News An aerial picture of the Grand Canyon in Arizona from around 30,000 feet (10,000m)

It was thought that the global landmark was perhaps 70million years old

Discovery of water vapour on dwarf planet Ceres could give clues to the origins of life on Earth

Scientists say it's too early to say whether Ceres could support microbial life, but a visit from the Dawn spacecraft in early 2015 should provide answers

'Hello, world!': Space probe Rosetta wakes up and calls home before embarking on its comet-landing mission

The signal came at 18:16 GMT. Rosetta, the comet-chasing space probe launched by the European Space Agency a decade ago, had woken up.

An artist's impression of Rosetta releasing it's on board robot Philae which will land on the comet's surface

Will the Rosetta spacecraft wake up today after two-year sleep? It is due to make 24,600mph comet landing

The vessel is being woken, hopefully, by the 'most important alarm clock in the solar system'

Authorities extended a danger zone around a rumbling volcano in western Indonesia after it spewed blistering gas farther than expected, sending panicked residents streaming down the sides of the mountain

Cloud of destruction: 20,000 evacuated as Mount Sinabung volcano erupts in Indonesia

Blistering gas sent panicked residents streaming down the sides of the mountain

£2bn Gaia space probe blasts off on five-year mission to map a billion stars

It is also expected to discover thousands of previously unknown objects

Geminid meteor shower 2013: up to 120 meteors an hour expected Saturday morning

The annual Geminids are the most massive regular meteor shower

Artistic illustration of Europa's icy surface with a water jet in the foreground and Jupiter and the Sun in the background

New research raises hopes of finding alien life on Jupiter's icy moon Europa

Scientists believe life may exist within underground ocean - living off minerals and using tidal heat as a source of energy

Scientists say life could have been seeded between Earth and other terrestrial bodies in the Solar System

Asteroid which wiped out dinosaurs 'could have sent life to Mars'

US research shows there is a ‘better than 50/50’ chance that life was seeded between bodies in the Solar System

Indonesian volcano erupts

Thousands flee as one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes erupts

The alert status for one of the archipelago’s most active volcanoes was raised to the highest level on Sunday after the mountain repeatedly sent hot clouds of gas down its slope following a series of eruptions in recent days.

Black Beauty rock is ‘oldest chunk of Mars’ ever found on earth, scientists say

New research shows distinctive rock is more than twice as old as previously thought – and could expose signs of ancient Martian life

Six-tailed asteroid leaves astronomers ‘dumbfounded’

The unusual object has been compared to a "rotating lawn sprinkler" and has led astronomers to develop a new theory of how asteroids 'die'

The impact site of the main mass of the Chelyabinsk meteorite in the ice of Lake Chebarkul

'A warning for Earth': Meteor blast over Siberia was equivalent to 30 Hiroshima bombs

People directly under its flight were knocked off their feet and many others suffered sunburn or eye damage as they looked at the intense fireball

A large, rocky asteroid is what is left of a watery world that may once have been a habitable planet

In a galaxy far, far away... a water world capable of supporting life

Astronomers find the first rocky planet with vast oceans beyond our Solar System

Temperatures on Earth will soar and seas evaporate leaving the planet lifeless

The good news: Earth can support life for 1.75bn years. The bad news: Climate change could wipe us out first

Scientists calculate planet’s leave-by date, and identify other worlds where life may develop

Scientists find cosmic factory for building blocks of life

The origins of life on Earth have mystified and fascinated scientists for centuries. Now, researchers believe they have added a vital piece to the jigsaw with the discovery that, under certain circumstances, collisions between icy comets and planets produce amino acids, the basic building  blocks of life.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried