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Articles about Comet

Deloitte in the saddle at Comet, seeking stability - and a buyer

Deloitte said its first task as Comet's administrative receiver is to steady the ship and then seek anyone interested buying an ailing veteran retailer, hamstrung by huge overheads and facing fierce competition from leaner online rivals. Good luck with that. After days of industry chatter, Comet finally called in the receivers …
Paul Kunert, 05 Nov 2012
The Register breaking news

Incoming comet will probably miss Mars, says NASA

Object-watchers are keenly catching observations of the orbit of an object discovered by Rob McNaught of Australia's Siding Spring Observatory, which is set for a very close Mars fly-by in October 2014. In fact, although NASA currently assigns the object a one-in-600 chance of an impact, and believes further observations will …
Comet_EV_01

Ailing Comet at last prayers: Cawing of accountants and VCs fills air

Beleaguered bricks and mortar retailer Comet is lurching toward administration with Deloite understood to be waiting in the wings. Parent Kesa Electricals offloaded Comet to OpCapita in November 2011 for a nominal fee of £2 but it was forced to hand over a £63m dowry for working capital purposes and retain the pension scheme. …
Paul Kunert, 01 Nov 2012
Comet_EV_01

Comet train set for SMASH, staff can only hope to be in right carriage

Penniless Comet's network of UK stores is on the brink of break up as staff enter a "collective consultation" over potential redundancies. In a letter to the electrical chain's workers, administrator Deloitte warned that if it is unable to sell the business as a going concern, it will be forced to flog bits and pieces to …
Paul Kunert, 15 Nov 2012
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Comet staff should be for life, not just for Christmas

Dixons Retail is throwing a lifeline to beleaguered Comet staff awaiting the arrival of their P45s by offering some of them seasonal work in its PC World and Currys stores over the peak Christmas season. Administrator Deloitte took control of Comet late on Friday after the ailing retailer ran into insurmountable liquidity woes. …
Paul Kunert, 07 Nov 2012
closed_sign shut down under collapsed liquidation

Comet crashes to Earth: 125 stores wiped out

Comet administrator Deloitte will shut 125 of the retail chain's stores, putting thousands of people out of work just before Christmas. The receiver, appointed at the start of this month, is unable to find a buyer for the business as a going concern. The closures will take place over the next fortnight, leaving about 70 outlets …
Paul Kunert, 28 Nov 2012
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Dixons feasts on corpse of Comet, chortles over 'slab bonanza

PC World and Currys helped steer sales growth at Dixons Retail in fiscal '13 ended 28 April against the background of a land grab for fallen Comet's trade and a boom in slablets. In a trading statement today - preliminary numbers are filed on 20 June - the retail mammoth said like-for-like Q4 sales climbed seven per cent on a …
Paul Kunert, 16 May 2013
The Register breaking news

Blazing new comet may OUTSHINE THE MOON in 2013

Astroboffins have spotted a new comet that's scheduled to make its earthly appearance in November 2013, blazing through the night skies with a brightness that could well outshine the full Moon. According to the UK's Astronomy Now, the prosaically named comet C/2012 S1 was discovered last Friday by astronomers Vitali Nevski and …
Rik Myslewski, 26 Sep 2012
ho, ho, ho

Dixons steps over Comet's bloodied body to nab bonus Xmas sales

Blighty's High Street is in meltdown, but Dixons Retail bucked the gloomy trend and reported relatively decent sales growth over Christmas. The chain reckons it successfully hoovered up trade from fallen rivals. According to figures filed for the 12 weeks to 5 January, sales by the parent of Currys and PC World were up four per …
Paul Kunert, 17 Jan 2013
© Copyright Anthony O'Neil and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

UK gov probes Comet crash: Public, private sectors LOST £257m

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills plans to probe the administration of Comet, whose collapse has left the private and public sector out of pocket to the tune of £257m. The Insolvency Service is to launch the investigation after receiving numerous complaints from MPs just as the doors close on Comet's last 49 …
Paul Kunert, 18 Dec 2012
dixons

