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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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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.