Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

NASA craft set for Valentine rendezvous with comet

After a long-distance courtship, a NASA spacecraft is set to meet up with its celestial sweetheart — a comet half the size of Manhattan that had an encounter with another spacecraft not long ago.

The rendezvous between Stardust and comet Tempel 1 occurs on Valentine's Day, some 210 million miles from Earth. Hurtling at 24,000 mph, Stardust will fly within 125 miles of the potato-shaped comet, snapping pictures along the way. If successful, it will be the first time scientists will have before-and-after images of Tempel 1, allowing them to observe any changes on the uneven surface.

In 2005, Tempel 1 received a not-so-loving visit from Deep Impact, which fired a copper bullet into the comet on the Fourth of July that sparked cosmic fireworks and excavated a crater. The high-speed crash hurled out so much dust and debris Deep Impact failed to see the manmade hole even as it beamed back dazzling pictures of other surface features.

phoenix

Founder of 2 natural food chains resigns

The founder of two chains of natural foods grocery stores resigned after he was arrested in a child prostitution sting. Sunflower Farmers Market CEO Michael Gilliland was accused of soliciting sex online with someone who identified herself as an underage girl. He faces a charge of felony child prostitution. Gilliland also founded Wild Oats Markets, which was acquired by Whole Foods Market in 2007.

illinois

FTD, Groupon offer Valentine refunds

Coupon site Groupon.com and flower company FTD are offering refunds after getting complaints that a Valentine's Day flower deal wasn't so sweet. Both companies said they did nothing wrong, but responded to Internet complaints that FTD inflated prices for some Groupon customers who used a coupon for $20 off an FTD flower purchase of $40 or more.

chad

EU observer says election appears fair

Parliamentary elections in the Central African nation ran peacefully Sunday and appeared to be democratic, a European Union observer said. "In some polling stations there is a lack of material and organization," Louis Michel, head of the EU's observer mission, said. "However, it seems that these are fair, democratic and transparent elections." The opposition challenged President Idriss Deby's ruling party for the first time since 2002. Results are not expected for at least a week.

switzerland

Voters reject tighter firearms laws

The nation with more guns per capita than almost any other country except the United States, Finland and Yemen — at least 2.3 million weapons and a population of less than 8 million, according to the Geneva-based Small Arms Survey — voted down a proposal to require military-issued firearms to be locked in secure army depots, establish a national gun registry and ban the sale of fully automatic weapons and pump-action rifles. The Swiss, who have a high rate of firearms suicides, rejected the proposal by 56.3 percent.

Elsewhere

Iraq: The death toll for a suicide bombing on a bus with Shiite pilgrims returning from a religious ceremony Saturday in Samarra, north of Baghdad, rose to 36 on Sunday.

Nigeria: A stampede at a political rally killed 11 people and injured dozens.

Times wires

NASA craft set for Valentine rendezvous with comet 02/13/11 [Last modified: Sunday, February 13, 2011 11:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Google tracking real-world sales as well as online ads

    Business

    SAN FRANCISCO — Google already monitors your online shopping — but now it's also keeping an eye on what you're buying in real-world stores as part of its latest effort to sell more digital advertising.

     Google already monitors your online shopping - but now it's also keeping an eye on what you're buying in real-world stores as part of its latest effort to sell more digital advertising. 
[Associated Press]

  2. Trump budget slashes money of clean air and water programs

    National

    WASHINGTON — The Trump Administration budget released Tuesday slashes funding for the Environmental Protection Agency by nearly one-third, laying off thousands of employees while imposing dramatic cuts to clean air and water programs.

    A GPO worker stacks copies of "Analytical Perspectives Budget of the U.S. Government Fiscal Year 2018" onto a pallet at the U.S. Government Publishing Office's (GPO) plant in Washington. [Associated Press]
  3. Watch: Just a whole lot of Roger Moore being an extremely cool James Bond

    Blogs

    Debates over who played James Bond the best will go on for at least as long as the Bond franchise itself — and there's no sign of that coming to an end any time soon.

    Roger Moore filming on location in England in 1972.
  4. Interview: Felicia Day talks internet geekdom, her path to 'Mystery Science Theater 3000' before Megacon Orlando

    Blogs

    Felicia Day said her entire career path was influenced by the pre-internet role-playing game series Ultima.

    Felicia Day as Kinga Forrester in the new Mystery Science Theater 3000 on Netflix.
  5. Brian Ballard's lobbying shop in Washington get a big contract

    Blogs

    Ballard Partners, the Florida lobbying firm led by Brian Ballard, is quickly ramping up in Washington and just landed a high-profile contract: the government of Turkey.