Wednesday, April 16, 2008

German boy schools NASA, suggests asteroid may hit the Earth

This is an interesting article, especially considering our recent post on asteroids impacting the earth. A German school boy considered the probability of the Apophis asteroid hitting the Earth in 2036, when it will be coming closest to the Earth, as published previously by NASA. NASA said that the asteroid would pass near the Earth, but probably not hit us. NASA ultimately calculated that there was a 1 in 45,000 chance that the asteroid would hit us. However the school boy, Nico Marquardt, calculated also the possibility that the asteroid would hit a satellite in an earlier close encounter with the earth in 2029. The chance of the asteroid hitting a satellite (and the resultant change in velocity), increased the probability of an earth impact to 1 in 450 in 2036. What is even better than his results is the fact that the kid is 13 years old, and he was doing this work for a science fair project. How fantastic. I think his future is bright (um, unless the earth is destroyed with a massive asteroid he discovers.)

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