Cleaning Up Fish Farms
Protecting Cows—and People—from a Deadly Disease
Where Have All the Bees Gone?
Frogs and Toads
Salamanders and Newts
Poison Dart Frogs
Lives of a Mole Rat
Pollution at the ends of the Earth
Calculating crime
The Disappearing Newspaper
Chemistry and Materials
Spinning Clay into Cotton
Earth-Friendly Fabrics
Sticky Silky Feet
Nonstop Robot
Computers with Attitude
Galaxies on the go
Dinosaurs and Fossils
An Ancient Spider's Web
The bug that may have killed a dinosaur
A Big, Weird Dino
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Earth Rocks On
A Dire Shortage of Water
Giving Sharks Safe Homes
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Lessons from a Lonely Tortoise
When Fungi and Algae Marry
Finding the Past
Watching deep-space fireworks
Traces of Ancient Campfires
Stonehenge Settlement
Puffer Fish
Food and Nutrition
Healing Honey
How Super Are Superfruits?
Eat Out, Eat Smart
GSAT English Rules
Problems with Prepositions
Subject and Verb Agreement
Capitalization Rules
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Mastering The GSAT Exam
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GSAT Exam Preparation
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How a Venus Flytrap Snaps Shut
Deep-space dancers
Human Body
Prime Time for Broken Bones
A Fix for Injured Knees
A Long Trek to Asia
Hermit Crabs
Polar Bear
Sea Lions
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
How children learn
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
Black Hole Journey
Electric Backpack
The Pressure of Scuba Diving
Farms sprout in cities
Plants Travel Wind Highways
Fast-flying fungal spores
Sea Turtles
Space and Astronomy
Dark Galaxy
Return to Space
Wrong-way planets do gymnastics
Technology and Engineering
Dancing with Robots
Roll-Up Computer Monitors to Go
Musclebots Take Some Steps
The Parts of Speech
What is a Preposition?
What is a Noun
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Seen on the Science Fair Scene
Charged cars that would charge
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A Dire Shortage of Water
Recipe for a Hurricane
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Black Holes That Burp

It wouldn’t be very pleasant to go near a black hole. Armed with an enormous amount of gravitational pull, the incredibly tiny but supermassive object would swallow you alive and stretch you into a piece of spaghetti in the process. Black holes are black because they engulf everything in sight, including light. Now, scientists say, it looks like some black holes actually spit out as much material as they suck in. Black-hole burps may even fill outer space with many of the building blocks of life. The new observations come with the help of NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton satellite. George Chartas of Pennsylvania State University and his colleagues used the spacecraft to look at two quasars—extremely bright and distant beams of high-energy light powered by rotating black holes. By looking at magnified light from the two quasars, Chartas and his team were able to detect for the first time high-energy winds coming out of black holes. The winds travel at 20 to 40 percent of the speed of light (which is still really, really fast). And they spit out billions of suns worth of gas, including oxygen, carbon, and iron—important elements necessary for life. So, even though black holes make up only a tiny percentage of a galaxy’s mass, they may play an important role in galaxy evolution. Still, with all the sucking, spitting, and burping they do, it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to try to look inside a black hole, even if you could get close enough!—E. Sohn

Black Holes That Burp
Black Holes That Burp

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