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rocky planet

SOLID AS A ROCK  A planet about half the size of Neptune might be made of pure rock, making it larger than other known rocky planets (one illustrated).

mu ares exoplanets

TILTING AT WINDMILLS  The planets of the Mu Arae system, illustrated, are now named for Cervantes characters, beating out those of science fiction writer Robert Heinlein.

Hercules Cluster

PRIME REAL ESTATE  Hundreds of thousands of stars fill the Hercules Cluster, seen in this Hubble image. Such a cluster could be an ideal cradle for long-lived advanced civilizations, a new study suggests.

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