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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: Exploding Star Concealed by Dust
12 October 2010 5:11 pm
If a star explodes behind a dust cloud, will anyone see it? Astronomers did, but at first they weren't sure what they were looking at. Using the Spitzer Space Telescope to search for a supermassive black hole at the center of a distant galaxy, the team discovered something unexpected: a cloud of hot dust--much hotter than normal. After further study, the scientists concluded that the heat had been caused by the explosion of a star at least 50 times more massive than our sun. But before the star went supernova, it twice ejected gas into space. Eventually the gas condensed into dust, and the dust absorbed the blinding light of the explosion, converting it to heat, which appeared as infrared radiation to Spitzer's detectors, the team reports online this month in The Astrophysical Journal. Astronomers figure that in about a decade, the remnants of the star blasted out into space by the supernova will slam into the first dust cloud. If it does, x-ray telescopes should detect the effects, and a previously unobserved type of supernova will be confirmed.
See more ScienceShots.