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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
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,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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ScienceShot: Alien World Sports Mysterious Hot Spot
19 October 2010 3:37 pm
Something strange is a-brewing on upsilon Andromedae b. Astronomers have classified the exoplanet, orbiting a sun-like star about 44 light-years away, as a hot Jupiter—a gas giant circling so close to its parent sun that its atmosphere is boiling away. Like most hot Jupiters, upsilon Andromedae b is also tidally locked to its star, meaning it always shows the star the same face. Such a planet should be hottest smack-dab in the middle of its sun-facing side. Not upsilon Andromedae b. In an upcoming issue of The Astrophysical Journal, astronomers report observations by the heat-seeking instruments aboard the Spitzer Space Telescope, which show the planet's hottest region is located near its twilight zone—the line bisecting the day and night sides. It's possible that supersonic winds, propelled by some interaction between the planet and the star's magnetic field, could be causing the misplaced hotspot. But, for the moment, this cosmic mystery remains unsolved.
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