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Latest Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Stories

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2004-12-02 00:40:00

Cosmic treasures lay hidden in the vast realm of outer space. Among the most highly prized of those treasures are planets that formed around other stars. Astronomers have just gained an important clue to guide their hunt for extrasolar worlds. And that clue points to the unlikeliest of places - our own backyard.


Word of the Day
mitraille
  • Small missiles, especially grape, canister, fragments of iron, and the like, when fired, as upon an enemy at close quarters.
  • To fire mitraille at.
The word 'mitraille' comes from the Old French 'mitaille', meaning 'small coins', sometimes used to mean 'scrap iron'.