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Have shell, will travel
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Shrinking Glaciers
Undersea Vent System Active for Ages
Warmest Year on Record
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A Change in Time
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When Fungi and Algae Marry
Finding the Past
Meet your mysterious relative
Stonehenge Settlement
An Ancient Childhood
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In Search of the Perfect French Fry
The mercury in that tuna
How Super Are Superfruits?
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Ministry of Education Announces 82 GSAT Scholarships for 2010
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A Sour Taste in Your Mouth
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Surviving Olympic Heat
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Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
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Hold on to your stars, ladies and gentlemen
Einstein's Skateboard
Black Hole Journey
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Fast-flying fungal spores
Cactus Goo for Clean Water
Stalking Plants by Scent
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Roving the Red Planet
Saturn's New Moons
Phantom Energy and the Big Rip
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Spinach Power for Solar Cells
A Micro-Dose of Your Own Medicine
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
The Parts of Speech
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
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Adjectives and Adverbs
Transportation
Robots on the Road, Again
Charged cars that would charge
Tinkering With the Basic Bike
Weather
The Best Defense Is a Good Snow Fence
The solar system's biggest junkyard
A Change in Climate
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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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