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— Space

Astronomers discover Jupiter's twin orbiting a distant Sun-like star

By - July 20, 2015 1 Picture

A team of international astronomers has discovered a gas giant orbiting a distant star with characteristics remarkably similar to those of our own Jovian planet, Jupiter. The significance of the discovery is that the gas giant was found to orbit roughly the same distance from its host star HIP 11915, as Jupiter does from the Sun. This positioning may have profound implications for creating conditions favorable to the development of a habitable Earth-like planet in HIP 11915's inner solar system.

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— Space Feature

New Horizons spurs new calls to make Pluto a planet once again

After nearly a decade in the wilderness of celestial classification, Pluto is on the rise again. In 2006, the International Astronomical Union voted to adopt a new definition of what makes a body a planet, and to specifically demote Pluto to the status of dwarf planet. Now, with new data and images streaming in from New Horizons showing that Pluto is not only a little larger than previously thought, but also home to some remarkable geological features (including what may be some of the solar system's youngest mountain peaks, reaching to 11,000 ft/3,353 m high), many are saying it's time to restore the ninth planet to its previous station.

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Space station crew takes shelter as debris passes

For the fourth time in history, the crew of the International Space Station (ISS) had to temporarily take shelter in their "lifeboat" as a piece of an old weather satellite made its closest approach today at 8:01 am EDT. As a precaution, the three men of Expedition 44 sealed hatches and porthole covers before retreating to the Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft docked with the station.

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— Space

Planetary Resources finally deploys first spacecraft after explosive setback

By - July 16, 2015 5 Pictures

The asteroid-mining industry has taken a step closer to becoming an actual thing, with the successful deployment of Planetary Resources' Arkyd 3 Reflight (A3R) spacecraft from the International Space Station Wednesday night. The A3R's three-month mission will be used to test and validate some basic technologies that the company hopes to incorporate in future spacecraft that will prospect near-Earth asteroids for potentially valuable resources.

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— Space

First images trickle in following New Horizons' historic flyby

By - July 15, 2015 5 Pictures

After completing its historic flyby of Pluto, New Horizons is sending back the first high-resolution images from its encounter. Because of the very low bandwidth that the unmanned probe can sustain across a distance of 4.77 billion km (2.97 billion mi) from Earth, the images are coming in a trickle along with more urgent telemetry, but what has been received so far is already exciting NASA scientists.

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