13-year-old schoolboy in a hundred times increased the chances of "killer asteroid" on a collision course with Earth


16/04/2008

Student from Germany, from the fault of scientists was able to refute the calculations of NASA, concerning the probability of a collision with Earth asteroid Apophis (Apophis). This was reported on Tuesday the German newspaper "Potsdamer Neuerster Nachrichten".

Nico Marquardt (Nico Marquardt), 13-year-old high school student, used data from telescopes Institute of Astrophysics in Potsdam (Institute of Astrophysics in Potsdam, AIP), to calculate the probability of Apophis collision with Earth. According to his calculations, the asteroid has a 1 in 450 chance for something to fall to the ground in 2029. NASA previous calculations gave Apophis 1 chance in 45,000, ie a hundred times smaller than it actually is. NASA confirmed the data obtained by the young prodigy, and passed them the European Space Agency (European Space Agency, ESA).

Schoolboy took into consideration the risk of Apophis collision with one or more of the 40,000 satellites orbiting Earth during its closest approach to Earth April 13, 2029. The satellites are moving at a speed of 3.07 km / s at a height of 35880 km. The maximum distance that the asteroid will approach the Earth is 32,500 kilometers.

If an asteroid would hit a satellite, it will change its trajectory and fall to the ground on his next approach to Earth in 2036.

Scientists agree that if Apophis does collide with Earth, the piece of iron and iridium 320 meters in diameter and weighing 200 million tons, a fall in the Atlantic Ocean, will cause a huge tsunami, destroying in its path islands and coastal areas. In addition, forms a dense cloud of dust that would eclipse the Earth from the sun for an indefinite period of time.

Opening of the 13-year-old schoolboy is part of his project "Apophis - the asteroid-killer" ("Apophis - The Killer Astroid"), presented at the regional science competition. Hot news, science and technology, the only first-hand.

Original: AFP


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