News

Luhman 16B is the nearest brown dwarf to Earth, and the third nearest star system to our solar system

White dwarf explodes in the galaxy next door: Type 1a supernova spotted in Galaxy M82

The stellar explosion is the closest to be spotted since 1987 and will provide a 'galactic yardstick' for astronomers judging distances across the universe

On Wednesday the moon will appear to be 4 per cent smaller than usual as it reaches its apogee

Mini-moon: the smallest moon of 2014 will appear in skies on Wedneday evening

The moon will reach its apogee three hours after it rises

Map of Universe accurate to 1% offers insight into dark energy and the curvature of spacetime

Map uses 'cosmic ripples' created by the formation of the Universe to create a 'standard ruler' to measure distances between 1.2 million galaxies

Johannes Kepler's 442nd birthday: Google Doodle celebrates 17th-century mathematician, astronomer and astrologer

Johanes Kepler, who was born on 27 December 1771, was born near Stuttgart and made his foray into astronomy after he worked as a maths teacher in Graz, Austria - where he became an associate of Prince Hans Ulrich von Eggenberg.

Solar flares have the capacity to create super-storms that trigger electricity blackouts

British space-weather centre will give advance protection from solar super-storms

Britain will next year have its own space-weather centre for predicting the arrival of solar “super-storms” that can trigger electricity blackouts across whole cities and knock out GPS satellites, the Government will announce today.

£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

Crab Nebula: Noble gas molecules detected in space for the first time

Molecular ions of argon hydride were detected in supernova remnant

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

Nasa's Hubble telescope finds signs of water on five distant planets

The water signatures are hazy due to atmospheric conditions, but scientists are 'very confident' that it exists

Comet ISON enters the field of view of the European Space Agency/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory

Comet Ison: Blow for stargazers as 'comet of the century' destroyed by the Sun

It was hoped that the comet would provide a spectacular sight in the sky next month - but the signs indicate that it had been burned up on its journey

In this composition image from Nasa, Comet Ison (bottom right) moves towards the sun

Comet Ison: Hope for 'comet of the century' after encounter with the Sun

Astronomers tracking the “comet of the century” believed it had flown too close to the Sun and had broken up, but hopes have now been reignited that part of it may have survived its close encounter.

TV Review - Light and Dark, BBC 4

Jim Al-Khalili's new two-part physics documentary Light and Dark had a scope that seemed just a little ambitious for two hours of television. "Light and Dark is essentially the story of everything we know and everything we don't know about our universe." So that's pretty much everything, then, Jim? Yet rather than the confusion of ideas you might expect, Al-Khalili's documentary illuminated a scientific story with its own, rather beautiful, internal logic.

Comet ISON latest: 'comet of the century' begins to brighten as it nears the Sun

The icy object might become the brightest comet of the century if it survives its 'sungrazing' journey through our solar system

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'

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
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How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz