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Astrobiology

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Cepheus B

STELLAR PETRI DISH  The nurseries where stars are born, like Cepheus B (shown), are bathed in ultraviolet radiation. That radiation could make ice act like a liquid and help organic molecules form in space.

Illustration of Cassini's death

BLAZE OF GLORY  Cassini burned up like a comet above Saturn’s cloud tops just before 5 a.m. PDT on September 15. This artist’s illustration shows what it may have looked like.

Titan

TOUGH INGREDIENTS Saturn’s moon Titan is frigid and lacks water, but it appears to hold one building block for a proposed alternative form of life.

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