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Microbes at the Gas Pump
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Salamanders and Newts
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Insects Take a Breather
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A Spider's Taste for Blood
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Why Cats Nap and Whales Snooze
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Pain Expectations
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Nanomagnets Corral Oil
Meteorites may have sparked life on Earth
Bang, Sparkle, Burst, and Boom
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The Book of Life
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Music of the Future
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Have shell, will travel
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2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
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Detecting an Eerie Sea Glow
On the Trail of America's Next Top Scientists
Hints of Life in Ancient Lava
Environment
Forests as a Tsunami Shield
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Fishing for Fun Takes Toll
Finding the Past
Words of the Distant Past
A Long Trek to Asia
A Plankhouse Past
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Whale Sharks
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Recipe for Health
Symbols from the Stone Age
The mercury in that tuna
GSAT English Rules
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How are students placed after passing the GSAT exam
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10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
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2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
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10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
Math and our number sense: PassGSAT.com
It's a Math World for Animals
Human Body
Tapeworms and Drug Delivery
Spitting Up Blobs to Get Around
A Sour Taste in Your Mouth
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Fleas
Tarantula
Camel Spiders
Mammals
African Hyenas
Persian Cats
Mongooses
Parents
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
Children and Media
Physics
Hold on to your stars, ladies and gentlemen
Strange Universe: The Stuff of Darkness
Speedy stars
Plants
Getting the dirt on carbon
Bright Blooms That Glow
Flower family knows its roots
Reptiles
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Space and Astronomy
A Smashing Display
Galaxies Divide Sharply Along Color Lines
Planets on the Edge
Technology and Engineering
Beyond Bar Codes
Model Plane Flies the Atlantic
Supersuits for Superheroes
The Parts of Speech
Adjectives and Adverbs
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
What is a Verb?
Transportation
Middle school science adventures
How to Fly Like a Bat
Flying the Hyper Skies
Weather
Where rivers run uphill
In Antarctica watch the heat (and your step)
The solar system's biggest junkyard
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Ready, Set, Supernova

Stars explode all the time in outer space, but astronomers usually see the explosions only after they've happened. One type of stellar explosion, called a supernova, can glow for days or even months. Now, for the first time, scientists have actually caught a star in the act of going supernova. The research team was using NASA's Swift spacecraft to study a galaxy called NGC 2770. They had aimed the spacecraft's X-ray telescope at a recently discovered supernova. Supernovas are dramatic explosions that happen when a really big star (as least eight times as big as our sun) runs out of fuel. Exploding stars release a lot of energy, much of it in the form of X rays. Just as the telescope began observing the target supernova, the spacecraft recorded a fresh batch of X rays coming from another region in the same galaxy. The X-ray burst lasted for about 7 minutes. Although no supernova was visible, these scientists suspected they had just witnessed the beginning of a star undergoing such a catastrophic explosion. Using the Gemini North telescope on the Hawaiian mountain Mauna Kea, the researchers then took another look at the same spot in the sky as where the X-ray burst had been. The region is now called SN 2008d. There they saw a visible-light display, which confirmed that a supernova had indeed occurred. Astronomers usually can't spot supernovas until the stars send out large amounts of visible light. By then, however, key information about early stages of the explosive process has vanished. In the case of SN 2008d, the energy and length of the initial release of X rays suggest that the star was compact. Also, it hurled out lots of gas—called a stellar wind—from its surface before it went supernova. For decades, scientists predicted that supernovas would send off X rays right before exploding. Now they finally have evidence that they were right. The new discovery suggests that astronomers might be able to use wide-angle X-ray telescopes to catch the very beginnings of hundreds of supernova explosions each year.—Emily Sohn

Ready, Set, Supernova
Ready, Set, Supernova








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