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6 March 2014 1:04 pm ,
Vol. 343 ,
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
- 6 March 2014 1:04 pm , Vol. 343 , #6175
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ScienceShot: The First Carbon Planet?
8 December 2010 1:13 pm
So you think you live on a carbon-rich planet? Silly Earthling! Although terrestrial life is based on carbon, the element makes up precious little of the Earth's crust. Instead, oxygen—locked in silicate rocks—constitutes nearly half of the surface beneath your feet. Now astronomers have found a planet they say really is carbon-rich. Reporting online today in Nature, they say it circles a sunlike star named WASP 12 in the constellation Auriga, roughly 800 light-years away. The world is a gas giant like Jupiter that orbits so close to its star that it sizzles at thousands of degrees. By studying the planet's infrared glow, the astronomers discovered that its air abounds with the carbon-bearing molecules carbon monoxide and methane, implying that the planet could have carbide (a compound of carbon and metal) rather than silicate in its interior. If so, that makes it unlike any world in our solar system.
See more ScienceShots.