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Systemic Planet Hunting
Topic: New Planets
Summary: Astronomers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, are seeking the public's help to find and understand planets outside our solar system. But you don't need an advanced degree or even a telescope to participate--just a computer, access to the Internet, and an interest in astronomy.

In the Beginning there was Dust
Topic: New Planets
Summary: NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, in collaboration with ground-based observatories, has provided definitive evidence for the existence of the nearest extrasolar planet to our solar system.

Puffed Planets
Topic: New Planets
Summary: Using a network of small automated telescopes known as HAT, Smithsonian astronomers have discovered a planet unlike any other known world. This new planet, designated HAT-P-1, orbits one member of a pair of distant stars 450 light-years away in the constellation Lacerta.

Draconian Planet
Topic: New Planets
Summary: Our home solar system may be down by a planet with recent demotion of Pluto, but number of giant planets discovered in orbit around other stars continues to grow steadily. Now, an international team of astronomers detected a planet slightly larger than Jupiter that orbits a star 500 light-years from Earth.

Finding Earths Through Simulation
Topic: New Planets
Summary: The steady discovery of giant planets orbiting stars other than our sun has heightened speculation that there could be Earth-type worlds in nearby planetary systems capable of sustaining life.

Seeing Planets Despite the Stars
Topic: New Planets
Summary: A gigantic, daisy-shaped space shield could be used to block out pesky starlight and allow astronomers using an orbiting telescope to zero in on Earth-like planets in other solar systems, according to a University of Colorado at Boulder study.

Planet Trawling
Topic: New Planets
Summary: An international team of professional and amateur astronomers, using simple off-the-shelf equipment to trawl the skies for planets outside our solar system, has hauled in its first "catch."

Trio of Neptunes
Topic: New Planets
Summary: Using the ultra-precise HARPS spectrograph on ESO's 3.6-m telescope at La Silla (Chile), a team of European astronomers have discovered that a nearby star is host to three Neptune-mass planets. The innermost planet is most probably rocky, while the outermost is the first known Neptune-mass planet to reside in the habitable zone.

Icy Super Earth Found
Topic: New Planets
Summary: An international team of astronomers has discovered a "super-Earth" orbiting in the outer region of a solar system 9,000 light-years away. Weighing 13 times as much as Earth, with a temperature of minus 330 degrees Fahrenheit, the planet is one of the coldest ever discovered outside our solar system.

Planets in the Vortex
Topic: New Planets
Summary: The University of Arizona College of Optical Sciences is developing devices that block out starlight, allowing astronomers to study planets in nearby solar systems. The core of this technology is an "optical vortex mask" that spins light like wind in a hurricane.

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