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Dec 11, 201204:39 PM

Cheat Sheet: December 11, 2012

Newly discovered small asteroid just misses Earth; next up is much bigger 12/12/12 asteroid

On tomorrow’s date of 12/12/12, a nearly three-mile long asteroid is expected to pass within 4 million miles of Earth. However, that’s nothing compared to the asteroid that passed within just 140,000 miles of our planet this morning. Discovered only two days ago, XE54 came about as close to crashing into Earth as an asteroid can without actually doing so, close enough to be “eclipsed by Earth’s shadow, causing its shadow to ‘wink out’ for a short time,” according to Universe Today. (Source)

Life sentence closes to oldest cold case

Fifty-five years after Maria Ridulph vanished from a small-town street corner while playing in the snow, a former neighbor was sentenced to life in prison for kidnapping and killing the girl. Jack Daniel McCullough, who was 17 and known as John Tessier back in 1957, was finally identified two years ago by Maria’s childhood companion as the man who carried Maria off. McCullough, who worked as a police officer for a time in Washington state, was convicted of child abduction and murder after a two-week trial in September. The case is believed to be the oldest cold case to go to trial and result in a conviction. (Source)

Virginia Living Museum reopens lower level

The Virginia Living Museum reopened its lower level today after months of repairing damage caused by a flash flood in August. Two new exhibits were revealed today, one featuring salamanders and another featuring crustaceans. Executive Director Page Hayhurst expressed gratitude to the volunteers who cleaned, painted and moved office materials as well as the donors who funded the museum’s insurance deductible. (Source)

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