European comet-tracker 'Rosetta' springs back into action

Alan Pickup tracks the European Space Agency craft as it pursues its icy target on a headlong dive into the Sun

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University of Texas astronomers discover possible sister to Earth's sun

A star has been found that may be a sister of our Sun, born in the same cloud of gas and dust in our galaxy, the Milky Way. The Sun, the Earth and the other planets coalesced some 4.54 billion years ago within a such a cloud, probably with thousands of other stars. This age comes from radiometric measures of radioactive isotopes and their decay products in meteorites, the oldest rocks we can handle, while there is plenty of observational evidence for ongoing star formation elsewhere in the galaxy.

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Previously unobserved meteor shower headed Earth's way

A previously unobserved meteor shower may stream from the northern sky on the morning of 24 May to produce perhaps the year's best display. Observers in N America may enjoy an excellent view but, sadly, its climax is predicted to occur after daybreak for Britain.

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India goes to Mars

Two projects taking advantage of a three-week optimum launch window for flights to Mars – including India's first interplanetary mission

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New comet likely to impress when it passes closest to Earth in December

A comet found recently beyond the orbit of Jupiter could well become spectacular late next year and may be a sibling of one of the most celebrated comets of all time.

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