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10 April 2014 11:44 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
Tropical disease experts tried and failed before to eradicate yaws, a rare disfiguring disease of poor countries. Now,...
Since 2002, researchers have reported that agricultural communities in the hot and humid Pacific Coast of Central...
Balkan endemic kidney disease surfaced in the 1950s and for decades defied attempts to finger the cause. It occurred...
The Pyrenean ibex, an impressive mountain goat that lived in the central Pyrenees in Spain, went extinct in 2000. But a...
Tight budgets are forcing NASA to consider turning off one or more planetary science projects that have completed their...
Ebola is not a stranger to West Africa—an outbreak in the 1990s killed chimpanzees and sickened one researcher. But the...
In an as-yet-unpublished report, an international panel of geoscientists has concluded that a pair of deadly...
- 10 April 2014 11:44 am , Vol. 344 , #6180
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ScienceShot: The Dusty Swirls of the Whirlpool Galaxy
13 January 2011 3:45 pm
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON—Like dancing fire dragons, two dusty spiral arms swirl around the core of a galaxy in this infrared Hubble picture of M51, the Whirlpool galaxy. The image, presented here today at the 217th meeting of the American Astronomical Society, was obtained by subtracting known starlight from a photograph taken by Hubble's Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS), leaving just the infrared glow of warm dust. The countless small, bright specks in the photograph are tiny clumps of newborn stars that have never been seen before because their optical light is obscured by the surrounding dust. Surprisingly, no larger, discrete dust clouds were found in the Whirlpool, which is 37 million light-years from Earth. Such larger clouds were expected on the basis of optical photographs. Images like this should help astronomers untangle how and where gas and dust in galaxies collapse into new stars.
See more ScienceShots.