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Articles about Comet

The Register breaking news

Comet Lovejoy spotted plunging toward fiery doom

The comet Lovejoy has been snapped by ESA and NASA's SOHO spacecraft merrily continuing on its path to obliteration in the Earth's sun. Comet Lovejoy plunging towards the Sun Comet Lovejoy plunging towards the Sun. Credit: SOHO/LASCO (ESA/NASA) Lovejoy, first spotted on December 2, is on a course to plunge destructively …
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Current Comet owner hit with half year loss

Kesa Electricals, the for-the-moment owner of UK retailer Comet, has announced a loss for the first six months of the fiscal year, as consumer appetite for big electronics flags. The group made a loss before tax of €147.7m in the six months to the end of October this year, compared to a profit of €27.2m in the same period of …
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Comet sheds 450 jobs in biz survival struggle

Laid-up retailer Comet plans to axe 450 engineering and support workers, slashing costs and safeguarding "the long-term viability of the business", it said. The firm was finally sold a week ago to private equity house Op Capita for £2 with former parent Kesa Electricals also coughing £63m for a dowry, some £13m more than was …
Paul Kunert, 10 Feb 2012
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Comet cuts jobs as sales fall

Kesa Electrical – the owner of Comet – said today it is shutting distribution centres and laying off 150 staff after a quarter of falling sales. Kesa said the quarter ended 30 April 2011 saw Comet's like-for-like sales fall 15.2 per cent. Excluding a government-sponsored multi-media initiative which started in the fourth quarter …
John Oates, 11 May 2011
The Register breaking news

Teen tags disintegrating comet

It started as a work experience project, and ended with congratulations from the International Astronomical Society: an 18-year-old Cardiff high school student has discovered an unusual fragmenting comet. Hannah Blyth of St Johns College at Cardiff was working with the Faulks Telescope Project’s summer work experience program, …
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Kesa shells out £50m to offload Comet

Kesa Electricals has coughed £50m to exit its loss-making UK retail arm Comet, with private equity firms Hailey Holdings and Hailey Acquisitions taking on the 248-strong chain. Under the terms of the deal, which is subject to shareholder approval, the buyers – who were advised by private equity house OpCapita – will pay a …
Paul Kunert, 09 Nov 2011
The Register breaking news

Earth escapes obliteration by comet

NASA has released another statement on Comet Elenin, the totally insignificant comet it keeps giving out statements about, to say that it has broken up into "smaller, even less significant, chunks of dust and ice". "This trail of piffling particles will remain on the same path as the original comet, completing its unexceptional …
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Major Comet investor backs sale

Major Kesa Electricals' shareholder Knight Vinke will back the proposed sale of ailing retailer Comet providing it can be signed and sealed quickly with a decent return for investors. According to reports last weekend, the near 20 per cent stakeholder asked Comet parent Kesa to shelve plans to flog the business, which reported …
Paul Kunert, 06 Jul 2011
The Register breaking news

COMET WILL DEFINITELY NOT HIT EARTH – NASA

Rather worryingly, US space agency NASA has out of the blue issued a strident denial that an approaching comet poses any threat to planet Earth. "COMET ELENIN POSES NO THREAT TO EARTH," begins the NASA statement emailed to the Register. "Often, comets are portrayed as harbingers of gloom and doom in movies and on television, …
Team Register, 17 Aug 2011

US skywatchers get Earth's first peek at new meteor shower

Astronomers, both professional and amateur, are gearing up for the first glimpse of a meteor shower as our planet moves thought the trail of a recently discovered visitor from the stars. Comet 209P/LINEAR was first spotted in 2004, and was first thought to be a large asteroid or minor planet – but as it fell sunwards it began to …
Iain Thomson, 23 May 2014
Comet Siding Spring. Pic: NASA

