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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.

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Dawn gets closer views of Ceres

5 February 2015 Astronomy Now

Now just one month away from entering into orbit around Ceres, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft reveals new pictures and a movie — the sharpest images to date of the Texas-sized dwarf planet.

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A new VISTA through the Milky Way

4 February 2015 Astronomy Now

While mapping the central regions of the Milky Way in infrared light searching for new and hidden objects, the 4.1-metre VISTA telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile looked through a familiar object to wonders beyond.

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Ageing Mars rover could be shut down

4 February 2015 Stephen Clark

NASA’s Opportunity Mars rover and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, working well past their expected lifetimes, could be shut down in fiscal year 2016 as the agency tries to balance funding for older missions and development of modernised new space probes, officials said Monday.