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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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Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
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Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

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Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
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The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
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A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
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Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
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Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
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Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
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Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum
France's Front National and the fear of a ‘gay lobby’ around Marine Le Pen

Front National fear of ‘gay lobby’

Marine Le Pen appoints Sébastien Chenu as cultural adviser