Astronews Daily (2455502)

November 1, 2010 12:37 by scibuff

Top Stories

Official STS-133 Countdown Underway – The official countdown clock began ticking backward at 18:00 UTC Sunday. Launch is targeted for Wednesday, Nov. 3 at 20:52 UTC. NASA Test Director Steve Payne said this morning that the work to repair the leaks is complete, the system is repressurized and work is on schedule for Discovery’s launch. –NASA

A detailed look at the latest STS133 Launch Weather Forecast (PDF)

Mitigating Asteroid Threats Will Take Global Action – During the past 24 hours, the Earth has been hit by about a million small meteoroids – most of which burned up in the atmosphere as shooting stars. This happens every day. And occasionally – once every 10,000 years or so — a really big asteroid (1 km in diameter or larger) comes along and smacks Earth with an extinction-level impact. That idea might cause some of us to lose some sleep. But in between are other asteroid hits that occur every 200-300 years where a medium-sized chunk of space rock intersects with Earth’s orbit, producing a Tunguska-like event, or worse. –Nancy Atkinson / Universe Today

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Videos

Movie of 2003 UV11 from the distance of about 2.1 million km - Credit: Gianluca Masi

  

Photos

Waning Quarter Moon

Waning Quarter Moon

Africa at night

Africa at night

Europe at night

Europe at night

Discovery on Pad 39a

Discovery on Pad 39a

  

Gallery Pick of the Day

M17 - Omega Nebula

Astronomers using data from ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT), at the Paranal Observatory in Chile, have made an impressive composite of the nebula Messier 17, also known as the Omega Nebula or the Swan Nebula. The painting-like image shows vast clouds of gas and dust illuminated by the intense radiation from young stars. - ESO/R. Chini

The photo above is “Pick of the Day” from one of the three galleries: Astronomy Gallery, Space Shuttle Gallery and Space Station Gallery.-