Visit from a Small Planet

A small asteroid (2011 CQ1) discovered on February 3, passed around 7,500 miles from Earth on February 4 at 19:40 UT. This is about a quarter of the distance that 2010 TD54 passed by the Earth in October. 2011 CQ1 is between 1 and 2 metres across, making it smaller than a standard sofa. Had the asteroid hit Earth, it would have vaporized in the atmosphere.

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Kelly Go For Shuttle Commander

Mark Kelly, whose wife Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head during a public meeting on January 8, has confirmed that he will command the final scheduled flight of the space shuttle Endeavour, currently scheduled for an April 19 launch. Kelly has flown three previous shuttle missions and his brother is currently on the ISS.

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Obituary: Margaret John

Actress Margaret John (b.1926) died on February 2. John appeared on Doctor Who in the second Doctor serial “Fury from the Deep” and in the tenth Doctor episode “The Idiot’s Lantern.” In addition, she appeared in episodes of Doomwatch, The Boy Merlin, and Blakes 7. She was scheduled to appear in an episode of the forthcoming HBO series A Game of Thrones.