Agriculture
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Protecting Cows—and People—from a Deadly Disease
Flush-Free Fertilizer
Amphibians
Frogs and Toads
Bullfrogs
Toads
Animals
Vent Worms Like It Hot
Fishing for Giant Squid
Fishy Cleaners
Behavior
Night of the living ants
Bringing fish back up to size
A Global Warming Flap
Birds
Parrots
Geese
Nightingales
Chemistry and Materials
The hottest soup in New York
Makeup Science
The Taste of Bubbles
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Play for Science
Troubles with Hubble
Programming with Alice
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Tiny Pterodactyl
Meet the new dinos
Middle school science adventures
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Earth
Greener Diet
What is groundwater
Plastic-munching microbes
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Pollution Detective
Missing Tigers in India
What is groundwater
Finding the Past
Fakes in the museum
Meet your mysterious relative
Chicken of the Sea
Fish
Electric Eel
Catfish
Cleaning Up Fish Farms
Food and Nutrition
Strong Bones for Life
The mercury in that tuna
Healing Honey
GSAT English Rules
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Pronouns
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2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Mastering The GSAT Exam
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GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
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Math is a real brain bender
Secrets of an Ancient Computer
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Human Body
Teen Brains, Under Construction
Sea Kids See Clearly Underwater
Cell Phones and Possible Health Hazards
Invertebrates
Centipedes
Caterpillars
Crustaceans
Mammals
Rodents
Whales
Mongooses
Parents
Children and Media
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
How children learn
Physics
Gaining a Swift Lift
Electric Backpack
Invisibility Ring
Plants
Underwater Jungles
Getting the dirt on carbon
Hungry bug seeks hot meal
Reptiles
Gila Monsters
Boa Constrictors
Chameleons
Space and Astronomy
Tossing Out a Black Hole Life Preserver
A Moon's Icy Spray
Zooming In on the Wild Sun
Technology and Engineering
Riding Sunlight
Slip Sliming Away
Spinach Power for Solar Cells
The Parts of Speech
Problems with Prepositions
What is a Noun
Pronouns
Transportation
Reach for the Sky
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
Revving Up Green Machines
Weather
Watering the Air
Warmest Year on Record
A Dire Shortage of Water
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Hold on to your stars, ladies and gentlemen

We live on Earth, which orbits the sun. Our sun is really a star, one of the hundreds of billions in our galaxy, the Milky Way. Our galaxy has a few galactic neighbors, and together we’re called the Local Group. Until recently, scientists thought that our beloved galaxy was about half as massive as Andromeda, a nearby galaxy in the Local Group. They also thought the Milky Way was spinning slower than our neighbors. Just as it’s difficult to tell how large the ocean is when you’re in the middle of it floating on a raft, scientists have been mistaken about the size of the Milky Way. Based on new information, astronomers — scientists who study the universe — have produced a new map of the Milky Way. It turns out our galaxy is about 50 percent more massive and spinning about 100,000 miles per hour faster than scientists thought. These two measurements are connected: The more mass a galaxy has, the faster it spins. Our galaxy, far from being the littlest member of the Local Group, is actually one of the fastest-spinning and most massive. The new study suggests that our galaxy has as much mass as roughly 3 trillion suns, That’s about as hefty as Andromeda, which the Milky Way now ties with as the largest member of the Local Group. The new measurements also mean that these two galaxies will smash into each other earlier than astronomers thought. (But don’t worry — that’s not for a long, long time.) The new study also turned up surprising findings about the shape of the Milky Way. Astronomers found that our galaxy has four arms. Two of them contain all kinds of stars (like the sun), and two of them contain only newborn stars. The researchers were also able to count how many times each arm wound around the galaxy’s center. To study the Milky Way, astronomers led by Mark Reid of Harvard University used an unusual type of telescope called a radio telescope. Instead of looking into the sky for visible light — like we see in the night sky — these telescopes measure the radio waves that move through space. On Earth, we use radio waves to send information through the air. In space, however, cosmic objects also send out radio waves, though they tend to be spaced much closer together than the radio waves we use on Earth. When astronomers use light telescopes, they can’t see through thick layers of dust in space. But when they use radio telescopes, dust isn’t a problem, and astronomers can “hear” what’s going on in space. In this study, astronomers listened to regions of the galaxy where the radio waves were amplified, or increased, by clouds of methanol gas. By measuring how fast the sources of these waves moved through the sky, scientists were able to calculate the speed of the galaxy. And from the speed, they were able to better estimate the galaxy’s mass. The new, more accurate map of our galaxy may lead to a new understanding of it. A more accurate mass will give scientists clues about how our galaxy has changed over time. But some astronomers say that more research needs to be done before we’re sure what, exactly, the Milky Way looks like.

Hold on to your stars, ladies and gentlemen
Hold on to your stars, ladies and gentlemen








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