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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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ScienceShot: One Black Hole Won't Ruin Your Day
22 March 2012 3:30 pm
A black hole hitting Earth sounds like the ultimate doomsday scenario. But it probably won't hurt much, say researchers who created computer simulations to see what would happen if a puny primordial black hole, born just after the big bang, struck our planet. If they exist, such black holes constitute some of the galaxy's dark matter; they're much smaller than the black holes we know about, having the masses of asteroids but the diameters of atomic nuclei. As the scientists will report in The Astrophysical Journal, the hypothetical black hole would zip through Earth in about a minute, barely shaking the world's surface the way a very weak earthquake would. Larger primordial black holes would shake the ground more but are thought to be much rarer. Don't stay up waiting for those tremors, however: Even collisions with the smallest and most common primordial black holes should happen no more than once every few million years. That's good news for everyone, except those who'd like to see whether these exotic objects really exist.
See more ScienceShots.