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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
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...
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...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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ScienceShot: Light From Beyond the Universe's Dark Side
11 January 2013 12:15 pm
Most galaxies belong to large structures called superclusters (bright filaments seen in this simulation), which are separated by enormous voids (dark areas above) that harbor few galaxies at all. A galaxy's gravity can magnify the light of objects beyond it, so logically voids should do the opposite, dimming galaxies behind them. Now, however, new calculations in Physical Review Letters demonstrate "the bright side of voids": Because voids lack the gravitational pull of matter to restrain the universe's expansion, they expand faster than the overall cosmos, producing a Doppler shift that overwhelms the dimming and causes objects on a void's far side to look a few percent brighter than they otherwise would. Voids occupy more than half of the universe's volume, the researchers note, and should make some supernova explosions seem more powerful than they actually are. In fact, astronomers may have already unknowingly detected this effect, because they've observed that the peak brightness of what should be uniformly luminous supernovae varies more from explosion to explosion in isolated galaxies, which are more likely to lie on the edge of a void, than in galaxies residing in clusters.
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