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Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
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Slip Slidin' Away—Under the Sea
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Traces of Ancient Campfires
Oldest Writing in the New World
Sahara Cemetery
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Flashlight Fishes
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Food and Nutrition
The Color of Health
Turning to Sweets, Fats to Calm the Brain
In Search of the Perfect French Fry
GSAT English Rules
Whoever vs. Whomever
Problems with Prepositions
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2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
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42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
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It's a Math World for Animals
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A Better Flu Shot
Spit Power
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Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
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Project Music
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Tracking the Sun Improves Plant Pollen
White fuzzy mold not as friendly as it looks
Making the most of a meal
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An Earthlike Planet
Tossing Out a Black Hole Life Preserver
Holes in Martian moon mystery
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Smart Windows
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Riding Sunlight
The Parts of Speech
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Where rivers run uphill
Reach for the Sky
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
Weather
The solar system's biggest junkyard
A Dire Shortage of Water
Either Martians or Mars has gas
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Solving a Sedna Mystery

Orbiting beyond Pluto, a planetoid called Sedna has aroused plenty of curiosity—and created some confusion—since its discovery last year. It's the most-remote object known in the solar system. Astronomers have been especially frustrated by their inability to find a moon around the distant object. The first observations had suggested that there ought to be one. These observations appeared to show that Sedna spins very slowly, just once every 20 days. Only the tug of a little moon could explain this lazy spin rate. Images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, however, failed to turn up a moon. Now, researchers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., say they have solved the puzzle. New measurements show that Sedna doesn't spin so slowly after all. Using a highly sensitive telescope on Mount Hopkins in Arizona, the astronomers measured periods of brightness and darkness on Sedna. The results showed that the planetoid spins some 50 times faster than previous estimates had suggested. Elsewhere, researchers turned up other interesting news about Sedna. Contrary to earlier assumptions, they found that Sedna doesn't appear to have any ice on its surface. That's strange because it's very cold so far away from the sun. And Pluto, which is closer to the sun, has lots of ice on it. So does Pluto's moon, Charon. The explanation for this mystery, the scientists suggest, is that Sedna used to have an icy surface. However, constant bombardment by cosmic rays and the sun's ultraviolet light produced a dark coating instead. Because Pluto and Charon orbit closer to the sun than Sedna, they might encounter more debris than Sedna does. Frequent collisions with this debris could then either prevent a dark coating from forming or deliver fresh ice to their surfaces.—E. Sohn

Solving a Sedna Mystery
Solving a Sedna Mystery








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