Deep Space

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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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    NASA's Kepler space telescope has discovered its first five exoplanets. The planets are all considered 'hot Jupiters' due to their sizes and extreme temperatures. The discoveries are proof of Kepler's capabilities, and astronomers hope that future findings will include smaller, Earth-like planets.
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    A new website is giving amateur and professional astronomers formal mechanisms for reporting unexplained phenomena they observe in the night sky. The site will contribute toward a better understanding of transient phenomena occurring in the atmosphere.
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    Uma nova página virtual está fornecendo mecanismos formais para astrônomos profissionais e amadores reportarem fenômenos inexplicados que eles observam no céu noturno. A página vai contribuir para uma melhor compreensão de fenômenos transitórios ocorrendo na atmosfera.
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    AM is highlighting the top 10 stories of 2009. At number 3 is the launch of Kepler, a new NASA telescope that will aid in finding extrasolar planets. Scientists are already looking beyond Kepler for the next generation of telescopes that could show alien worlds
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  • Astrobiology Top 10: Double Discovery: Super-Earth and Ocean World
    Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2009, highlighting the top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 6 is a double discovery of potentially habitable extrasolar planets orbiting the star Gliese 581. (This story originally was published on April 23, 2009).
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    Astrobiology Magazine is highlighting the top 10 astrobiology stories of the year. At number 9 is a story about astrometry, a technique to find extrasolar planets. After 50 years, astrometry spots its first planet - a milestone that could have implications for the proposed
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    New research indicates that life-bearing moons, such as those featured in Hollywood blockbusters, might be possible. If astronomers discover such a moon nearby, the James Webb Telescope may be able to study its atmospheres and detect key gases like carbon dioxide, oxygen and water vapor.
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    Astronomers have discovered a 'super-Earth' orbiting a distant star using off-the-Shelf, amateur technology. The finding shows how low-cost technologies can aid in the search for habitable worlds. The planet, GJ1214b, has a radius only 2.7 times that of Earth and may contain water and a
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    Astronomers have discovered as many as six low-mass planets around two nearby, sun-like stars. The findings indicate that low-mass planets could be common around nearby stars.
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    New results from NASA's Cassini spacecraft have overturned a decades-old belief about the shape of our solar system. The findings yield important information about the fundamental traits of our solar system.
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