Science: New Neighbors

Hints of other planets

Peering out across the broad, lonely wastes of space, scientists have long wondered if there were intelligent beings on other worlds. Now two astronomers have found strong evidence that planets like earth and its eight celestial cousins in the sun's solar system may be common in the Milky Way. In a new, highly detailed photograph of Beta Pictoris, a neighborly 293 trillion miles from the sun, Bradford Smith of the University of Arizona in Tucson and Richard Terrile of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., have discovered that the star is encircled by a dim disc...

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