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

Between the Covers 21/10/2012

The award for the most eccentric and wonderful book launch party of the year so far goes to Carlton Books' The Cosmic Tourist: The 100 Most Awe-Inspiring Destinations in the Universe (£25) by Chris Lintott, Brian May and Sir Patrick Moore.

Let gifted students swap universities, says Lord Rees

Students from disadvantaged backgrounds should be able to swap universities after two years and transfer to a Russell Group institution if they show talent, according to one of the country's top scientists.

Scientists find Earth-like planet Alpha Centauri Bb in neighbouring star system but rule-out possibility of life thanks to its 1,500C surface

The planet is the closest and smallest among about 800 'exoplanets' that scientists have identified beyond the Solar System since 1995 when they detected the first extra-solar planet.

'Armchair astronomers' discover planet with four suns

A planet with four suns has been identified by two “armchair astronomers”.

The interior of the planet 55 Cancri e - an extremely hot planet with a surface of mostly graphite surrounding a thick layer of diamond

Newly discovered 'super-Earth' is made of diamonds, say scientists

It may not twinkle like a star but it is still a diamond in the sky according to astronomers who have found a rocky planet similar to Earth but made of the precious gemstone.

The spiral around the red giant R Sculptoris is probably caused by a hidden companion star

Highest telescope reveals wonders of the Universe

A stunning image of a spiral shell of cosmic dust and gas around a red giant star was captured by astronomers using the world's highest terrestrial telescope.

Astronomers using data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope caught two clusters full of massive stars

Starstruck: Hubble captures colliding clusters

Astronomers at Nasa did a double take when they saw this image captured by the Hubble Space Telescope.

Relatives of Pinochet's victims search the desert for shards of bone ... the remnants of their loved ones

Nostalgia for the Light, Patricio Guzman, 90 mins, (12a)

On the high wastes of the Atacama, General Pinochet built his death star

Japanese astronomers claim to have found 'earliest galaxy'

A team of Japanese astronomers using telescopes on Hawaii say they have seen the oldest galaxy, a discovery that is competing with other “earliest galaxy” claims.

Indian sky watchers witness the Transit of Venus

A rare celestial spectacle, the Transit of Venus, unfolded in the morning sky across India yesterday.

The rare celestial display will not be visible again until 2117 and 2125

Astronomers around the UK prepare to see a rare celestial display – the transit of Venus

Stargazers will hope the clouds part tomorrow at 5am to allow them to see the planet cross the Sun

Howard Jacobson: I've played only once, but I'm a lifelong cricketer

What’s charming about cricket’s fraternity is it has a keen sense of the ridiculous and excludes no one

New perspective on Milky Way

Around one billion stars in the Milky Way can be seen together for the first time in an image captured over a decade by astronomers.

Galileo blasts through launch problems

The first satellites in the EU's navigation system are in orbit, after years of wrangling over cost and security. By Mark Leftly reports
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A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
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sport
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Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
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A small bag of the drug Ecstasy
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Floral-print swim shorts, £26, by Topman, topman.com; sunglasses, £215, by Paul Smith, mpaulsmith.co.uk
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'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
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Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

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Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
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Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

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A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
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The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
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Gallery rage

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Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
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Women's rugby

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