

Building Planet Earth
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
10/22/09
Summary: A new study shows how rocky planets are formed from the manic swirl of gas and dust that surround a young star, and determines what chemical building blocks are used to construct the planets. Understanding the dynamics and chemistry that create planetary systems can help astronomers in their search for Earth-like planets in the galaxy.

Dirty Stars are Popular Hosts
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
10/07/09
Summary: New research indicates that the composition of a star may indicate whether or not the star supports orbiting planets. 'Dirty' stars form from clouds of dust and gas that contain lots of heavy elements... and scientists believe these stars are good candidates for hosting solar systems.

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