Why did Comet fail? Hint: It wasn't just the credit insurers

Comet's fiscal light was burning less brightly well before OpCapita entered its orbit, but the venture capitalist's involvement snuffed it out entirely. Signs that all was not well can be traced back to 2008, when Comet's profit before tax tumbled from £56m to £25m. In successive years it posted losses of £8m, £3m and finally £ …
Eddie Pacey, 22 Nov 2012
The Register breaking news

Comet owner boosted by closure rumours

Kesa Electricals – the owner of Comet – has seen its shares jump almost 8 per cent today, on rumours that it may close the UK chain Comet and return to its roots in France. Kesa said last week that UK trading had been poor, while French revenue, through the Darty chain, was up 5 per cent despite the downturn. Group like-for-like …
John Oates, 16 May 2011
The Register breaking news

Water like that of Earth's oceans found in comet

Ice found in a comet supports the theory that the earth's oceans were delivered to the planet in the form of crashing comets. It is thought that the Earth's oceans formed about 8 million years after the planet did, and scientists have long suggested comets as a cause. Many comets contain ice - unlike asteroids which are largely …
Anna Leach, 05 Oct 2011
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Hungry bidders pick up Comet's blood trail

Restructuring specialists and private equity investors are among the suitors bidding to acquire flagging UK retailer Comet. According to reports in The Sunday Times, US investment house Gordon Brothers and Op Capita, one-time owner of Habitat and MFI tabled offers last week as the first round of the divestment process began. …
Paul Kunert, 25 Jul 2011
The Register breaking news

Meteor shower falls from Halley’s Comet on Saturday

Professional and amateur astronomers will have their eyes on the skies this weekend, watching for the annual Orionids meteor show as our planet passes through the tail of Halley’s Comet. The annual show lasts around a week and reaches its peak this weekend, when the Earth and Moon pass through the cone of debris left by Halley’s …
Iain Thomson, 21 Oct 2011
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Comet can't sell anything, including itself

Kesa Electricals has vowed to determine the future ownership of UK subsidiary Comet before Christmas, having failed so far to flog the business to interested parties. The European retailer today filed numbers for its fiscal first quarter – from the start of May to the end of July – with group sales down 10 per cent. However …
Paul Kunert, 15 Sep 2011
ISEE-3 hackers prepare to reboot spacecraft

Space hackers prepare to reactivate antiquated spacecraft

A team of space enthusiasts has picked up the first new contact with International Sun/Earth Explorer 3 (ISEE-3) probe and is preparing to fire its boosters for the first time since 1987, after a team of privateers crowdsourced over $125,000 for the project. ISEE-3 hackers prepare to reboot spacecraft ISEE-3 hackers prepare to …
Iain Thomson, 20 May 2014
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Comet in bad way after big losses

Comet is consolidating warehouses, service centres, shedding jobs at HQ and setting plans in motion to close or flog a load of stores after reporting substantial losses today. The UK arm of parent Kesa Electricals saw sales drop nearly seven per cent in constant currency to €1.8bn (£1.53bn) and posted losses of €10.3m (£8.9m) …
Paul Kunert, 22 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

Deep space COMET FLYBY: First PICS

NASA's former Deep Impact comet-bomber space probe, since renamed EPOXI* and reassigned to rendezvous with a second space snowball, has made a successful close pass by the comet Hartley 2. Comet Hartley 2 pictured by the EPOXI mission. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UMD Extraplanetary spaceball paparazzo-shot wondrousness. "The …
Lewis Page, 04 Nov 2010
isee3

It's alive! Space hackers fire up zombie Sun probe's engines

An international team of space geeks has successfully fired up the engines of long-defunct NASA satellite ISEE-3. Now the gang says it'll try to kick the bird into an Earth orbit that will enable it to carry on performing the mission it was launched for 36 years ago. ISEE-3 team celebrates Team celebrates the rocket's red …
Iain Thomson, 07 Jul 2014
The Register breaking news

EPOXI set to give comet some stick

NASA's EPOXI spacecraft is gaining fast on comet Hartley 2, ahead of a scheduled close approach tomorrow at around 14:00 GMT. At the appointed hour, EPOXI will pass within 700 kilometers (435 miles) of the comet's nucleus, while its two imagers and single infrared instrument capture intimate data. EPOXI image of Hartley 2. Pic …
Lester Haines, 04 Nov 2010

