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

Video: Meteor crashes towards Earth

This amazing video shows a meteorite crashing towards earth in the city of Cusco, Peru.

Terrifying, beautiful and deadly

Indonesia's mount Lokon spewed hot lava and volcanic ash 1,500 metres into the sky in the north of Sulawesi island yesterday, prompting panicked residents to flee the area.

Villas-Boas was always 'determined to be the best'

Andre Villas-Boas was "determined to be the best" from the moment he embarked upon a career in coaching, according to the man who helped him gain his Uefa badges.

Tom Sutcliffe: We're addicted to the Andy McNab factor

Social Studies: There are times when the highest virtue is to be a man of inaction

We're all aliens... how humans began life in outer space

The mystery of how the building blocks of biology came to be on Earth may finally have been solved

Leading article: Bolt from the blue

Once upon a time there was the Big Bang theory of the origins of the universe. Now, you could say, we have another, more local, "big bang" – for the origin of life on Earth. According to scientists in Arizona, the crucial components necessary for life to start may not have been generated by our own planet in the first instance, but come from somewhere deep in outer space, carried by the barrage of meteorites that crashed into the earth four billion years ago. The key is the discovery that a meteorite was capable of providing nitrogen-containing ammonia.

Japan volcano erupts again

A volcano in southern Japan erupted today with its biggest explosion yet, shooting out a huge plume of gas, boulders and ash and breaking windows five miles away.

Meteors: what kills also creates

The idea of a single meteor strike causing a mass extinction has taken a long time to find acceptance. But now, says Ted Nield, we should realise that what kills also creates

The Stars: December

After midnight on 13 December, look out for what promises to be the year's best meteor shower.

Brian Marsden: Astronomer who played a central role in Pluto's downgrading to dwarf-planet status

The British-born astronomer Brian Marsden, Emeritus Director of the Minor Planet Centre (MPC), once famously – but wrongly – warned of an asteroid collision with Earth. He also helped demote Pluto to "dwarf planet" status and accurately predicted the return of Comet Swift-Tuttle.

Last Night's TV: Wallace and Gromit's World of Invention/BBC1<br />Horizon: Asteroids &ndash; the Good, the Bad and the Ugly/BBC2

I don't mean to be harsh, but I think Wallace's future as a television presenter is limited, despite the fact that he appears to have his own television studio in the basement. It isn't just that he has a face for radio – with his chiclet teeth and his permanently astonished gaze – but there's also the question of his reaction times. He can appear spontaneous, it's true, but it takes a team of three people working for a fortnight to make him so, which is always going to make things tricky when it comes to topical content. Hardly surprising, then, that in Wallace and Gromit's World of Invention he's only supplying fairly minimal links to filmed reports – heavy on the bad puns and relatively light on the elaborate ingenuity which fans have come to associate with one of Aardman's leading stars. If you were hoping for 30 minutes of animation you will have been disappointed, because Wallace and Gromit are here only as a kind of novelty wrapping paper for the sort of technological curiosity that would have once filled out the lighter stretches of Tomorrow's World.

Silver found on Moon &ndash; and you thought it was made of cheese

An ambitious attempt to discover the contents of a lunar crater by crash landing a spent rocket has revealed a "treasure chest" of elements on the Moon.

Amol Rajan: Let the axe fall on stale metaphors

This week, what passes for political debate in this country has, according to its protagonists, been a "soap opera" between "old", "new" and "next" Labour. Last week, everything hinged on whether or not the Coalition's Budget was "progressive". A few weeks earlier, acres of newsprint addressed our Prime Minister's use of the phrase "middle class". Nobody knows what any of these terms mean, least of all those who initially submitted them for public consideration. "Progressive" is related somehow to protecting the poor; "middle class" is so abused and polysemous as to be nothing more than a badge of honour among the unthinking rich. Our political language is not in a good state.

Errors & Omissions: It may be hypothetical, but it's still completely wrong

"Begging the question" is one of the permanent fixtures of pedantry. We are forever pointing out that very few people know what "beg the question" means. When people use it they invariably mean "raise the question".

Rock star portraits: Unlocking asteroid secrets

Fragments from lost worlds or chunks of metal flying through space? Understanding asteroids is a difficult business, but hi-tech photography is helping unlock new secrets.
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newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
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Scientist have developed a test which predicts whether you'll live for another ten years
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Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
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news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
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Jihadi John
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Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
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Homer’s equation, in an episode in 1998, comes close to the truth, as revealed 14 years later
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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn