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The month ahead

Cosmology, cosmetics and more

By Anjana Ahuja   December 2011

Astronomers working on Nasa’s Kepler mission—launched in 2009 to spot habitable planets in our galaxy—will take stock at a meeting from 5th-9th December at the Ames Research Centre in California. The orbiting telescope, which has already prompted astronomers to widen the variety of stars thought capable of supporting life, caused a sensation earlier this year by detecting a planet orbiting two suns. A cosmic revelation or two would round off the year nicely, as well as being handy for soliciting federal funds to extend Kepler’s three-and-a-half year lifespan.

An unusually sleek bunch of geeks will be in New…

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