Space geeks' resurrected NASA Sun probe ISEE-3 now on collision course with THE MOON

The attempt by a team of crowdfunded space hackers to recover one of NASA's most historic satellites has run into problems: the spacecraft's engines are stubbornly refusing to fire, leaving it on a possible collision course with the Moon. The ISEE-3 reboot Team Space hacking team has the right stuff Last week the team …
Iain Thomson, 11 Jul 2014
The Register breaking news

Comet bomber flyby pics show spaceball belching ancient dry ice

Excellent snaps sent back by a NASA probe craft during a rendezvous with the comet Hartley 2 have revealed that the spectacular "jets" of glowing gas which make it so spectacular result from dry ice subliming in its interior. The nucleus of comet Hartley 2 belching dry ice, imaged by the EPOXI spacecraft. Credit: NASA/JPL- …
Lewis Page, 11 Nov 2010
The Register breaking news

NASA craft to woo comet on Valentine's Day

NASA's venerable Stardust spacecraft will on Valentine's Day burn its remaining fuel to approch and photograph comet Tempel 1, marking the end of a 12-year, 3.7 billion-mile odyssey. At 16:37 GMT, Stardust will pass within 124 miles of the comet, grabbing 72 "high-resolution images during the encounter", while attempting to " …
Lester Haines, 20 Jan 2011
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Credit insurance: The hidden data-driven force which killed Comet

A quick look at what happened to high street electronics retailer Comet when its credit insurers slammed their wallets shut should be enough to get any IT business interested in cash-flow, insurance and credit lines. But while credit and cash-flow are often seen as stale subjects, they can be the lifeblood of business - almost …
Eddie Pacey, 16 Nov 2012
The Register breaking news

Comet-bomb interceptor makes low pass above Atlantic

A NASA space probe famous for bombing a comet five years ago made a final "flyby" past Earth last night, changing its orbit around the Sun with the aid of the planet's gravity. The renamed "EPOXI" craft (formerly "Deep Impact") swooped low just 19,000 miles above the South Atlantic at 11pm UK time last night. Orbits of EPOXI, …
Lewis Page, 28 Jun 2010
The Register breaking news

3-million-km-long comet plunges into Sun

Boffins in California report that they have managed to track the course of an unusually resilient comet as it crashed deep into the Sun before finally being crisped. "We believe this is the first time a comet has been tracked in 3-D space this low down in the solar corona," says Claire Raftery, a post-doctoral researcher at UC …
Lewis Page, 25 May 2010
comet

Dark matter killed the dinosaurs, boffins suggest

Comets may not be the product of the Sun exerting its influence over rocks in the Oort Cloud, but may instead be pushed Earth-wards by dark matter. So say Lisa Randall and Matthew Reece from Harvard's Department of Physics, in a paper titled “Dark Matter as a Trigger for Periodic Comet Impacts”. The pair write that “Large …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Mar 2014
The Register breaking news

Stardust comet hunter drifts off into space

The last transmission from NASA's comet-hunting Stardust came last night at 23:33 GMT, as the venerable spacecraft ended its career with a "burn to depletion maneuver". The veteran of two cometary encounters – with Wild 2 and Tempel 1 – provided NASA with valuable last data on just how much fuel it had left in its tanks as it …
Lester Haines, 25 Mar 2011
Farquhar, his family, and ISEE-3

IT'S ALIVE! ISEE-3 responding to commands

The crowd-funded group that's seeking to revive the ISEE-3 probe is crowing, and no wonder: they have tentatively taken control of a spacecraft once thought to be beyond help. ISEE-3, the 1978-launched Sun-studying-come-comet-chasing NASA deep space probe, is heading Earthwards, but until the reboot project got off the ground, …
Farquhar, his family, and ISEE-3

