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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: How to Tie a Ribbon Round the Solar System
5 February 2013 4:10 pm
More than 3 years ago, stunned space physicists reported the discovery of a narrow band of sky lit up in the cameras of the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) like some Milky Way on fire. High-powered hydrogen atoms, rather than light, were streaming toward the Earth-orbiting spacecraft from near where the sun's wind of charged particles encounters the magnetic field that courses between the stars. A dozen theories later, a pair of IBEX researchers report this week in The Astrophysical Journal that the interstellar magnetic field (thin gray lines wrapping around the region filled by solar wind) may be temporarily trapping and concentrating out-bound particles. The trapping would be most effective where the solar wind squarely crosses interstellar magnetic field lines (gray "life preserver"). IBEX would "see" particles that escape the trap in the sun's direction as the ribbon, here rendered in reds, yellows, and greens. The craft should thoroughly test the trapping idea as the sun's activity varies in the years ahead.
See more ScienceShots.