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Photos from Rosetta’s Valentine’s Day comet close-up

17 February 2015 Stephen Clark

Europe’s Rosetta spacecraft — six months into its research mission at comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko — made its closest flyby of the comet’s boulder-strewn nucleus Saturday, capturing new photos and measurements to help scientists unravel how the duck-shaped body is evolving on its orbit around the sun.

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ALMA sees super stellar nurseries at heart of starburst galaxy

16 February 2015 Astronomy Now

Starburst galaxies transmute gas into new stars up to 1,000 times faster than typical spiral galaxies like the Milky Way. To try and understand why, an international team of astronomers used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimetre Array (ALMA) to dissect a cluster of star-forming clouds at the heart of NGC 253 — one of the nearest starburst galaxies.

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The day it rained fire over Chelyabinsk

15 February 2015 Keith Cooper

Two years ago, on February 15th, the morning routine of the Chelyabinsk region in Russia was shattered by the arrival of a 20-metre-wide meteoroid that dramatically fragmented in the atmosphere. The ensuing shockwave shattered windows, damaged buildings and 1,491 people received injuries. What have we learned since 2013?

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How to prevent another Chelyabinsk

14 February 2015 Keith Cooper

The Chelyabinsk event two years ago heightened public awareness of the threat posed to humanity by an asteroid strike, but what can be done to prevent it happening again? The forthcoming Sentinel Space Telescope and ATLAS Project will hopefully prevent us being caught off guard.

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Rosetta approaches comet 67P for a closer look

14 February 2015 Stephen Clark

The Rosetta spacecraft neared its comet Saturday, targeting a close flyby within six kilometres of the tiny world’s jagged nucleus to gain new up-close views of the comet and taste the growing vaporous cloud surrounding it.

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Google gives Lick Observatory $1 million

10 February 2015 Astronomy Now

Recent budget cuts suggested a bleak outlook for Lick Observatory atop Mount Hamilton in California, but a substantial gift from internet giant Google gives this historic teaching and research facility hope for a brighter future.