Science: When Gum Glowed

The journal Archaeology usually concerns itself with down-to-earth matters, but a recent issue contains an appeal that reaches rather far out. In a letter to the magazine, Astronomers John C. Brandt, Stephen P. Maran and Theodore Stecher ask archaeologists for help in determining the age of a giant celestial gas cloud. Known as the Gum Nebula, the cloud has been attracting more than usual attention among astronomers. At its center, some 1,500 light-years away from earth, they have discovered a pulsar —a neutron star that emits regularly spaced radio signals. What possible information could archaeologists offer? Quite a bit, the astronomers...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!