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Twin Stars Form Solar System
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Summary: Astronomers have discovered a binary star-disk system in which each star is surrounded by a disk of dust that could form planetary systems. If both stars of capable of forming planets, it increases the likelihood of discovering Earth-like planets around distant stars.

Planet-Forming Disk Orbits Twin Suns
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Summary: Astronomers have discovered a rotating disk around a young binary star system. The finding was made with a sequence of images that provide a vivid snapshot of the process behind planet formation.

Doing the Math on Life
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Summary: By studying theories about why the universe is the way it is, mathematicians are hoping to uncover what these theories mean for the origin and future of life. Mathematics could be the key to answering some of life's biggest questions, and could help astrobiologists understand life's place in the universe.

Mapping the Pale Blue Dot
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Summary: NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft completed its primary mission in 2005 when it released a projectile that collided with the comet Tempel 1. Now, the instruments onboard Deep Impact are helping astronomers develop new techniques to search for Earth-like worlds around distant stars.

The Chemistry of Space
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Summary: Many of the organic molecules essential for life have been identified in space. Set to launch this month, the Herschel Space Observatory could help astronomers better characterize these molecules and determine whether or not these materials from space played a role in the origin of life on our planet.

Spitzer Warms Up to New Career
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Summary: NASA's Spizter Space Telescope is about to finish its primary missions after more than five and a half years. Although its primary mission is over, Spitzer will continue to return valuable data for astrobiologists here on Earth.

Planets Pulled Out by the Tide
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Summary: Astronomers have discovered why some distant solar systems don't contain as many planets as expected. Some extrasolar planets may have been destroyed after falling into their parent stars. The research is helping astrobiologists understand how planetary systems form and evolve.

A Million Stars in a Snapshot
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Summary: NASA's Kepler spacecraft has captured its first images of the star-rich patch of sky where it will soon begin searching for Earth-like planets. One image from Kepler's entire field of view is estimated to contain 14 million stars, more than 100,000 of which are considered excellent candidates for planet hunting.

Generating Giant Galaxies
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Summary: A new finding indicates that not all massive, luminous galaxies formed shortly after the Big Bang. The study could yield new information about the origin and evolution of galaxies.

Cool Star Chemicals
Topic: Cosmic Evolution
Summary: Life is thought to have arisen from a hot soup of chemical ingredients. Could such a life-giving broth exist on planets around distant stars as well? A new study using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope indicates that a different mixture of life-forming chemicals may exist on planets that orbit stars cooler than our sun.

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