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Life under Ice
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When Fungi and Algae Marry
Finding the Past
A Long Haul
Digging Up Stone Age Art
Untangling Human Origins
Fish
Manta Rays
Flashlight Fishes
Perches
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Symbols from the Stone Age
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Subject and Verb Agreement
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Human Body
Electricity's Spark of Life
Spit Power
Music in the Brain
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Roundworms
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Lynxes
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Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
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How children learn
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Echoes of a Stretched Egg
Hold on to your stars, ladies and gentlemen
Einstein's Skateboard
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Hungry bug seeks hot meal
A Giant Flower's New Family
Flower family knows its roots
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Space and Astronomy
A Great Ball of Fire
No Fat Stars
An Icy Blob of Fluff
Technology and Engineering
Supersuits for Superheroes
Squeezing Oil from Old Wells
Spinach Power for Solar Cells
The Parts of Speech
What is a Verb?
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Transportation
Flying the Hyper Skies
Robots on the Road, Again
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Where rivers run uphill
Antarctica warms, which threatens penguins
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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