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Distant planets

Scientists using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope observed a fledgling solar system like the one depicted in this artist's concept, finding deep within it enough water vapor to fill all the oceans on Earth five times. The scientists peered at an embryonic star called IRAS 4B located in our Milky Way galaxy about 1,000 light years from Earth in the constellation Perseus. A light year is about 6 trillion miles (10 trillion km), the distance light travels in a year. They believe they are seeing for the first time how water, considered a necessary ingredient for life, begins to make its way to newly forming planets. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout

Dazzling distant galaxies

January 8, 2013

An artistic sampling of some far-away worlds.