Keeping Bugs Away from Food
Treating peanut allergy bit by bit
Watering the Air
Salamanders and Newts
Frogs and Toads
Roach Love Songs
Ultrasonic Frogs Raise the Pitch
Hearing Whales
Listening to Birdsong
Mice sense each other's fear
The Smell of Trust
Chemistry and Materials
Hitting the redo button on evolution
Sticky Silky Feet
Undercover Detectives
Programming with Alice
Batteries built by Viruses
Secrets of an Ancient Computer
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Downsized Dinosaurs
Some Dinos Dined on Grass
Did Dinosaurs Do Handstands?
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Deep History
Bugs with Gas
In Antarctica watch the heat (and your step)
A Change in Time
The Wolf and the Cow
A Newspaper's Hidden Cost
Finding the Past
A Big Discovery about Little People
Prehistoric Trips to the Dentist
Preserving Ancient Warrior Paint
Hammerhead Sharks
Bull Sharks
Food and Nutrition
Strong Bones for Life
Healing Honey
Eat Out, Eat Smart
GSAT English Rules
Who vs. Whom
Problems with Prepositions
Subject and Verb Agreement
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Scotiabank Jamaica Foundation Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) Scholarships
Mastering The GSAT Exam
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GSAT Exam Preparation
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Math and our number sense:
Math Naturals
Play for Science
Human Body
Workouts: Does Stretching Help?
A New Touch
Walking to Exercise the Brain
Giant Clam
Hermit Crabs
Yorkshire Terriers
Sea Lions
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Gaining a Swift Lift
Einstein's Skateboard
Speedy stars
A Giant Flower's New Family
Getting the dirt on carbon
When Fungi and Algae Marry
Space and Astronomy
Super Star Cluster in the Neighborhood
Black Holes That Burp
An Earthlike Planet
Technology and Engineering
Space Umbrellas to Shield Earth
Young Scientists Take Flight
Roll-Up Computer Monitors to Go
The Parts of Speech
What is a Noun
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
What is a Preposition?
Where rivers run uphill
Revving Up Green Machines
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
Earth's Poles in Peril
Antarctica warms, which threatens penguins
The Best Defense Is a Good Snow Fence
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No Fat Stars

There's a limit to how big most things can get. Some people are really tall, but no one is as tall as a house. Cats can get really fat, but there's never been a tabby as heavy as a truck. And so on. Now, astronomer Don Figer of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore has discovered that the size of a star may have a limit, too. No stars in our galaxy, he estimates, can weigh more than 150 times the mass of our sun. This conclusion comes from observations of an area near the center of the Milky Way called the Arches cluster. The cluster is between 2 million and 2.5 million years old, and stars are still forming there. It contains about 2,000 stars. Figer thought that the Arches cluster would be a good place to search for the galaxy's biggest stars because it's still fairly young. Massive stars have short lives, so it wouldn't make sense to look at a cluster that was much older than Arches. It also wouldn't make sense to look at much younger ones because stars in young clusters are still hideen behind gas and dust. The Arches cluster was also promising because it's big. Its total mass is that of about 10,000 suns. In theory, it could hold at least 18 stars weighing more than 130 times the mass of the sun. Using the Hubble Space Telescope to gauge the weight of hundreds of stars in the Arches cluster, Figer found no stars this big. This means, he concluded, that there must be an upper limit to the size of a star—perhaps about 150 times the sun's mass. Astronomers are just beginning to understand the processes behind star birth. No one yet knows what determines the limits on their growth. Figer plans to study clusters of different ages to find out more.—E. Sohn

No Fat Stars
No Fat Stars

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