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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: How to Paint the Moon
19 July 2012 2:09 pm
Lunar swirls—wispy splotches of lighter surface material tens of kilometers across—were enigmatic enough when first seen from Earth. But then robotic probes discovered that every lunar swirl sits beneath a bubble of magnetic field. How could such a small, weak "mini-magnetosphere" fend off the onrushing solar wind that should have uniformly darkened the lunar surface over the eons? Scientists working in a "solar wind tunnel" in the lab have now shown that, in fact, it isn't the magnetic field that deflects the rock-darkening protons of the solar wind. By creating an artificial solar wind and firing it at a centimeter-scale magnetic field, they demonstrated that a thin electric-field layer created by the collision of the solar wind with the magnetic field is up to the job of deflecting high-speed protons. In a paper to be published in Physical Review Letters, they note that this sort of deflector—hugely scaled up from the lab—might serve to protect astronauts on the moon or in deep space from hazardous radiation storms.
See more ScienceShots.