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

Kabul Stories

In the tough, day-to-day life of Kabul, military reservists are learning skills that will bring them promotion in their real jobs at home, says Raymond Whitaker

Stars and planets: September

The migrant's masks

A journey of a writer who dwells both on the surface and in the deep

Twin eruptions threaten chaos for Ecuador

THE SMALL and economically racked Latin American nation of Ecuador may be hit by two simultaneous volcanic eruptions. A red alert had already been declared around one, Tungurahua, and 20,000 people evacuated from their homes when another, known as Guagua ("Baby") Pichincha, began threatening the capital, Quito, home to 1.2 million people.

Leading article: Heavenly omens

SHOOTING STARS are one of the most spectacular sights in astronomy and, like most celestial events, they attract their own brand of superstition. When the Leonid meteors come crashing through our skies tonight they should, if the clouds part, produce more than a dozen streaks a minute. Spectacular yes, but not quite the show of 1833 when the Leonids caused thousands of shooting stars to fall like a heavenly fountain, leading many to believe that the Day of Judgement was at hand.

Charles Cording

Sir: In his letter entitled "NHS is good value" (15 November), Dr Scammell refers to the "phobia" that the political parties have about spending public money on services we want. This is no phobia; the notion that public spending is in some way intrinsically bad and that private finance is unquestionably good is an example of a quasi-axiom, or "quaxiom".

Serendipity An explosive theory

LAST WEEK I visited the "Full Moon" exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in London, which displays just a tiny fraction of the 32,000 photographs taken by the Apollo astronauts between 1967 and 1972. It is a spectacular array of images, dismissing the myth that grey is necessarily dull. Unfortunately, the exhibition closes today, and so if you want to see it, you will have either to dash down to the South Bank this afternoon, or else buy the book, entitled Full Moon, by Michael Light.

Search engines: Serendipity - Life on Mars

THE UNLUCKIEST dog in history died on 28 June, 1911 in the town of Nakhla, Egypt. According to onlookers, it was struck by a rock from outer space, part of a meteor shower that peppered the region. Despite the dog's death, the Nakhla meteorite was a cause for celebration, because it was to play a major role in the story of extra-terrestrial science.

Spin that's out of this world

ASTRONOMERS HAVE captured detailed images of a big asteroid that missed the Earth by 5.3 million miles - about 20 times further away than the Moon - as it passed by this month.

Outlook: Next promotion

Outlook: Next promotion

`Red ten' means a global catastrophe

A DANGER scale has been devised to assess the potential devastation that could result from a collision between an asteroid and Earth.
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