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Titan-like Exoplanets
Topic: New Planets
04/14/11
Summary: A new study says that worlds that orbit red dwarfs, and even rogue planets with no stars to call home, might have surface oceans loaded with organic compounds. Like the seas of liquid methane on Saturn´s moon Titan, such environments are speculated to have the potential for alien life.

A Six-Planet System
Topic: New Planets
02/02/11
Summary: Astronomers have used NASA's Kepler mission to discover six planets around a Sun-like star. The discovery includes five small planets and validates a new method to measure the masses of planets. The remarkable discovery could aid in the search for habitable worlds around distant stars.

Planet Affects a Star's Spin
Topic: New Planets
01/12/11
Summary: Astronomers have discovered an exoplanet that could help scientists understand how planetary systems with 'hot Jupiters' evolve. Studying the evolution of planetary systems can help astrobiologists determine where best to search for habitable worlds around distant stars.

Kepler Discovers its First Rocky Planet
Topic: New Planets
01/11/11
Summary: NASA´s Kepler mission has confirmed the discovery of its first rocky planet. The newly discovered planet is the smallest planet ever discovered outside of our solar system and measures only 1.4 times the size of Earth.

Astrobiology Top 10: Discovery of Habitable Alien World?
Topic: New Planets
01/01/11
Summary: Astrobiology Magazine is highlighting the top 10 stories of 2010. At number 2 is the discovery of a planet with three times the mass of Earth orbiting in its star's "habitable zone." Following the announcement, doubts were raised about whether the new planet really exists. (Originally published 09/30/10 and 10/12/10)

Astrobiology Top 10: First Super-Earth Atmosphere Analyzed
Topic: New Planets
12/27/10
Summary: Astrobiology Magazine is highlighting the top 10 astrobiology stories of 2010. At number 7 is the first analysis of the atmosphere of a super-Earth orbiting a distant star. Observations suggest that the atmosphere is mostly water in the form of steam, thick clouds or hazes. (Originally published 12/02/2010).

A Solar System Like Ours, Supersized
Topic: New Planets
12/12/10
Summary: Astronomers have discovered a fourth giant planet around a distant star, further strengthening the resemblances between this planetary system and our own. The study provides new information about the nature and abundance of solar systems and could aid in the search for habitable, Earth-like worlds.

A Planet Rich in Carbon
Topic: New Planets
12/11/10
Summary: Astronomers have discovered the first carbon-rich exoplanet. The discovery reveals new information about the diversity of worlds that exist beyond our solar system and could help astrobiologists understand where best to look for habitable worlds around distant stars.

First Super-Earth Atmosphere Analyzed
Topic: New Planets
12/02/10
Summary: The atmosphere of a 'super-Earth' orbiting a distant star has been analyzed for the first time. The observations suggest that the atmosphere is mostly water in the form of steam, thick clouds or hazes. The data is a step forward in the search for habitable, extrasolar planets.

A Planet from Another Galaxy
Topic: New Planets
11/19/10
Summary: Astronomers have discovered a planet orbiting a star that entered our Milky Way from another galaxy. The planet is unusual because it orbits a star nearing the end of its life. Studying the planet will provide new information about the evolution of planetary systems.

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