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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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ScienceShot: May the (Magnetic) Force Be With You
16 November 2011 1:00 pm
A spiral galaxy's magnetic field is global, but it likely acts locally to assemble huge clouds of gas and dust that then spawn stars. That's the upshot of a new study of M33, a nearby spiral galaxy located 2.8 million light-years away in the constellation Triangulum. As astronomers report online today in Nature, magnetic fields inside M33's six most massive giant molecular clouds—large concentrations of dense gas and dust that give birth to stars—line up with the spiral arms, suggesting the magnetic fields helped create the huge clouds and that they regulate how the clouds fragment to form new stars. Although this finding pertains to M33, it likely extends to other spiral galaxies, too—including our own, which we'll never get to see from the outside.
See more ScienceShots.