AFP Berlin from 15th April 2008
According to the Agence France-Press GMBH (AFP), a 13 year old schoolboy from the Humboldt Gymnasium in Potsdam, Germany, corrected NASA’s 99942 Apophis asteroid figures on paper. The boy apparently made his discovery as part of a regional science competition for which he submitted a project entitled: “Apophis — The Killer Asteroid.”
Nico Marquardt re-calculated the asteroid’s estimates on the chances of it colliding with Earth after recognizing that NASA (the boffins) had miscalculated. The Potsdamer Neuester Nachrichten (PNN), a newspaper of Berlin, reported that the school boy 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. Here is the PNN article ‘Apophis im Anflug’.
Nico Marquardt caused a sensation - in Berlin and Germany - he received regional award of “Young Scientists” and also won the competition in the field of physics.
In his calculations, 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.
Earth satellites are known to travel at 3.07 kilometres a second (1.9 miles), at up to 35,880 kilometres above earth — and the Apophis asteroid is expected to pass very close to earth in 2029 at a distance of 32,500 kilometres.
Niko estimated that if the asteroid were to strike a satellite on April 13 2029, this will change its trajectory making it hit earth on its next orbit in 2036 - also on April 13 of that year.
NASA estimated the chances of an impact in 2036 at 1 in 45,000 but is reported to have told its sister organisation, the European Space Agency (ESA), that Marquardt had got it right.
Both NASA and Niko Marquardt were reported to have agreed 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 estimated shockwaves from this type of asteroid is expected to create huge tsunami waves, destroying both coastlines and inland areas, whilst creating a thick cloud of dust that would darken the skies indefinitely.
Here are some more details on 99942 Apophis and what the world can expect to see in the skies above us:
According to the PNN report, Nico Marquardt believes that Friday, 13 April 2029 by 22:45 Central European Time would be perhaps the “most exciting moment in human history”.
This ’space potato’ as it is known in German, composed of iron and iridium, will pass within 32 500 kilometres of the Earth and would appear ten to twelve times larger than the moon. Nico Marquardt wants to study astrophysics and to eventually work for NASA.
According to persons commenting on the PNN report, one suggested to Nico that he need not work for NASA but should work for Germany, and one commentator reminded all on the forum that one need not worry about 99942 Apophis, if the experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) being built at CERN in Geneva Switzerland to be conducted later this year go awry.
‘Little black holes’ are expected to be produced as a result of experiments at CERN and there are people out there who do not trust the scientists belief that, as per Hawkin’s theory, these little black holes will snuff themselves out naturally. The commentator believed that if the Hawkin’s theory did not kick in and the little black holes do not disappear but grow in size, then there’s no need to worry about future asteroids, because ‘we’d be all dead anyway’; snuffed out by a black hole that will devour earth.
As an aside to this report, NASA has now made an official statement, most links have been pulled from English websites; however, since NASA sees everything as having an impact only on the US (when tsunamis are referred to, reference is only made to US coastlines etc. etc. - so what of the rest of the world? They apparently don’t exist or were always invisible), can never admit to its mistakes and most likely has adopted an attitude that to let the people know the real facts is detrimental, this site does not yet place Nico Marquardt in disrepute. This is also made painfully evident by NASA’s statements that a deflection strategy will only be undertaken if the chances of an earth impact by 99942 Apophis is below 1 in 20. This makes it disturbingly obvious how expendable human beings and life on this planet are to these so-called scientists.
Some of the comments we’ve read so far are:
The Die Hard said… I haven’t checked the calculations myself, but I automatically distrust anything that comes out of NASA. There are no scientists or engineers left there, only politically-motivated “gimme my tax cut and high three” decrepit managers and their suck-up yes-boys. Most of us left in disgust after the Columbia debacle and their continuing cover up. After thirty years of pursuing The Dream, it wouldn’t break my heart if the whole agency was just disbanded. Anyone who claims that they “could do so much better outside of government” is welcome to go try. Remember how the various NASA centers were so busy with political infighting that they forgot to convert units on the crashed Mars probe? Don’t tell me they don’t screw up. You think they’d ADMIT to a mistake like misplacing a decimal point?
And that, dear readers, is why it is so damned important to stop electing the George Bushes of the world to positions of anything approaching power. And why it’s so damned important to keep our science classes free of Creationism and Intelligent Design and any other philosophies requiring a willing suspension of disbelief in favor of My Invisible Friend, be He Jehovah or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Because once you subjugate science to religion, you’ll end up fighting for the survival of the species with a National Day of Prayer, asking Him to deflect the asteroid with His Noodly Appendage.
Or do you think that it’s more than just a coincidence that both NASA and Nico calculate that Apophis will arrive on EASTER SUNDAY in 2036?
Nico’s science fair project, entitled “Apophis - the Killer Asteroid,” was completed using telescopic data from the Institute of Astrophysics in Potsdam. It’s doubtful that the German competition committee would have accepted a project titled “How the Unicorn was Naturally Selected Off of Noah’s Ark,” but some school districts in Florida and Kansas may. Marquardt’s correction of NASA’s data is based on the possibility of Apophis colliding with man-made satellites during a VERY close pass, 18,000 miles or so, on an unlucky Friday the 13th of April, 2029.
Another coincidence? Ben Stein would have you believe that it was design.
Things may not be as dire as Nico is predicting. NASA’s figures appear to have already discounted the satellites, as this report indicates that the asteroid’s course actually takes it INSIDE the belt of geo-stationary satellites. That means that it will take not 9, but 16 straight coin-flips coming up heads for this one to smack us.
NASA’s statement on the Probability of Impact with a Satellite:
NASA (http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/apophis) - 2008-Apr-16: In response to inquiries, accidental impact with an artifical satellite in 2029 is vanishingly unlikely. As mentioned above, (1) Apophis does not pass near the zones where most satellites are located and (2) man-made satellites and Apophis both have small cross-sectional areas. Even if a high-velocity impact occurred, at most a large satellite could change Apophis’ position 7 years later (in 2036) by only 100’s of km. This is less than 1/10th the size of the smaller issues considered in the study, very much in the noise of the calculations, and can have no meaningful effect on Earth impact probability estimation (which already incorporates more than 30 million km of uncertainty). At such a late date, impact with an artificial satellite would be like a bug on the windshield of Apophis. Deflection efforts are dependent on being early enough to leverage the dynamics of the 2029 encounter. Events during the encounter lack such leverage.
Uh …. let’s give a Jon Stewart here:
Uhhh. *knitted brows of disbelief together with wry amazed smile* - did NASA actually realise what they were saying when they said that an “impact with an artificial satellite would be like a bug on the windshield of Apophis.”????? C’Mon give us a break! Are they saying that the thing - this asteroid is about the size of our damn f%%#@*! earth??? Thanks NASA! Thanks for confirming that the darned thing would appear 12x times larger than the moon in 2029 - Not only have you unwittingly made Apophis look BIG, you’ve actually exaggerated its known size and unwittingly again, put fear in all of us! God help us all! Can we believe NASA??! Really??
You know what really bothers me? The fact that by 2036, maybe even by 2029, NASA and all their cronies will be up there in a space rocket watching the rest of us fry. Too bad for all those who aren’t billionaires by then!
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