Agriculture
Hungry bug seeks hot meal
Making the most of a meal
Microbes at the Gas Pump
Amphibians
Salamanders
Toads
Newts
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Who's Knocking?
Assembling the Tree of Life
No Fair: Monkey Sees, Doesn't
Behavior
Listen and Learn
A Grim Future for Some Killer Whales
Island of Hope
Birds
Pheasants
Kingfishers
Peafowl
Chemistry and Materials
Boosting Fuel Cells
Unscrambling a Gem of a Mystery
Earth-Friendly Fabrics
Computers
Programming with Alice
Galaxies on the go
New eyes to scan the skies
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Dinosaurs Grow Up
Three strikes wiped out woolly mammoths
Dino Babies
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Earth
Less Mixing Can Affect Lake's Ecosystem
Drilling Deep for Fuel
Deep History
Environment
The Down Side of Keeping Clean
Easy Ways to Conserve Water
Sounds and Silence
Finding the Past
Traces of Ancient Campfires
Of Lice and Old Clothes
A Plankhouse Past
Fish
Hagfish
Perches
Nurse Sharks
Food and Nutrition
Building a Food Pyramid
The Color of Health
How Super Are Superfruits?
GSAT English Rules
Who vs. That vs. Which
Who vs. Whom
Order of Adjectives
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A Sweet Advance in Candy Packing
Human Body
Hear, Hear
Remembering Facts and Feelings
Nature's Medicines
Invertebrates
Grasshoppers
Crawfish
Fleas
Mammals
Bison
Wildcats
Cornish Rex
Parents
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
Physics
Speedy stars
Powering Ball Lightning
Echoes of a Stretched Egg
Plants
A Giant Flower's New Family
Plants Travel Wind Highways
Tracking the Sun Improves Plant Pollen
Reptiles
Rattlesnakes
Alligators
Turtles
Space and Astronomy
An Earthlike Planet
Saturn's New Moons
Return to Space
Technology and Engineering
Riding Sunlight
A Satellite of Your Own
Switchable Lenses Improve Vision
The Parts of Speech
Pronouns
Problems with Prepositions
What is a Preposition?
Transportation
Where rivers run uphill
Ready, unplug, drive
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
Weather
A Change in Climate
Earth's Poles in Peril
Antarctica warms, which threatens penguins
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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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