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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: An Asteroid Smashup
8 October 2010 12:43 pm
Jupiter and Mars aren't the only recent impact victims in our solar system. In two talks today at the Division for Planetary Sciences in Pasadena, California, astronomers report that a small asteroid located in the inner asteroid belt between those two planets took a major hit early last year. Previously rendered only in artists' conceptions, the first asteroid collision known in modern times revealed itself in a tail of debris streaming from what astronomers at first assumed was a comet. But the roughly 120-meter-diameter object—given the comet designator P/2010 A2—showed no signs of emitting the gases that all comets emit when producing tails. Instead of a steady stream of dust, astronomers found boulders near the object with dust moving away from them. Backtracking, they calculated that a single impact by a smaller asteroid could have blasted it all off the asteroid in February or March 2009. No great loss, though; the tail debris adds up to the equivalent of only a 24-meter-diameter ball of rock.
See more ScienceShots.