Deep Space

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    Astronomers have identified a gas giant exoplanet that orbits close to its host star. Its orbit allows scientists to examine the planet, dubbed Corot-9b, in great detail. The research team believes Corot-9b could be a 'Rosetta stone' in exoplanet research, providing key information about how
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    Is our Sun part of a binary star system? An unseen companion star, nicknamed "Nemesis," may be sending comets towards Earth. If Nemesis exists, NASA´s new WISE telescope should be able to spot it.
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    Although they're not nominated for an Academy Award, plants play a central role in the blockbuster movie "Avatar." A botanist provided the science behind how these unusual organisms may have evolved.
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    A team of astrophysicists has determined that a massive planet outside our solar system is being distorted and destroyed by its host star. The finding provides further information about how planets can form and evolve in other solar systems.
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    A new technique is being developed to detect water in the protoplanetary disks of other solar systems. If successful, it would help in our understanding of how habitable planets form.
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    Studying molecules in the atmospheres of exoplanets used to be a task reserved for powerful, space-based telescopes. Now, astronomers have used a small, ground-based telescope to identify atmospheric organic molecules on a distant planet. The finding means ground-based telescopes could be used in the hunt
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    Astronomers have discovered a brown dwarf that is the coolest sub-stellar body ever found outside our solar system. Astrobiologists study brown dwarfs in order to learn more about stars and star formation. Ultimately, this will help us determine the best places to search for extrasolar
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    A new study has confirmed that planet formation is a natural by-product of star formation, even around stars that are much larger than the Sun. However, it is not likely that planets around large stars could support complex forms of life.
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  • Looking for Life in the Multiverse
    Could our universe be just one among countess universes that emerged from the same primordial vacuum? And if so... could other universes be inhabited by life? In a recent article, theorists from Florida State University and the Weizmann Institute discussed these questions and the answers
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    By studying a triple planetary system, astronomers have obtained the 'chemical fingerprint' of an extrasolar planet. This is the first time the spectrum of an exoplanet orbiting a normal, almost Sun-like star has been obtained directly. The data represents a new milestone in the search
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    Water vapor in planet-forming disks may block ultraviolet radiation from destroying water and other important molecules for life, according to new calculations.
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    Planets are thought to grow from swirling disks of dust and gas around stars. New simulations show how small planets like Earth can survive in these tumultuous environments instead of crashing into their host stars. The key is inward and outward migrations that trap the
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    Research indicates that the most Earth-like exoplanet yet found could be the rocky remains of a Saturn-sized gas giant. The study increases our knowledge of how planets form and evolve and could help astronomers better estimate the potential number of Earth-like planets in the universe.
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    This past October, scientists confirmed the discovery of the first rocky planet outside our solar system. Now, astronomers have gathered further information about the planet, CoRoT-7 b. The distant world might experience surface temperatures of more than 2,200 degrees Celsius, rendering the surface uninhabitable.
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    A new study shows that just 15 percent of solar systems in the galaxy are like our own. The finding may have implications in the search for habitable worlds in the Universe.
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