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

Harry Mulisch: Novelist whose work was suffused with his memories of the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands

"She loved the modern Dutch literature, probably because, with the exception of a few authors, it is made up solely of a type of book designed for sophisticated young people which nobody reads after 25." So observes the narrator of Harry Mulisch's novel Two Women (1975). Despite his having started to write prolifically soon after the war, that sophisticated lesbian melodrama had been his only substantial work to finds its way into English until, in his fifties, he had international success with The Assault (1982). Leanly told, and slickly filmed a few years later, that bestselling novel is far from typical of a restless spirit who, forever haunted by the Occupation, throve upon writing in many forms and taking a different approach with each book, all of which, along with a sedulously projected public persona, made him the Anthony Burgess of the Netherlands.

Allan Sandage: Astronomer widely acknowledged as among the most outstanding of the 20th century

Allan Sandage, widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential astro-nomers of the 20th century, played an integral part in increasing our understanding of the scale of the universe and determining the Hubble Constant, which describes the universe's expansion.

The Black Cloud, By Fred Hoyle

Sir Fred Hoyle was a mathematician and astronomer of the front rank, whose theory of how elements are formed – in stars, from hydrogen – was resoundingly right (although he seems to have been resoundingly wrong in dismissing the "Big Bang" theory, as he sarcastically dubbed it). He was also a sci-fi writer of some renown, and this is a welcome reprint of his best-known work, from 1957.

Hubble: Why the world-famous telescope will go out in a blaze of glory

When it blasted off 20 years ago, few thought it would succeed. But it showed us a universe we didn't know existed, says Nick Harding

Starburst observed 30 years ago may hide 'nearby' black hole

Astronomers believe they have witnessed the birth of a nearby black hole, formed when a massive star collapsed in on itself creating a gravitational field so strong that not even light could escape. The collapsed star, which was 20 times more massive than the Sun, created a stellar explosion, or supernova, in the M100 galaxy in the Virgo cluster, 50 million light years from Earth.

Is anybody out there – with a soul?

The galaxy could be filled with dozens of planets capable of supporting life, according to a new study. But finding ET would force many of us to think the theologically unthinkable, argues David Whitehouse.

Scientists get glimpse of universe as it was 13 billion years ago

The most distant object ever discovered takes researchers closer to the Big Bang

Serpentine's new marathon takes topographical route

The latest Serpentine Gallery annual “marathon” – a marathon series of debates by over 50 artists, poets, writers and philosophers, among others- takes places in London this weekend. The subject matter? Maps.

Not too hot, not too cold: could the 'Goldilocks' planet support life?

Astronomers excited by world 120,000 billion miles away in the Libra constellation

Leading article: Rife for life

For anyone living in the twilight world of the Earth, there must be something very reassuring about the discovery of a planet which could hold life in a zone between dark and light, hot and cold. It is in this intermediate part, say the scientists, that conditions could be right to provide the water and atmosphere necessary for life. Not necessarily a nice place to live or with beings to inhabit it, add the astronomers. But life nonetheless.

The water of life: A small world with huge potential

In the icy oceans of Enceladus, one of Saturn's tiny moons, scientists believe that there is proof that aliens exist. So why are there no plans to return to this mysterious miniature world?

A Place Of Secrets, By Rachel Hore

"How tiny and random are the events that shape our destiny". So begins Rachel Hore's intriguing Richard and Judy recommended read, which is layered with a series of mysteries, some more supernatural than others.

Astronomers discover 'monster' stars

Astronomers have discovered "monster" stars - whose size and brightness exceed what many scientists thought was possible.

Planet winds of 6,200mph

A powerful storm on a planet in another solar system has been spotted by astronomers. Winds blowing at 6,200mph were detected on the distant world, which orbits a Sun-like star 150 light years away. The "exoplanet" HD209458b has about 60 per cent the mass of Jupiter and is located near the constellation of Pegasus. Circling its parent star at just a 20th of the distance between the Earth and the Sun, it is heated to a temperature of 1,000C. But since the planet always has the same side facing the star, one half is very hot while the other is much cooler. "On Earth, big temperature differences inevitably lead to fierce winds, and as our new measurements reveal, the situation is no different on HD209458b," said Dr Simon Albrecht, one of the scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, US, whose research is reported in the journal Nature.

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Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
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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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The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
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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
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
'Enhanced interrogation techniques?' When language is distorted to hide state crimes

Robert Fisk on the CIA 'torture report'

Once again language is distorted in order to hide US state wrongdoing
Radio 1’s new chart host must placate the Swifties and Azaleans

Radio 1 to mediate between the Swifties and Azaleans

New chart host Clara Amfo must placate pop's fan armies
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

The head of Veterans Aid on how his charity is changing perceptions of ex-servicemen and women in need