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Flush-Free Fertilizer
Treating peanut allergy bit by bit
Keeping Bugs Away from Food
Amphibians
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Salamanders and Newts
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Killer Flatworms Hunt with Poison
A Sense of Danger
Red Apes in Danger
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World’s largest lizard is venomous too
When Darwin got sick of feathers
The Snappy Lingo of Instant Messages
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Emus
A Meal Plan for Birds
Blue Jays
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The chemistry of sleeplessness
Atom Hauler
A Butterfly's Electric Glow
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Games with a Purpose
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Look into My Eyes
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Did Dinosaurs Do Handstands?
Mammals in the Shadow of Dinosaurs
Meet the new dinos
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2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
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Meteorites may have sparked life on Earth
Arctic Algae Show Climate Change
Island of Hope
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Saving Wetlands
Plant Gas
To Catch a Dragonfly
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Digging Up Stone Age Art
Chicken of the Sea
Unearthing Ancient Astronomy
Fish
Mahi-Mahi
Nurse Sharks
Dogfish
Food and Nutrition
A Pepper Part that Burns Fat
Packing Fat
Healing Honey
GSAT English Rules
Subject and Verb Agreement
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Who vs. That vs. Which
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Preparing for the GSAT Exam
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Deep-space dancers
Math Naturals
Human Body
Remembering Facts and Feelings
A Fix for Injured Knees
A Long Haul
Invertebrates
Clams
Starfish
Mosquitos
Mammals
Caribou
Kodiak Bear
Echidnas
Parents
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
Physics
Einstein's Skateboard
Spin, Splat, and Scramble
Black Hole Journey
Plants
White fuzzy mold not as friendly as it looks
Plants Travel Wind Highways
Assembling the Tree of Life
Reptiles
Komodo Dragons
Rattlesnakes
Asp
Space and Astronomy
A Great Ball of Fire
Icy Red Planet
A Star's Belt of Dust and Rocks
Technology and Engineering
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
Searching for Alien Life
Young Scientists Take Flight
The Parts of Speech
What is a Noun
Adjectives and Adverbs
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Transportation
Where rivers run uphill
Robots on a Rocky Road
Charged cars that would charge
Weather
A Dire Shortage of Water
Weekend Weather Really Is Different
The solar system's biggest junkyard
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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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