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Uranus attacks! Herschel's legacy

BMJ 1998; 317 doi: (Published 08 August 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:389
  1. Mark Petticrew, research fellow
  1. York.

    The past few years have seen a resurgence of news stories and films with a “danger from outer space” theme. These ranged from last year's films Independence Day and Mars Attacks! to this year's spate of movies showing the earth threatened by approaching comets, and culminated in reports that the asteroid Toutatis was entering our solar system and threatening to do for us what the last one did for the dinosaurs. Fortunately it missed by three million miles, a close shave in astronomical terms.

    Towards the end of the 18th century, …

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