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Articles about Comet

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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
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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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
channel

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 …
hands waving dollar bills in the air

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
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 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
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
arrow pointing up

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
graph up

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
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
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
grab_that_cash

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
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

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
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
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
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
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

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

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
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
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
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
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
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

'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

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
Artist's impression of Ceres

Herschel boffins spot fat dwarf Ceres in TEARS over astro-identity crisis

As every chubby kid will know, it's no fun being bigger than all the other children in the playground. So spare a thought for Ceres, the solar system's largest and roundest asteroid, which is so upset about being fat that it's crying watery tears way out in space. Boffins used Europe's infrared Herschel space telescope to peer …
Jasper Hamill, 23 Jan 2014

NASA invites you to sleepover: Stay up and watch 'FIREBALL RICH' Geminid shower

NASA is gearing up for the peak of this year's annual Geminid meteor shower on the night of 13-14 December, as debris associated with "weird rocky object" 3200 Phaethon comes to a fiery end in Earth's atmosphere. The agency has organised a live chat with astronomer Bill Cooke and chums from 23:00 EST on the 13th until 03:00 EST …
Lester Haines, 09 Dec 2013
The Register breaking news

Russian geologist claims finding chunks of Tunguska Event invader

For over 100 years, scientists have been puzzling over the Tunguska Event, a massive explosion in Siberia that leveled the taiga for hundreds of miles around. Now a paper from the Russian Academy of Sciences suggests that the first physical remains of the blast have been found. The explosion over Tunguska occurred on June 30, …
Iain Thomson, 03 May 2013
International Space Station

Gift-laden Russian cargoship blasts off, heads for International Space Station

A new Russian Progress cargoship, loaded up with nearly three tonnes of food, fuel, supplies and holiday gifts for the International Space Station's crew launched from Baikonur last night. Progress 53 blast off The Progress 53 space freighter will use its four-day journey getting to the station to also conduct a flyby so it …
perseids

This weekend: Watch HOT STARS shower! Moon won't interfere

The most highly anticipated meteor shower of the year, the Perseids, are due to start their usually prolific streak through the sky tomorrow night and run until Monday. Perseid meteor captured by Bill Pinnell. All rights reserved Perseid meteor captured by Bill Pinnell back in 2009. The Perseids originate from the debris …
MAVEN

BLAST OFF! NASA's MAVEN Mars probe ROARS into orbit

NASA's Mars probe MAVEN has successfully sneaked through its weather window and launched from Cape Canaveral at 13.28pm ET on Monday, before heavy weather could roll in and delay the launch. MAVEN launch And she's off Scientists and engineers at the agency and Lockheed Martin have spent the last five years building the Mars …
Iain Thomson, 18 Nov 2013
The Register breaking news

Meteor shower traced to 1490 comet break-up

Astronomers have confirmed the origin of the Quadrantid meteors as a "deep-space explosion" of a comet in 1490 which was observed in China, Japan and Korea, New Scientist reports. Fourteen astronomers last week tracked the shower's annual display during a nine-hour flight from California to the North Pole. Peter Jenniskens of …
Lester Haines, 08 Jan 2008
closed_sign shut down under collapsed liquidation

62,000 fewer shops: Welcome to the High Street of 2018

Tens of thousands of UK retailers will go pop over the next five years, leaving hundreds of thousands of their employees scratching about for work, says the Centre of Retail Research (CRR). In a particularly bleak forecast, the sector-watcher says close to 62,000 of the near 282,000 outlets currently open for business in Blighty …
Paul Kunert, 29 May 2013
Game logo

Game chain sold

UK High street retailer Game has been acquired by Comet owner OpCapita. The Game Group's administrator, PwC, yesterday said it had agreed to sell the troubled company's UK business to Baker Acquisitions Ltd, an entity overseen by OpCapita, for an undisclosed sum. The move takes The Game Group's UK operation out of …
Caleb Cox, 02 Apr 2012
The Register breaking news

Comet Lulin poses for NASA's Swift

Comet Lulin will over the next couple of nights be visible to the naked eye as it approaches to within 38m miles of Earth, although sky gazers shouldn't expect to see more than a "fuzzball". NASA's Swift Gamma-ray Explorer satellite has been keeping an eye on the object, discovered in 2007 by Ye Quanzhi and Lin Chi-Sheng from …
Lester Haines, 23 Feb 2009
Northamber

Veteran distie Northamber swings to loss, sales dive by 22%

LSE-listed Northamber blamed the economy and cost-cutting on the part of IT vendors for a massive slide in sales and the return to losses at the halfway stage in its fiscal 2013. The oldest IT distie in Blighty said turnover fell to £41.5m in the six months to 31 December from £53.8m in the same period a year earlier, …
Paul Kunert, 27 Feb 2013