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6 March 2014 1:04 pm ,
Vol. 343 ,
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...
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
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ScienceShot: Death of a Comet Captured for First Time
20 January 2012 2:53 pm
No sooner had smoke from Independence Day fireworks cleared last summer than sun-watching satellites spotted some pyrotechnics of their own. On 6 July 2011, a soccer-field-size comet plunged into the searing solar atmosphere (main image), broke into a dozen or so pieces, and then evaporated over the course of 20 minutes. Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, a joint mission of NASA and the European Space Agency, has observed more than 2100 such sun-grazing comets, and scientists have inferred the scorching deaths of those that didn't emerge from behind the disk that blocks direct sunlight from blinding the probe's sensors. But the comet that disappeared last summer suffered its death throes in full view of NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), which typically can't discern the dim glow of comets against the bright background of the sun's face. By stringing together SDO images, however, which are taken once every 12 seconds, scientists for the first time directly witnessed the death of a comet as it unfolded. (You can watch the blink-and-you'll-miss-it video here.) In today's issue of Science, the researchers estimate that the ultra-bright comet, which probably weighed about as much as an aircraft carrier, blazed to within 62,000 miles of the sun's surface before evaporating.
See more ScienceShots.