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

White dwarf explodes in the galaxy next door: Type 1a supernova spotted in Galaxy M82

The stellar explosion is the closest to be spotted since 1987 and will provide a 'galactic yardstick' for astronomers judging distances across the universe

Discovery of water vapour on dwarf planet Ceres could give clues to the origins of life on Earth

Scientists say it's too early to say whether Ceres could support microbial life, but a visit from the Dawn spacecraft in early 2015 should provide answers

'Hello, world!': Space probe Rosetta wakes up and calls home before embarking on its comet-landing mission

The signal came at 18:16 GMT. Rosetta, the comet-chasing space probe launched by the European Space Agency a decade ago, had woken up.

An artist's impression of Rosetta releasing it's on board robot Philae which will land on the comet's surface

Will the Rosetta spacecraft wake up today after two-year sleep? It is due to make 24,600mph comet landing

The vessel is being woken, hopefully, by the 'most important alarm clock in the solar system'

The James Webb telescope in pictures: Building a machine to see the beginning of the universe

The Webb Space Telescope is scheduled to launch in 2018, building upon the work of the Hubble Space Telescope to look even deeper into the Universe - see below for pictures of this incredible and complex device

On Wednesday the moon will appear to be 4 per cent smaller than usual as it reaches its apogee

Mini-moon: the smallest moon of 2014 will appear in skies on Wedneday evening

The moon will reach its apogee three hours after it rises

Tatsuya Kawajiri (back) fights Sean Soriano during their UFC Fight Night Singapore featherweight bout at Marina Bay Sands on January 4, 2014 in Singapore

Christmas arrives in space: ISS astronauts receive fresh fruit, 800 ants and 28 'doves'

The privately-launched Cygnus cargo ship delivered critical supplies as well as long-awaited gifts from the astronauts' families

The third test flight of the commercial spaceship took it to a record 71,000 feet

Virgin Galactic spaceline launches third successful test flight to reach record heights

The firm hopes to take first ever tourists to space later this year. Onboard cameras were able to capture its rocket-powered engine, the first time it has been used

Viewers of Lap of the Planet will be taken on a live trip around Earth

Channel 4 to broadcast programme live from the International Space Station

Lap of the Planet is due to air in March with two other space spin-offs planned

New 'Hand of God' photo captured by Nasa

NuSTAR captures dead star and distant black holes

Rare treat: A display of Northern Lights at Erikslund, northern Sweden

Northern Lights may be seen in Britain tonight

A coronal mass ejection two days ago could make the aurora visible

Map of Universe accurate to 1% offers insight into dark energy and the curvature of spacetime

Map uses 'cosmic ripples' created by the formation of the Universe to create a 'standard ruler' to measure distances between 1.2 million galaxies

Johannes Kepler's 442nd birthday: Google Doodle celebrates 17th-century mathematician, astronomer and astrologer

Johanes Kepler, who was born on 27 December 1771, was born near Stuttgart and made his foray into astronomy after he worked as a maths teacher in Graz, Austria - where he became an associate of Prince Hans Ulrich von Eggenberg.

Solar flares have the capacity to create super-storms that trigger electricity blackouts

British space-weather centre will give advance protection from solar super-storms

Britain will next year have its own space-weather centre for predicting the arrival of solar “super-storms” that can trigger electricity blackouts across whole cities and knock out GPS satellites, the Government will announce today.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

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The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

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Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

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Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor