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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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee