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5 November 2014

At http://phys.org/print333876505.html … in 2029, the asteroid Apophis is due to pass within 35,000km of the Earth – which is fairly close. What effect will it have? Well, a computer simulation by space scientists suggests that Earth's gravity will cause landslides – on the asteroid. The assumption behind the model is that gravity is the most potent thing to take into consideration. What if Apophis is accompanied by several smaller object in resonant orbit with the asteroid. How might it cope with Earth's magnetosphere? These questions will be asked prior to the event but at the moment scientists are more interested in what will happen on the asteroid.

Meanwhile, at http://phys.org/print334256268.html … a hydrogen gas cloud was about to be eaten by the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way. No such thing occurred so scientists have come up with a different idea – it was a binary star in the act of forming a single new star choked in gas and dust in the process. In other words, they are still looking at what seems to be a cloud of hydrogen gas but one that was not served on the expected menu.

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