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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...
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ScienceShot: The Ultraviolet Glow of Newborn Stars
1 December 2011 2:25 pm
Sometimes your own star gets in the way of understanding the birth of others. In particular, astronomers would like to see the Milky Way's star-forming regions emit ultraviolet radiation known as Lyman alpha because it's expected to be both strong and a key diagnostic of conditions in stellar nurseries. Lyman alpha arises from hydrogen at a wavelength of 1216 angstroms (121.6 nanometers), but sunlight with the same wavelength illuminates gas that streams into the solar system from beyond, obscuring the view. Fortunately, in 1977, NASA launched the twin Voyager spacecraft—their paths are shown here—and both are escaping the sun's glow: in mid-November, Voyager 1 was 118.9 times farther from the sun than Earth is; for Voyager 2, the comparable figure was 96.9, still more than twice as far out as Pluto. As astronomers report online today in Science, the Voyager spacecraft have now spied Lyman-alpha emission from star-forming regions in the Milky Way. Because the properties of these nearby nurseries are known, the feat will help astronomers better understand conditions in far-off star-forming galaxies—where, ironically enough, Lyman alpha is easier to detect because the expanding universe redshifts the radiation to longer wavelengths so that sunlight doesn't muck up the view.
See more ScienceShots.