Dixons returns to profit in UK, rubs hands as Comet circles drain

Dixons Retail says it's positioned to capitalise on Comet's collapse as the firm returned to profit in the UK for the first time in five years. Group challenges still remain, however, with gadget souk PIXmania still performing "poorly" and those pesky penniless peeps in Southern Europe dragging numbers down. Pre-tax losses for …
Paul Kunert, 29 Nov 2012
Windows 7 gurus

Not even Comet crashing into Earth can keep Dixons out of the red

Dixons Retail has reported massive losses due to one-off charges from the restructuring of PIXmania, and a reshuffle at its HQ following the sale of its B2B reseller operation Equanet. The LSE-listed group told the City this morning that it made pre-tax losses of £115.3m in the year to 30 April, albeit narrower than the £118.8m …
Paul Kunert, 20 Jun 2013
Dawn's image of Vesta. Pic: NASA

Canadian comet impact fingered for triggering prehistoric climate shift

Scientists have discovered new evidence that an extraplanetary body came down over Canada around 12,900 years ago, possibly triggering the death of the giant animals then roaming the North American continent, and starting a cooling spell that helped drive mankind towards agriculture and civilization. During the Younger Dryas …
Iain Thomson, 03 Sep 2013
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Comet and Walmart battle for Game

Walmart and Comet have emerged as bidders for troubled high street games retailer Game. The US retail giant is rumoured to have offered 12p per share for the company, while Comet owner OpCapita is also believed to have expressed an interest in acquiring Game, MCV reports. Paying 12p a share would value Game at £40m. But no …
Caleb Cox, 15 Mar 2012
The Register breaking news

Comet 'sold 94,000 pirate Windows CDs', claims Microsoft

Microsoft has accused high-street retailer Comet of pirating 94,000 Windows Vista and Windows XP recovery CDs and selling them to consumers. The software giant announced this morning that it had filed a suit against Comet Group PLC, accusing the group of manufacturing counterfeit discs at a factory in Hampshire and selling them …
Gavin Clarke, 04 Jan 2012
The Register breaking news

Comet Lovejoy survives brush with fiery solar death

Suicidal comet Lovejoy has survived its brush with death in the furnace of the Sun, emerging from behind the star in one (smaller) piece. Most space boffins thought that the comet, composed of ice and rocks, couldn't survive its trajectory so close to the heat of the Sun - and expected Lovejoy to disintegrate. But instead, …
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 …
Siding Spring Mars flyby

NASA: Mars satellites menaced by speeding SPACE ALIEN

On October 19, comet Siding Spring will make a very close flyby of Mars. And that's why NASA will hide its satellites in the area behind the Red Planet – to protect the agency's valuable hardware from passing comet debris. Siding Spring duck and cover Everybody hide! The comet, first spotted on January 3 last year by Robert …
Iain Thomson, 10 Oct 2014
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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
Orionid meteor shower

Watch live! NASA video streams Orionid meteor shower – or go outside and look yourself

If you're in a position to see the constellation of Orion tonight then it's time to enjoy the annual Orionid meteor shower – as the Earth slams into the debris left by Halley's Comet's 1986 visit at about 148,000 MPH. orionids Look to the East for nature's fireworks display. Credit Dr. Tony Phillips "The Orionid meteor shower …
Iain Thomson, 21 Oct 2014
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 …
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
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
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

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

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
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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
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
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
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
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

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

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
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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
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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, …

That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN

Scientists believe that a "significant fraction" of water molecules found on this planet are older than Earth, the solar system and even the Sun. According to new research led by astro boffin Ilse Cleeves at the University of Michigan, a "significant fraction" of the big drink was created more than 4.5 billion years ago. The …
Team Register, 27 Sep 2014
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