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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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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.