Quick! Call Ben Affleck!


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. - Yahoo

1 in 450? I'm not digging those odds...

UPDATE: Phew! Dodged that bullet! See comments for comforting update!

2 comments:

  1. 1 in 450 does sound scary, until you read this:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/04/16/esa_german_schoolboy_apophis_denial/

    Widespread media reports claim that a German schoolboy has recalculated the likelihood of a deadly planet-smasher asteroid hitting the Earth, and found the catastrophe is enormously more likely than NASA thought. The boy's sums were said to have been checked by both NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), and found to be correct.

    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."

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  2. Haha, the trickster archetype is at work.

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