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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 : 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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