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Scientists discover record-breaking fifth planet around a star

A team of American astronomers including Steven S. Vogt of UC Santa Cruz last week revealed the discovery of a fifth planet around a star called 55 Cancri. Located 41 light-years away in the constellation Cancer, this star now holds the record for the number of confirmed extrasolar planets orbiting within its planetary system. The discovery marks an exciting new era, in which astronomers begin to explore how solar systems are formed and whether ours follows a pattern that's common throughout the universe, said Vogt. [More]

Campus gets a little bit 'greener'

Three more UCSC dining locations have received recognition from the Monterey Bay Area Green Business Program for volunteering to operate in a more environmentally responsible way. [More]

Environmental protection can't be bought, sociologist says

Like a marketer's dream come true, Americans have responded to environmental hazards by shopping, as if buying products such as bottled water will protect them and their loved ones. But such individual consumer action offers little real defense against environmental degradation and may pose an even greater threat by lulling people into a false sense of security, according to sociologist Andrew Szasz, author of the new book Shopping Our Way to Safety: How We Changed from Protecting the Environment to Protecting Ourselves. [More ]