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A 13-YEAR-OLD German schoolboy corrected NASA's estimates on the chances of an asteroid colliding with Earth, a German newspaper reported today, after spotting the boffins had miscalculated.
Nico Marquardt used telescopic findings from the Institute of Astrophysics in Potsdam (AIP) to calculate that there was a one in 450 chance that the Apophis asteroid will collide with Earth, the Potsdamer Neuerster Nachrichten reported.
Originally posted by smokingmonkey
Why can a 13 year old German boy figure that out when most 13 year old American boys are still struggling with basic math?
No Child Left Behind, yeah, more like just learn what's on the test.
If Apophis does strike the Earth it would land in the Atlantic with a force equivalent to 98,000 Hiroshima bombs.
This would generate a kilometre-high wave that would overwhelm Britain, Western Europe and the east coast of the US.
The resulting climate change as vaporised seawater falls as rain would destroy the world's crops and bring about catastrophic human casualties.
Originally posted by DancedWithWolves
Can't wait to hear NASA's response to this...
It turns out this story is a fabrication and AFP didn't check the facts with NASA as I suspected. According to the blog Cosmos4u, they talked with Don Yeomans at NASA's NEO office and this is what Yeoman's said about the news story of a 13-year old boy correcting NASA's estimates of Apohpis impacting earth: "We have not corresponded with this young man and this story is absurd, a hoax or both. During its 2029 Earth close approach, Apophis will approach the Earth to about 38,900 km, well inside the geosynchronous distance at 42,240 km. However, the asteroid will cross the equatorial belt at a distance of 51,000 km - well outside the geosynchronous distance. Since the uncertainty on Apophis' position during the Earth close approach is about 1500 km, Apophis cannot approach an Earth satellite. Apophis will not cross the moon's orbital plane at the Moon's orbital distance so it cannot approach the moon either."
Originally posted by Maxmars
I hope they are suitably humiliated. Sorry to say they are likely to fire some mid-level manager over this.