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  1. #1
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    13 year old, smarter than NASA

    AFP: German schoolboy, 13, corrects NASA's asteroid figures: paper

    German schoolboy, 13, corrects NASA's asteroid figures: paper

    21 hours ago
    BERLIN (AFP) — A 13-year-old German schoolboy corrected NASA's estimates on the chances of an asteroid colliding with Earth, a German newspaper reported Tuesday, 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 1 in 450 chance that the Apophis asteroid will collide with Earth, the Potsdamer Neuerster Nachrichten reported.
    NASA had previously estimated the chances at only 1 in 45,000 but told its sister organisation, the European Space Agency (ESA), that the young whizzkid had got it right.
    The schoolboy took into consideration the risk of Apophis running into one or more of the 40,000 satellites orbiting Earth during its path close to the planet on April 13 2029.
    Those satellites travel at 3.07 kilometres a second (1.9 miles), at up to 35,880 kilometres above earth -- and the Apophis asteroid will pass by earth at a distance of 32,500 kilometres.
    If the asteroid strikes a satellite in 2029, that will change its trajectory making it hit earth on its next orbit in 2036.
    Both NASA and Marquardt agree that if the asteroid does collide with earth, it will create a ball of iron and iridium 320 metres (1049 feet) wide and weighing 200 billion tonnes, which will crash into the Atlantic Ocean.
    The shockwaves from that would create huge tsunami waves, destroying both coastlines and inland areas, whilst creating a thick cloud of dust that would darken the skies indefinitely.
    The 13-year old made his discovery as part of a regional science competition for which he submitted a project entitled: "Apophis -- The Killer Astroid."



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    Re: 13 year old, smarter than NASA

    I have to say Im impressed and will go hide under a rock. Good to know there are kids out there that really enjoy this stuff. They may save our butts later on.



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    Re: 13 year old, smarter than NASA

    What does that say about the quality of American astronaut-ing? I'm sure this kid is brilliant, but come on, NASA. You can do better than that.



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    Re: 13 year old, smarter than NASA

    Quote Originally Posted by cardinal&gold View Post
    What does that say about the quality of American astronaut-ing? I'm sure this kid is brilliant, but come on, NASA. You can do better than that.

    Well in NASA's defense, it was jeans friday when they worked on the figures. I mean who really works hard on jeans friday.



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    Re: 13 year old, smarter than NASA

    Its not like the did everything wrong, it looks like the forgot to move a decimal someplace. Not that hard to do and its not like this is an issue of pressing importance so they probably didn't do a whole lot of recalculating.



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    Re: 13 year old, smarter than NASA

    Quote Originally Posted by bostinelosd View Post
    Well in NASA's defense, it was jeans friday when they worked on the figures. I mean who really works hard on jeans friday.
    I assume, then, that unlike the Michael Bay classic "Armageddon," when the world is threatened by a killer asteroid, we should ask middle schoolers in Germany how to save us, not Billy Bob Thorton or Bruce Willis.



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    Re: 13 year old, smarter than NASA

    Did he have to be German? If my German office mate finds this, I'll never hear the end of it. He's even worse than my Indian office mate.


    Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that. ~ George Carlin

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    The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves Orcs. ~ John Rogers

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    Re: 13 year old, smarter than NASA

    Quote Originally Posted by cardinal&gold View Post
    I assume, then, that unlike the Michael Bay classic "Armageddon," when the world is threatened by a killer asteroid, we should ask middle schoolers in Germany how to save us, not Billy Bob Thorton or Bruce Willis.
    I mean, you're NASA for crying out loud, you put a man on the moon, you're geniuses! You're the guys that're thinking **** up! I'm sure you got a team of men sitting around somewhere right now just thinking **** up and somebody backing them up! You're telling me you don't have a backup plan, that these eight boy scouts right here, that is the world's hope, that's what you're telling me?


    I don't think I'm alone when I say I'd like to see more and more planets fall under the ruthless domination of our solar system.

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    Re: 13 year old, smarter than NASA

    Quote Originally Posted by CloneAggie View Post
    Did he have to be German? If my German office mate finds this, I'll never hear the end of it. He's even worse than my Indian office mate.

    Well the Germans did lose the big war twice. As for the Indians.......I got nothing, they seem legit. =)



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    Re: 13 year old, smarter than NASA

    The boys calculations are incorrect in a new story released, read the last paragraph:

    Schoolboy's asteroid-strike sums are wrong | The Register


    Last edited by iowast8fan; 04-16-2008 at 02:14 PM.

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    Re: 13 year old, smarter than NASA

    Holy crap, 1 in 450!? Isn't that an incredibly has possibility(relative to the world of NASA/space, etc.)


    While on live TV, Ford used a vulgar term to describe a private part of the female anatomy, adding that he was “happily married” and “got more than enough to eat at home.”

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    Re: 13 year old, smarter than NASA

    Quote Originally Posted by Iastfan112 View Post
    Its not like the did everything wrong, it looks like the forgot to move a decimal someplace. Not that hard to do and its not like this is an issue of pressing importance so they probably didn't do a whole lot of recalculating.
    It actually is 2 decimals off. Which is a lot.

    I'd rather have $45,000 than $450.


    You can't polish a turd.

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    Re: 13 year old, smarter than NASA

    Quote Originally Posted by iowast8fan View Post
    The boys calculations are incorrect in a new story released, read the last paragraph:

    Schoolboy's asteroid-strike sums are wrong | The Register



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    Re: 13 year old, smarter than NASA

    Quote Originally Posted by cycloneG View Post
    I mean, you're NASA for crying out loud, you put a man on the moon, you're geniuses! You're the guys that're thinking **** up! I'm sure you got a team of men sitting around somewhere right now just thinking **** up and somebody backing them up! You're telling me you don't have a backup plan, that these eight boy scouts right here, that is the world's hope, that's what you're telling me?
    No sure if I should give you pos rep or neg rep for quoting that movie.



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    Re: 13 year old, smarter than NASA

    What exactly does NASA do that is of pressing importance?



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