Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What a Difference a Day Makes!

It seems that NASA and the European Space Administration did NOT say these new predictions by student are correct. It seems that NASA has already accounted for the orbits of the satellites in their collision calculations, so the 1:45,000 probability stands.

Schoolboy's asteroid-strike sums are wrong

German kid saw 1 in 450 chance of Apophis apocalypse

Published Wednesday 16th April 2008 11:06 GMT

There's only one problem with the story: the kid's sums are in fact wrong, NASA's are right, and the ESA swear blind they never said any different. An ESA spokesman in Germany told the Reg this morning: "A small boy did do these calculations, but he made a mistake... NASA's figures are correct."

It would appear that the intial article in the Potsdamer Neueste Nachrichten, which says that NASA and the ESA endorsed Nico Marquardt's calculations, was incorrect. The story was picked up by German tabloids and the AFP news wire, and is now all over the internet.

because Apophis will pass interior to the positions of these satellites at closest approach,
does not threaten the satellites in that heavily populated region.

All in all, it seems there's no need to dust off the asteroid-busting space nukes just yet. ®

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