Cup o’ (Pro) Jo: February 14, 2011

Peter Schultz is at it again. He’s been part of projects that have sent a spacecraft crashing into the moon and solved a meteor mystery in Peru. In typical Brown fashion, this professor of geological sciences is spending his Valentine’s Day not going out to dinner or the movies — he’s watching a comet. At 11:37 p.m., in a galaxy 209 million miles away,  NASA spacecraft Stardust will begin to take snapshots of Comet Tempel I — a 70-110 billion ton mass that scientists blasted with a “copper slug” in 2005 . Schultz — who is part of the observation team in Pasadena, CA — will be looking carefully for signs of the man-made crater. According to scientists involved with the project, the comet will zoom by at six miles per second. “That would take you from Providence to Boston in, probably, six seconds or so,” said Schultz. Sorry MBTA — there’s a new train in town.

R.I. weather is set to be — surprise, surprise — bipolar this week. Again. Although no snow is in the forecast, temperatures are predicted to dip to a low of 14 degrees on Tuesday night and stagger back up to a high of 54 (!) on Friday. A wind advisory, with gusts of up to 40 mph, is also in effect for tomorrow.

Advanced Solutions for Tomorrow, the Middletown-based Navy contractor that has been recently caught up in the middle of a $10 million kickback bribery scheme, is officially closing its doors. In a company e-mail from chief executive officer Wayne King, it was revealed that all 100 employees will be laid off “as of 12:00 pm today, Monday, 14 February 2011.” Happy Valentine’s Day.

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