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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
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,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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ScienceShot: Compact Solar System Could Fit Inside Mercury's Orbit
15 October 2012 1:56 pm
The paths of the sun's planets take up billions of kilometers of space, but now astronomers using NASA's Kepler spacecraft (shown) have spotted an alien solar system with five planets whose orbits could all fit inside a region that's just a quarter the size of Mercury's path. Kepler found the planets going around the star KOI 500 by detecting the tiny dips they cause when they pass in front of their sun, dimming its light ever so slightly. The planets are somewhat larger than Earth, and all five make Mercury, the sun's fastest planet, which whirls around our star every 88 days, seem like a laggard. Their years are just 1.0, 3.1, 4.6, 7.1, and 9.5 days long, so they're the perfect place to reside if you like frequent birthday parties—and can stand the heat.
See more ScienceShots.