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Just when British astronomers thought it was safe to go back into the sky… Plus, the discovery of tiny bones in Micronesian caves sends hobbit-watchers into a flap

By Philip Ball   April 2008

A ray of hope for astronomers

Having come to expect bad news, British astronomers were given a ray of hope in February, when the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) reversed its decision to withdraw from the Gemini project. Gemini’s telescopes in Chile and Hawaii offer peerless views of the entire sky at visible and infrared wavelengths, and the original decision of the STFC was seen as devastating.

But sadly it’s now business as usual, as the STFC has said that the e-Merlin project is threatened with closure even before it starts. e-Merlin is an upgrade of Merlin, a system…

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