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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
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...
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...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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ScienceShot: Giving Birth at 10 Million Years Old
30 January 2013 5:30 pm
By its 10-millionth birthday, a typical star has left its reproductive years behind. The hydrogen that surrounds it has finished condensing into gas giants, leaving the star to spend retirement drifting through its galactic neighborhood surrounded by its offspring. But the European Space Agency (ESA)'s Herschel telescope has spotted a stellar late bloomer living only 176 light-years away: TW Hydrae, a 10-million-year-old star still orbited by enough material to give birth to 50 planets the size of Jupiter. ESA and NASA scientists measured the light emitted by the hydrogen deuteride—a heavier form of hydrogen—in the planet-forming disc around the star (artist's impression above), which allowed them to precisely calculate the disc's mass. By applying this new technique to other stars, researchers can begin to understand just how diverse stellar families are. So will TW Hydrae ever become a parent? Check back in 176 years.
See more ScienceShots.