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Adding Up Atmospheres
Topic: New Planets
Summary: Scientists have developed new computer models that can help us understand the atmospheric composition of distant worlds, such as the Earth-like planet Gliese 581.

A Rush of New Planets
Topic: New Planets
Summary: The discovery of 28 new planets and 7 brown dwarfs outside the Solar System was recently announced by the world's largest planet-hunting team. New and refined techniques are responsible for the large number of planets detected, and may soon help the team discover smaller, Earth-like planets around distant stars.

Metals Not Needed for Construction?
Topic: New Planets
Summary: Astronomers have discovered a multi-planet ystem orbiting a star whose composition might seem to rule out planet formation. The study has implications for theories of planet formation, and ultimately the search for planets and habitable environments beyond our Solar System.

Forecasting Earth-Like Worlds
Topic: New Planets
Summary: Future missions like COROT, KEPLER, and DARWIN should find Earth-like exoplanets. In this interview from Astrobiology Magazine, European Edition, Franck Selsis, an astrophysicist specializing in planetary atmospheres, explains how we can learn if any of those alien worlds contain life.

Viewing Vulcan
Topic: New Planets
Summary: Astronomers have concluded that NASA's upcoming SIM PlanetQUest mission will be able to search for Earth-like planets 16 light-years away. SIM PlanetQuest could be followed by the Terrestrial Planet Finder mission, which will be powerful enough to see distant planets and scan them for signs of life.

Mapping an Alien World
Topic: New Planets
Summary: For the first time, astronomers have created a rough map of a planet orbiting a distant sun-like star, employing a technique that may one day enable mapping of Earth-like worlds.

Hot Stuff
Topic: New Planets
Summary: A team of researchers have measured the hottest temperature ever recorded on a planet at 3700 Degrees Fahrenheit. The steamy planet is HD 149026b, which orbits a star about 260 light years away.

COROT Nets its First Planet
Topic: New Planets
Summary: COROT has provided its first image of a giant exoplanet and the first bit of 'seismic' information on a far away, Sun-like star. The accuracy of this raw data shows that COROT will be able to see rocky planets - perhaps even as small as Earth.

Most Massive Planet
Topic: New Planets
Summary: Astronomers have discovered a unique exoplanet that is 1.18 times the size of Jupiter, but is very dense with 8.2 times Jupiter's mass. The planet completes one orbit around its host star in just 5.63 days.

Astronomers Find Habitable Earth-like Planet
Topic: New Planets
Summary: Astronomers have discovered the most Earth-like planet outside our Solar System to date. The planet is only 50% larger than Earth and orbits within the ‘habitable zone´ of the star Gliese 581, meaning that the planet could possibly harbor liquid water.

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