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Don't rule out life on those 'dead stars' just yet

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NASA spacecraft now circling Mercury — a first

A well-traveled NASA probe made history Thursday, becoming the first spacecraft ever to enter into orbit around Mercury. Full story

NASA Probe Becomes First Spacecraft to Orbit Mercury

This story was updated at 10:30 p.m. EDT. A well-traveled NASA probe made history late Thursday (March 17), becoming the first spacecraft ever to enter into orbit around Mercury. Full story

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Alien Planet Speeds Up Parent Star

Pluto-sized body walloped early Earth

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The bright and very young star HR 8799, about 130 light-years away from Earth, hosts a planetary system that looks like a scaled-up model of our own Solar System. 3 giant planetary companions have been detected so far, with masses between 7 and 10 times that of Jupiter and being between 20 and 70 ti

 NASA's Kepler spacecraft
NASA's Kepler spacecraft

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Ball Aerospace and Technology workers conduct a light test on the solar array panels of NASA's Kepler spacecraft. A NASA Discovery mission, Kepler is specifically designed to survey our region of the Milky Way galaxy to discover hundreds of Earth-size and smaller planets in o

W5 star forming region
W5 star forming region

Have you ever topped a ridge, only to find the expected jaw-dropping view cloaked in fog? Thick clouds of interstellar gas and dust pose a similar problem for astronomers keen to get a bead on distant stars and galaxies. The Spitzer Space Telescope, launched in 2003, overcomes the problem by gatheri