Reuters Science News Summary

Following is a summary of current science news briefs.

Mini planet found far beyond Earth's solar system

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - - Astronomers have found a mini planet beyond our solar system that is the smallest of more than 800 extra-solar planets discovered, scientists said on Wednesday. The planet, known as Kepler-37b, is one of three circling a yellow star similar to the sun that is located in the constellation Lyra, about 210 light years away. One light year is about 6 trillion miles (10 trillion km).

NASA Mars rover ready to eat, analyze rock powder

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, dispatched to learn if the planet ever had ingredients for life, drilled its first bit of powder from inside a potentially water-formed ancient rock, scientists said on Wednesday. The robotic geology station, which landed inside a giant impact basin on August 6 for a two-year mission, transferred about a tablespoon of rock powder from its drill into a scoop, pictures relayed by the rover Wednesday showed.

"Vulcan" has big lead in bid to name Pluto's newly discovered moons 2013-02-21T000441Z_1_BRE91K007_RTROPTC_0_US-SPACE-PLUTO-MOON.XM L () -