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

Serendipity: A meteoric demise?

LAYERS of rock represent moments in history, with each layer representing a more ancient time than the layer above it. The date of the death of the dinosaurs can be pinpointed because there is a sharp transition between layers of rock that are rich in fossils and higher layers that are devoid of fossils. This transition can be dated to 65 million years ago, but for a long time scientists had no idea of the speed of the transition. Did the dinosaurs die off over the course of a few years or a few thousand years?

Scientists lose huge asteroid

ASTRONOMERS HAVE lost track of an asteroid hundreds of metres wide that could devastate the Earth in 50 years' time. Still, they are not unduly worried: instead they are concentrating on the other 178 lumps of rock that might destroy us first.

Letter: Intergalactic news

Letter:

Chip off the moon fetches pounds 9,200

A TINY fragment of the Moon, 1.75 centimetres long and weighing just 0.71 grams, was sold at auction for pounds 9,200 yesterday.

Commons debates the deadly danger of asteroids

MEMBERS OF Parliament will have an opportunity today to discuss the end of the world as we know it, when they debate the prospect of the Earth being hit by an asteroid.

Internet: Sites Of The Week

www.phrack.com

Mars mission to be rehearsed in Arctic crater

IT IS remote, desolate, inhospitable and very cold - just the place to build a prototype space base for the first inhabitants of Mars, scientists have decided. The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) has chosen a barren island in the Canadian Arctic as the closest earthly parallel to a Martian landscape.

Nasa loses control of asteroid probe

SCIENTISTS HAVE lost contact with a pounds 138m space probe designed to rendezvous with an asteroid the size of central London next month.

Nasa probe approaches asteroid

THE FINAL approach has begun to put a spacecraft in orbit around an asteroid for the first time, in a manoeuvre that could one day result in robots mining the mineral-rich rocks of space.

Podium: Science cannot predict the future

From a lecture by the professor of geography at University College, London, to the Annual Festival of Science

Mythological Notes: Henny-Penny discovers Atlantis

IN THE English fairy tale, Henny-Penny was hit on the head by a falling object, and then set off with Cocky-Locky, Ducky-Daddles, and the rest of the tongue-twisting farmyard crew, to warn the king that "the sky's a-going to fall". What was the reason for this paranoid behaviour? Surprisingly, the answer can be found in the famous legend of the lost island of Atlantis.

Jupiter's rings formed by cosmic crash

THE RINGS of Jupiter were formed as a result of cosmic collisions between the planet's moons and the space rubble left over from the birth of the Solar System.

Mars rock to fetch astronomical sum

A DESERT prospector is set to become a millionaire as British scientists prepare to announce today that a meteorite found in the Sahara desert came from Mars.

Euro rocket will X-ray asteroid

ASTEROID collisions with earth are the stuff of Hollywood movies, but now a group of British scientists are hoping for an impact of a different kind.

Science: Tell me about ... Catastrophism

BEFORE 1830, everyone was a catastrophist. The theory that most of the features in the Earth were produced by sudden, short-lived, worldwide events, tied in perfectly with the Christian fundamentalism that dominated thinking in the West.
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