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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
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,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
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...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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ScienceShot: A Jupiter-Sized 'Comet'
15 July 2010 12:21 pm
Comets aren't the only celestial bodies with long, glowing tails. A star 153 light years away is blowing away the atmosphere of planet HD 209458b, which is only slightly smaller than Jupiter, creating more or less the same effect. According to observations by NASA's Hubble Telescope reported this month in The Astrophysical Journal, the gas giant circles so close to its sun (an orbit of 3.5 days compared with Mercury's 88) that solar winds are slowly roasting it out of existence, causing its outer gases to evaporate into space. The planet isn't going to disappear anytime soon, however: Researchers estimate it will take a trillion years before HD 209458b is completely vaporized. That's about 100 times as long as the universe has been around.
See more ScienceShots.