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Topics at the American Astronomical Society Meeting

Exoplanets, X-ray astronomy, and extragalactic outbursts were discussed at the meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Long Beach, California this week. Nearly 3,000 astronomers, educators and students and journalists attended some 2,000 sessions on outer world phenomena.
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Exocomets that circle distant stars might be more common than previously thought. (NASA/Lynette Cook)
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Exocomets that circle distant stars might be more common than previously thought. (NASA/Lynette Cook)

Researchers have identified a new spine-like structure of our Milky Way galaxy -- a long, dense tendril of dust and gas. (NASA/JPL/SSC)
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Researchers have identified a new spine-like structure of our Milky Way galaxy -- a long, dense tendril of dust and gas. (NASA/JPL/SSC)

The Milky Way’s 'backbone' structure contains about 100,000 stars' worth of gas and dust. (Jarret et al. 2012 Wise Enhanced Resolution Galaxy Atlas)
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The Milky Way’s 'backbone' structure contains about 100,000 stars' worth of gas and dust. (Jarret et al. 2012 Wise Enhanced Resolution Galaxy Atlas)

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured this image of the 10-billion year old supernova SCP-0401. (Space Telescope Science Institute)
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NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured this image of the 10-billion year old supernova SCP-0401. (Space Telescope Science Institute)

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