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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 : Odd Galaxy Raises Many Questions
12 August 2010 1:19 pm
Something unusual and mysterious has happened to NGC 4696. Located about 150 million light-years away in the constellation Centaurus, the object is an elliptical galaxy. That should mean a previous collision with another galaxy ripped off its spiral arms, stripped away most of its interstellar gas, and condemned it to a slow death. But NGC 4696 has sprouted something never seen on another galaxy: a huge swirl of dust that stretches for tens of thousands of light-years and whips back around like a question mark. Observations by the Hubble Space Telescope released today show another first: filaments of ionized, or charged, hydrogen gas branching from the dust swirl. And views in x-ray light (not shown) reveal super-powerful jets of matter squirting from the galaxy's central black hole at nearly the speed of light. Together, these features show that NGC 4696 is a galaxy like no other. Astronomers suspect that the filament resulted from some sort of gravitational interaction with another galaxy, possibly a collision.
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