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Microbes at the Gas Pump
Silk’s superpowers
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No Fair: Monkey Sees, Doesn't
Little Beetle, Big Horns
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When frog gender flips
Diamond Glow
Scientist Profile: Wally Gilbert
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The Book of Life
A Light Delay
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Dino Takeout for Mammals
E Learning Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Earth
Polar Ice Feels the Heat
Detecting an Eerie Sea Glow
The Rise of Yellowstone
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Pollution Detective
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Sounds and Silence
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Early Maya Writing
Stone Tablet May Solve Maya Mystery
A Plankhouse Past
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Tilapia
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Recipe for Health
Building a Food Pyramid
GSAT English Rules
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Whoever vs. Whomever
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Scotiabank Jamaica Foundation Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) Scholarships
Tarrant High overcoming the odds
Ministry of Education Announces 82 GSAT Scholarships for 2010
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
GSAT Mathematics
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GSAT Mathematics Quiz, Teaching Math, teaching anxiety
Secrets of an Ancient Computer
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Hey batter, wake up!
From Stem Cell to Any Cell
Walking to Exercise the Brain
Invertebrates
Hermit Crabs
Sea Anemones
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Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
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Road Bumps
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Strange Universe: The Stuff of Darkness
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Plants Travel Wind Highways
Getting the dirt on carbon
Surprise Visitor
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A Dusty Birthplace
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Evidence of a Wet Mars
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Toy Challenge
Space Umbrellas to Shield Earth
Riding Sunlight
The Parts of Speech
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Transportation
Where rivers run uphill
Revving Up Green Machines
Reach for the Sky
Weather
Recipe for a Hurricane
Arctic Melt
Either Martians or Mars has gas
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Cousin Earth

As their search continues, astronomers are finding more and more planets orbiting nearby stars. This time, they've detected a solid planet that's just 15 light-years from Earth. Many details about the planet remain unknown because the astronomers didn't see it directly. Instead, they were able to detect how the planet's gravity makes its star wobble a little bit. Out of 156 planets discovered so far in other solar systems, the new extrasolar planet is the smallest one yet found. It's about 7.5 times heavier than Earth. Along with two, much bigger planets, the new world orbits a star called Gliese 876. The planet takes just 1.9 days to complete an orbit around Gliese 876. So, its year is much, much shorter than ours. It's so close to its star that its surface is hot enough to roast a chicken. Most extrasolar planets that have been found so far are big balls of gas, like Jupiter and Saturn. Because the planet's mass is low, it probably couldn't hold onto much gas. So, scientists suspect that it's rocky. "This could be the first [known] rocky planet around any normal star other than the sun," says team member Jack Lissauer of NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif. Scientists are still trying to figure out how rocky planets might form so close to their stars. Whatever the answer, the new discovery gives researchers confidence that they will one day find even closer cousins to Earth somewhere in the universe. And, on a planet resembling Earth, they might also discover traces of life as we know it.—E. Sohn

Cousin Earth
Cousin Earth








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