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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
Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
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The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
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Novak Djokovic has been attending the Buddhapadipa Temple for quiet contemplation for several years
wimbledonBuddhapadipa Temple is regular refuge for the world No 1
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Kissing
life
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wimbledonScot will face Ivo Karlovic next
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Lewis Hamilton takes pole on front of his home fans
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British singer 'Lonelady' performing in Bourges (Getty)
musicMONEY, Lonelady, Dr Meaker... Which ones have you heard of?
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'