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12 December 2013 1:00 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
Stefan Behnisch has won awards for designing science labs and other buildings that are smart, sustainable, and...
The iconic 125-year-old Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton near San Jose, California, is facing the threat of closure...
Recent results from the Curiosity Mars rover have helped scientists formulate a plan for the next phase of its mission...
A new, remarkably powerful drug that cripples the hepatitis C virus (HCV) came to market last week, but it sells for $...
In pretoothbrush populations, gumlines would often be marred by a thick, visible crust of calcium phosphate, food...
Evolutionary biologists have long studied how the Mexican tetra, a drab fish that lives in rivers and creeks but has...
Victorian astronomers spent countless hours laboriously charting the positions of stars in the sky. Such sky mapping,...
In an ambitious project to study 1000 years of sickness and health, researchers are excavating the graveyard of the now...
- 12 December 2013 1:00 pm , Vol. 342 , #6164
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ScienceShot: Built by Black Holes?
2 February 2012 4:10 pm
Scientists have long speculated that supermassive black holes, which have large gravitational fields and are suspected to reside in the centers of many large galaxies, disrupt nearby clouds of dust and gas, thereby hindering the formation of new stars. But new images of the galaxy Centaurus A (left) taken with cameras onboard the Hubble Space Telescope suggest that black holes can play a constructive role as well, researchers report in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. A close-up of a 3000-light-year-long filament of ionized gas in the galaxy (green smudges at right, and boxed area at left) reveals a cluster of young stars (bright, blue-white dots at bottom) at the end of the filament nearest the galaxy's central black hole. The researchers suggest that those fledgling stars, estimated to be less than 10 million years old, formed when a jet of material driven from the black hole slammed into the gas cloud, compressing and heating it to the point where the stars ignited.
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