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

The visionaries who are taking a leap in dark

The ultimate theatre show comes to the Young Vic in the story of an astronomer who is going blind. By Michael Coveney
Out of this world: John Mackay as Max in 'Going Dark'

The visionaries who are taking a leap in the dark

The ultimate total-theatre show comes to the Young Vic

Meteor sparks hunt to find 'secrets from birth of the Earth'

The sight of a flaming meteor shooting across the night sky – and sparking fears a passenger aircraft was about to crash – has kicked off a treasure hunt for secrets about the birth of the Earth.

Hunt is on for meteor 'treasure'

The sight of this meteor shooting across the night sky sparked fears that a passenger jet was about to crash – then triggered a treasure hunt.

The Woman Who Went To Bed For A Year, By Sue Townsend

"They lapsed into sullen silence, each knowing that, if certain words were said, it would be like leaving the comparative safety of a muddy trench at Ypres and going over the top to the carnage of the battle field." You can see the dazzling brilliance of that sentence, whatever emotional viewpoint you are squinting from.

Star spangled: telescopes in Chile's Atacama Desert

The best places on earth to see the sky at night

With the Patrick Moore Planetarium in Leicester inspiring a new generation of stargazers, Aaron Miller finds ways to let you get close to the wonders of our cosmos

Research matters: Behind every breakthrough lies first-class infrastructure

World-class research needs facilities that evolve and keep pace with its advances

Stephen Hawking a 'genius of Nobel Prize calibre'

Stephen Hawking is a "genius of Nobel Prize calibre" who has done more to popularise physics than anybody else, Professor Brian Cox said.

Comet Lovejoy whose surface temperatures can reach 6,000C

Picture Of The Day: Comet's close encounter has a sting in its tail

With Comet Lovejoy being little more than a giant snowball, scientists held out little hope for it when it flew close to the Sun, whose outer surface temperatures can reach 6,000C. It had, so the theory went, a snowball's chance in hell.

Kepler-22b, a planet known to comfortably circle in the habitable zone of a sun-like star. It is the first planet that NASA's Kepler mission has confirmed to orbit in a star's habitable zone - the region around a star where liquid water, a requirement for life on Earth, could exist

Nasa telescope finds Earth-like planet

Nasa has found a new planet outside Earth's solar system that is eerily similar in important aspects.

Cloud cover: the Caldera de Taburiente

Star struck: Above the clouds in the Canaries

From volcanoes and ancient forests to the stars in the night sky, there's plenty to lure adventurous families to the steep little island of La Palma.

Star gazers prepare for Perseid meteor shower

Skywatchers were today given advice on how to enjoy this year's display of Perseid meteors despite a full moon.

Why we can't get enough of The Red Planet

Reaction to this week's Nasa newsflash reminds us that Mars still occupies a unique place in mankind's imagination. Steve Connor celebrates a special relationship

The Big Splat: collision may have created lopsided Moon

The Earth may once have had two moons which collided several billions of years ago – not so much with a bang but with a "splat" – to form the lopsided lunar landscape that exists today, scientists said.

How It Ends, By Chris Impey

This is a cheery work from a US astronomer about the death of everything. Displaying an adroit turn of phrase ("Nature is parsimonious... Think of your atoms as hand-me-downs"), Impey showers the reader with terminal revelations.

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