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Insects Take a Breather
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World’s largest lizard is venomous too
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Fog Buster
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Earth from the inside out
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Ancient Critter Caught Shedding Its Skin
Big Fish in Ancient Waters
Watery Fate for Nature's Gliders
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Slower Growth, Greater Warmth
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Flower family knows its roots
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A Newspaper's Hidden Cost
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A Vulture's Hidden Enemy
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Ancient Cave Behavior
Stonehenge Settlement
Untangling Human Origins
Fish
Puffer Fish
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Barracudas
Food and Nutrition
The Essence of Celery
A Pepper Part that Burns Fat
How Super Are Superfruits?
GSAT English Rules
Problems with Prepositions
Subject and Verb Agreement
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GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
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GSAT Mathematics
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
Math is a real brain bender
Math of the World
Human Body
Dreaming makes perfect
Hey batter, wake up!
Foul Play?
Invertebrates
Octopuses
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Parents
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
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Black Hole Journey
Echoes of a Stretched Egg
Road Bumps
Plants
Sweet, Sticky Science
Pumping Up Poison Ivy
Assembling the Tree of Life
Reptiles
Black Mamba
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Space and Astronomy
Dark Galaxy
Sun Flips Out to Flip-Flop
Saturn's New Moons
Technology and Engineering
Beyond Bar Codes
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
Switchable Lenses Improve Vision
The Parts of Speech
Adjectives and Adverbs
Pronouns
Problems with Prepositions
Transportation
Ready, unplug, drive
Charged cars that would charge
Revving Up Green Machines
Weather
The solar system's biggest junkyard
Polar Ice Feels the Heat
Where rivers run uphill
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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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