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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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ScienceShot: A Mysterious Galactic Halo
23 April 2010 3:38 pm
There's nothing wrong with your computer screen. This view of the spiral galaxy M81 is deliberately off-center. That's because the image, taken with the 8.2-meter Subaru Telescope in Hawaii, is focused on the strange structure surrounding the galaxy. Astronomers say it's like nothing ever observed before. It doesn't resemble the halo surrounding our own Milky Way galaxy or the one around our nearest neighbor, Andromeda. Those halos are made of the stars from smaller galaxies that were consumed by their much-larger neighbors. But M81, located about 11.7 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major (also known as the Big Dipper) is showing something quite different: The stars sit amid gigantic wispy clouds, which Subaru's instruments indicate contain elements heavier than star-forming hydrogen and helium. Whether M81's halo comprises the remnants of very strange galaxies, or something other than galaxies, remains to be discovered.