Privateers race to capture forgotten NASA space probe using crowdsourced cash

A team of engineers who helped decode archaic NASA data has moved onto hardware, and is trying to find the cash to recapture the International Sun/Earth Explorer 3 (ISEE-3) probe – the first spacecraft to pass through the tail of a comet – as it swings by Earth. isee3 ISEE-3 under construction at NASA, back when disco was born …
Iain Thomson, 25 Apr 2014
NASA 'Blue Marble' image of Earth taken on December 7, 1972, by the crew of the Apollo 17 spacecraft

Mars rover Curiosity snaps 'pale blue dot' image of Earth, Moon

NASA's Jet propulsion Laboratory has published the first image of the Earth and Moon taken from one of the camera systems aboard the Curiosity rover. We look very small indeed. Earth from Mars You are here (click to enlarge) Curiosity's mast camera took the picture of us on Sol 529 of its mission to Mars (January 31 in …
Iain Thomson, 07 Feb 2014
Santa Claus on his laptop

Boxing Day sales bubble boosts Dixons - but don't hit the champers just yet

UK saps shoppers spent more than £100,000 a minute at Dixons Retail during the Boxing Day sales helping to drag it into growth during the Christmas quarter for the second consecutive year. But CEO Sebastian James held off talking up any recovery given the torrid time that many electronics retailers have faced in the past four …
Paul Kunert, 16 Jan 2014
2001: A Space Odyssey

Deep Impact succumbs to 'HAL bug' as glitch messes with antenna

NASA has stopped trying to contact Deep Impact, the comet-pronging probe that in 2005 dropped an “impactor” the size of a coffee table onto comet Tempel-1. The space agency's explanation for the decision will be familiar to anyone that has read or watched 2001: A Space Odyssey: a software glitch means the spacecraft can't point …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Sep 2013

Dixon, Carphone hand their numbers to world +dog before the wedding

Dixons (excluding the impact of disposals) and Carphone Warehouse today reported profit spikes for fiscal '14 in what will be the last set of annual results the pair announce before the £3.7bn borg set for calendar Q3. The European Commission yesterday gave the thumbs-up for the merger to go ahead, creating a £12bn retailing …
Paul Kunert, 26 Jun 2014
The Register breaking news

Halley's comet is actually ALIEN VISITOR

Halley's comet and other famous objects in our solar system may in fact have formed in orbit around alien suns far off across the vast gulfs of interstellar space, according to new research. Comets, Halley's in particular, are old friends of the human race and their regular appearances in the inner solar system are thought to …
Lewis Page, 11 Jun 2010
GM's J1772 e-car connector

Comet opens e-car power car park

If you're delaying the purchase of a leccy car because of the cost of the juice, then electrical retailer Comet may have a solution: free power. Comet_EV_01 Plug it in while you load it up From today, Comet will offer customers free e-car power from "Plug & Go" points located in the car park of its Purley Way superstore in …
Alun Taylor, 11 Jun 2009

Not so FAST: Another discount software broker BOOTED OUT

A second software licence broker has been kicked out of the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) in what appears to be a crackdown against those selling its members' software at discounted rates. Value Licensing has had its application for renewed membership FAST turned down, it has told The Reg. The company specialises in …
Gavin Clarke, 20 Feb 2014
The Register breaking news

New evidence: Comets seeded life on Earth

Ever since its formation, the Earth has been bombarded by comets, and scientists think they now have evidence that these cosmic missiles could have carried the building blocks for life along with them when they impacted. In 2009, NASA's Stardust mission rendezvoused with the comet Wild-2 and returned to Earth with a sample of an …
Iain Thomson, 06 Mar 2013

Ancient Earth asteroid strike that dwarfed dinosaur killer still felt today

Scientists say they have reconstructed an asteroid impact on Earth that was at least three times as massive as the strike that is thought to have wiped out the dinosaurs and the new monster had effects that are still being felt today. Asteroid impact A massive headache for Earth (click to enlarge) The research, published …
Iain Thomson, 10 Apr 2014
OSIRIS-REx asteroid sampling mission

SAY MY NAME, ALIEN SCUM. NASA to send 'you' into SPAAACE...

