100% All-Natural Composition
No Artificial Intelligence!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

German schoolboy corrects NASA's math on killer asteroid odds

A 13-year old schoolboy named Nico Marquardt has found errors in NASA's calculations about the Apophis asteroid. And NASA has conceded that the lad from Berlin, Germany is correct. Marquardt found that that Earth now stands a much higher chance of getting hit by Apophis than originally determined by NASA. How much was the multi-billion dollar space agency off by? It said that the odds of a collision with Apophis were 1 in 45,000. After Marquardt's "peer review", it now turns out that the odds are 1 in 450.

I have to tip my hat to Marquardt. Math was never my big thing, and I tried to calculate the physics of astronomical objects during a class at Elon and didn't do too well either. He's probably got a bright future ahead of him... provided that we don't get hit by any big space rocks anytime soon :-)


Anonymous said...

Hey Mr. Knight,

I just read another article about this, and it says that even though his calculations are correct, they are incorrect because he took into account that the chances that the asteroid was gonna hit one or more satellites which made the odds worse, but the path of the Apophis asteroid won't impact any of our satellites according to the article.

Here's one of the articles I read: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/04/16/esa_german_schoolboy_apophis_denial/1

Anonymous said...

Yeah, NASA and the ESA are back-pedaling pretty quickly and denying the claims. Well, the kid still did a heck of a lot better than I would have.