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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 Hole in Space
11 May 2010 12:44 pm
For a place that's supposedly empty and very cold, space is actually full of stuff—galaxies, gas, and dust, to name a few examples. But here's a place in space that really is empty. Astronomers found it while probing a region of the Orion Nebula with the Herschel Space Observatory. The region, called NGC 1999, is located about 1500 light-years away. It's the greenish haze in the upper left portion of this image. For decades, the black patch to the right of NGC 1999 was presumed to be an opaque cloud of dust. But Herschel's powerful infrared camera, which can see through dust, revealed that the patch is as empty as space can be. Why the void? Astronomers think the answer lies in the birth throes of stars. When new stars form—particularly the massive variety—their energetic solar winds eventually blow away the leftover gas and dust that surrounds them, like a newborn chick hacking its way out of an egg. And so many young and massive stars inhabit NGC 1999 that their collective solar winds may have blasted the adjacent area clean as a whistle.
See more ScienceShots.