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This artist's view shows an exoplanet orbiting the young star Beta Pictoris. The exoplanet has an eight-hour day — and a much faster rotation than any planet in the solar system. L. Calçada/N. Risinger/ESO hide caption

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L. Calçada/N. Risinger/ESO

Taking Stock In The Search For Aliens

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Earth as seen by the Expedition 47 crew on May 31, 2016, from the International Space Station — looking from northwestern China on the bottom into eastern Kazakhstan. The large lake in Kazakhstan with golden sun glint is the crescent-shaped Lake Balkhash, the second largest lake in Central Asia. NASA hide caption

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NASA

An artist's concept depicts one possible appearance of the planet Kepler-452b, the first near-Earth-size world to be found in the habitable zone of a star that is similar to our sun. NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle hide caption

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NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle

An image of Ceres taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows that the brightest spot on the dwarf planet has a dimmer companion. NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA hide caption

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NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA