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News Stories relating to "planets"

Star Might Have THREE Habitable Planets

Astronomers have identified a star system just 22 light years from Earth with three planets that could potentially harbor life. The Gliese star system is easy to locate in the constellation Scorpius. The two main stars, Gliese 667A and B, are visible to the naked eye, but the one with the planets, Gliese 667C, requires a telescope to see....
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Planets Discovered That May Harbor Life

Three more Earth-like planets have been discovered by the Kepler Telescope, and it is becoming clear to scientists that there are Earth-like planets "everywhere," according to Kepler scientist Tom Barclay. Two of the planets are 1,200 light years away, and the other is 2,700 light years distant.

Kepler 62f and Kepler 62e...
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One in Six Stars Has Earth-Sized Planet

Using NASA's Kepler spacecraft, astronomers are beginning to find Earth-sized planets orbiting distant stars. A new analysis of Kepler data shows that about 17% of stars have an Earth-sized planet in an orbit closer than Mercury. Since the Milky Way has about 100 billion stars, there are at least 17 billion Earth-sized worlds out there. The odds...
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Discovery of a Water Planet

The most common type of star in the Milky Way is called a red dwarf--these are smaller, cooler, and longer-lived than our sun. There are 160 BILLION of them in our galaxy and 40% of them have Earth-like planets orbiting them at the right distance for liquid water to exist on their surfaces, a condition that is necessary for life.
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Two Earth-Like Planets Discovered

Will 2012 be the year we discover another planet that has intelligent life on it? Researchers have detected two planets of sizes comparable to Earth orbiting a star similar to our own Sun. This means there could be life on either one--or both--of them. Astronomers...
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The REdiscovery of New Planets

In a continuing search for other planets that may harbor life, re-analysis of Hubble Space Telescope images from 1998, astronomers have found evidence for two extrasolar planets that went undetected back then. Four giant planets are known to orbit the young, massive star HR 8799, which is 130 light-years away. The first three were discovered In...
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Our World Started With a Collision

Even though a dwarf galaxy clear across the Milky Way looks to be a mouse, it may have once been a bear that slashed through the Milky Way and created the galaxy's spiral arms. What does all this mean?

Astronomer Curtis Struck thinks the Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy collided with the Milky Way, creating the galaxy’s...
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Planets Found That Could Contain Extraterrestrial Life

There may be alien life out there, after all: Using the Harps telescope in Chile, a European observatory has announced "major" alien planet findings: 50 previously unknown "exoplanets" that could harbor life. These...
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Earth-Like Planets are Common

It now appears that as many a 10% of rocky planets in the universe may have moons like our own. This configuration is essential for the development of higher life forms because the rotating moon retards orbital winds on the dominant planet. Without the influence of the nearby moon, those winds would blow at a continuous speed upwards of 200 MPH....
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Two Planets,Same Orbit

More exciting discoveries from the Kepler telescope: A planetary system of the kind never seen before, with two planets in the same orbit around their star. They circle their sun every 9.8 days, one of them ahead of the other. In the night sky of one of the planets, the other planet must seem like a...
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Planet Hot Spot

A huge alien planet has a strange hot spot on its side, and astronomers don't know what it is. The planet resembles Jupiter, because it's a hot gas giant, and one side of it is constantly boiling under its parent star. But the warmest part of it isn't facing its sun, it's facing AWAY from it. NASA's Michael Werner says, "This is a very...
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New Planets Discovered

Some may harbor intelligent life - It has now been found that there must be many small, rocky planets in our galaxy, and probably spread across the universe. This means that the likelihood of there being intelligent life elsewhere could be very substantial, and a radio survey of such plants could become possible, that might...

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ET Life

It's about time we discovered if there's life anywhere else in the galaxy. India's lunar spacecraft has discovered that there are thick deposits of ice near the moon's north pole, meaning that if astronauts set up a colony there, they would have plenty of water (but they'll have to boil it first, since But other compounds, such as hydrocarbons...

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What is HARPS?

HARPS is not the same as the mysterious Alaskan installation known as HAARP, which is mentioned in this week's Dreamland. HARPS, located in Chile, stands for High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher and is part of the huge ESO international telescope system, which is searching for new planets. Since it powered up 5 years ago, HARPS has...

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Far Far Away

The Kepler Space Telescope, which was launched into space 5 months ago, is designed to take direct images of planets outside of our solar system. It has stunned and delighted astronomers with a picture of a planet a thousand light years away, the first every direct photo of light from a planet not in our solar system. This system definitely...

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What a Way to Go!

The idea that gravity might pull a planet into its parent star has been predicted by computer models, but now astronomers have found evidence that this has actually happened.

Astronomer Rory Barnes says, "When we look at the observed properties of extrasolar planets, we can see that this has already happened. Some extrasolar planets have...

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Proof of Other Earth-Like Planets

weekend reading - A recent survey of nearby stars shows that 30% of them have versions of earth orbiting around them. Many of these are as much as 10 times larger than our own home planet.

Many of the stars that were thought to have no planets in their orbits have planets so small that they were overlooked before, but...

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Life on Planets in OUR Milky Way?

Rocky planets with conditions suitable for life may be more common than previously thought, and they may be right here, in our own galaxy. More than half the Sun-like stars in the Milky Way could have planetary systems like ours. Are they calling us? Can we communicate with them? Are their inhabitants here on earth, interacting with us? In BBC...

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Newly Discovered Planet May be Suitable for Life

A couple of months ago, astronomers announced that they had discovered a new planet that might be capable of sustaining life. They got the star right?a brown dwarf called Gliese581?but they picked the wrong planet. Gliese 581c is too hot to support water or life, but its neighbor, Gliese 581d, might be perfect for both.


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New Planet in Our Solar System

A new planet has been discovered in our solar system, that is circling the sun out farther than Pluto. It's about 800 miles across?half the size of Pluto, which was discovered 72 years ago?and circles the Sun every 288 years. Astronomers have also discovered a tiny moon circling the planet Uranus.

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Planetary Lineup Starting Saturday

The five planets visible to the naked eye?Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn?will line up in the sky, beginning April 20. Astronomers say this rare arrangement may not be seen again for a century. A similar arrangement of planets happened two years ago but was not visible from Earth because of the position of the Sun. The five planets...

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Mystery Planets Drift Through Space

NASA?s Hubble Space Telescope has spotted planet-sized objects wandering through space. What?s unique about them is that they?re loners, with no central star of their own.

The lone planets were discovered when Kailash Sahu, of the Space Telescope Science Institute, and his colleagues monitored 83,000 stars in part of our Galaxy. The...

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