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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
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...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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ScienceShot: Distant Sun Boasts Shortest Starspot Cycle
15 October 2010 4:55 pm
The planets orbiting Iota Horologii (inset) enjoy only brief respites from their tempestuous sun. The star, located 56 light-years away in the southern constellation Horologium, boasts the shortest starspot cycle ever seen: 1.6 years. The sunspot cycle of our own sun (main image), by contrast, waxes and wanes every 11 years. When sunspot numbers peak, the sun can hurl satellite-frying flares toward Earth. So any residents of the Iota Horologii system—which bears at least one giant planet—presumably experience more frequent outbursts, astronomers will report in an upcoming issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters. Similar conditions may have confronted Earth as life was struggling to establish itself. At that time, the sun likely resembled Iota Horologii, because the star is young: it's thought to have escaped from the Hyades star cluster, which is just 600 million years old, or about one-eighth our sun's present age.
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