So you've always wanted to go to space, but don't want to die on Mars alongside a load of other explorers on a suicide mission? Now you can get part of the way there after NASA offered wannabe space travellers the chance to send their name up to the asteroid Bennu. The space agency's OSIRIS-REx mission will blast off in 2016 …
Jasper Hamill, 16 Jan 2014
The Tardis in a field

Time travellers outsmart the NSA

If there are time travellers around, they're being careful not to leave their fingerprints on the Internet. That's the conclusion in a paper published at Arxiv, put together by Michigan Technical University physics professor Robert Nemiroff and PhD candidate Teresa Wilson. They searched the Internet for “prescient” signatures – …
Tunguska meteorite samples

Tunguska object came from Mars say Russian boffins

Russian boffins have floated the idea that the Tunguska object, a meteorite that flattened swathes of Siberia in 1908, may have been a chunk of Mars. The Tunguska event is considered history's largest recorded meteorite impact. Controversy surrounds whether the object was a meteorite or comet, and whether the object hit the …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Jan 2014

'Zombie hunter' task force unleashed on the UK tech biz

A special force of crack zombie hunters swings into action today to rid old Blighty of the shuffling scourge of undead firms surviving only to pay the interest on debts. The mission of the task force, whose formation was revealed by The Channel last month, is to build a profile of private equity backed businesses in the IT …
Paul Kunert, 13 May 2013

Have PIXmania. In fact, have £59m with it too, Dixons tell German VCs

Dixons Retail has forked out £59m to convince German venture capitalist mutares AG to take loss-making web shop PIXmania off its hands. And so ends the retail firm's costly flirtation with the online gadget souk seven years after it coughed €266m for a 77 per cent stake in the biz and a little over a year after it bought the …
Paul Kunert, 27 Sep 2013
management procure6

Dixons Retail and Carphone Warehouse mull merger

Dixons and Carphone Warehouse (CPW) today confirmed they are locked in negotiations that may or may not lead to a merger. "These discussions are at a preliminary stage and there can be no certainty that a transaction will be forthcoming," the pair said in a joint statement this morning. As such, no decision has been made …
Paul Kunert, 24 Feb 2014

Booze in SPAAAACE! Brit rocket boffin preps bold stratobeer mission

A British rocket scientist with a sideline in High Altitude Ballooning (HAB) tomfoolery will tomorrow push the envelope of space endeavour by attempting to send a pint of London Pride bitter into the stratosphere. When he's not boffining it up down at European Astrotech, Chris Smith can be found propping up the bar of his local …
Lester Haines, 04 Jul 2014

Asteroids as powerful as NUCLEAR BOMBS strike Earth TWICE YEARLY

A study using data from monitoring stations designed to enforce a nuclear test ban treaty shows that the Earth is enduring far more dangerous asteroid impacts than previously thought. Between 2000 and 2013, the Earth was hit by 26 asteroids that exploded with a force of between one and 600 kilotons – an average of one every …
Iain Thomson, 22 Apr 2014

Credit insurer sets up 'task force' in wake of enormo UK IT biz failures

Trade credit insurer Atradius is setting up a specialist task force to analyse UK channel companies that have a high debt-to-assets ratio or have VC backing in the wake of recent high-profile and costly failures. As world + dog knows, High Street giant Comet hit the wall in December owing creditors £257m, costing the UK …
Paul Kunert, 15 Apr 2013
The Register breaking news

Earth bombarded by interplanetary SLIME MONSTERS

Invaders from an unknown planet entered Earth's atmosphere on December 29 last year, riding in a fiery comet that burst 10km above Sri Lanka. Before Hollywood gears up for an orgy of CGI and bad plot lines, it should be pointed out that the invaders in question are microscopically small and flash-frozen – but the discovery could …
Iain Thomson, 11 Mar 2013