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Óengus I was a Pictish king and one of the most powerful rulers in Scotland from 732 until his death in 761. Pictland, representing one of four political groups in north Britain in the early 8th century, ran from the River Forth northwards, including Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles. Óengus became its chief king following a period of civil war in the late 720s. During his reign the neighbouring kingdom of Dál Riata was subjugated, and the kingdom of Strathclyde was attacked, with less success. He was also involved in wars in Ireland and England. Some sources say that Óengus was a joint ruler with Æthelbald of Mercia; others dispute this, but still accept him as the dominant force in northern Britain of his time. After his death, probably in his seventies, kings from his family continued to dominate Pictland. In 839 a disastrous defeat at the hands of Vikings began a new period of instability, which ended with the coming to power of Kenneth MacAlpin, Kenneth I of Scotland. (Full article...)

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NASA engineer Ernie Wright looks on as the first six flight-ready primary mirror segments for the James Webb Space Telescope are prepped to begin final cryogenic testing at the Marshall Space Flight Center. Intended to serve as a replacement for the Hubble Space Telescope and the Spitzer Space Telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope is currently under construction and scheduled to launch in October 2018. It is expected to enable a broad range of investigations across the fields of astronomy and cosmology.

Photograph: NASA/MSFC/David Higginbotham

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