The Hubble Space Telescope has captured the farthest-ever view into the universe, a photo that reveals thousands of galaxies billions of light-years away. The picture, called eXtreme Deep Field, or XDF, combines 10 years of Hubble telescope views of one patch of sky. Only the accumulated light gathered over so many observation sessions can reveal such distant objects, some of which are one ten-billionth the brightness that the human eye can see. http://www.space.com/17755-farthest-universe-view-hubble-space-telescope.html
A planet four times the size of Earth may be skirting the edges of the solar system beyond Pluto, according to new research. Too distant to be easily spotted by Earth-based telescopes, the unseen planet could be gravitationally tugging on small icy objects past Neptune, helping explain the mystery of those objects' peculiar orbits. The claim comes from Rodney Gomes, a noted astronomer at the National Observatory of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro. http://www.space.com/15822-planet-edge-solar-system.html
NASA discovers Earth-like planet In another step toward finding Earth-like planets that may hold life, NASA says its Kepler space telescope has confirmed its first-ever planet in a habitable zone outside our solar system. French astronomers earlier this year confirmed the first exoplanet to meet key requirements for sustaining life, but Kepler 22b, initially glimpsed in 2009, is the first the US space agency has been able to confirm. Confirmation means that astronomers have seen it crossing in front of its star three times. But it doesn't mean that astronomers know whether life actually exists there.