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27 November 2013 12:59 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
The new head of the National Center for Science Education promises to "fight the good fight" against attacks on...
Analyses of the H7N9 strains isolated from four new cases show that the virus is evolving rapidly, heightening anxiety...
In 2009, Jack Szostak shared a Nobel Prize for his part in discovering the role of telomeres, the end bits of...
Science has exposed a thriving academic black market in China involving shady agencies, corrupt scientists, and...
Paper-selling agencies flourish in the aura of reputable businesses. For some scientists, it may be difficult to tell...
Data collected by satellites and floating probes have chronicled a 2-decade rise in the temperature and thickness of a...
Cholesterol, the artery-clogging molecule that contributes to cardiovascular disease, has another nasty trick up its...
Until recently, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) kept its plans for its $70 million portion of the...
- 27 November 2013 12:59 pm , Vol. 342 , #6162
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ScienceShot: The Star That Never Was
6 January 2012 2:43 pm
Not every young actor grows into a sensation on the silver screen. And not every cloud in the cold of space blossoms into a brilliant star. A clump of gas and dust that once was destined to shine in the constellation Ophiuchus seems to be disintegrating, astronomers say, and will never become a star at all. The clue comes from the cloud's chemicals. To create a star, a cloud collapses and grows dense; chemical reactions in the dense gas then form compounds of sulfur and oxygen. European astronomers have found that a clump of gas in the dark Pipe Nebula—shown here and visible to the unaided eye—is rich in sulfur oxides, a sign the clump was once dense. But now the clump is diffuse, suggesting outside forces are shattering it and have dashed any hopes of stardom. Located 450 light-years from Earth and dubbed core 47, the starless object is one of more than a hundred clumps embedded in the Pipe Nebula, which stretches across 55 light-years but has yet to spawn many stars, making it a perfect place to study the first stages of star birth—and star failure.
See more ScienceShots.