Former Microsoft Technologist Says NASA Asteroid Mission Is Full Of Errors

Posted: May 25 2016, 7:56am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News


Former Microsoft Technologist Says NASA Asteroid Mission is Full of Errors
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  • Rich Technologist criticizes NASA’s Asteroid Programs

A rich technologist named Nathan Myhrvold criticized to excess NASA’s asteroid program over its “bungled and botched” statistics.

He is a true Renaissance Man and has a reputation to be a trailblazer and trendsetter. The dude is also incredibly rich. In fact, he is a billionaire to be exact. He used to be among the top brass at Microsoft. Currently, he is looking into the interesting world of dinosaurs. Yet he has a gripe with NASA.

Nathan Myhrvold has vilified the space agency for for its WISE mission and its NEOWISE program. He claims that the statistics they portray to the rest of the world are deeply flawed and just not right.  

He has said that the results shown by NASA are non-replicable. Thus they are bogus when seen from a scientific point of view. Nathan said that he found one issue after another in the results and was very dissatisfied with the outcomes.

He is not a professional astronomer yet he has the savvy to sense smoke where there is fire. The mistakes that were made by these missions were regarding 157,000 asteroids that got observed. 

About five years ago, both WISE and NEOWISE reported that the asteroids they observed were accurate in their sizes by a marginal error of about 10%. Yet Nathan says that a lot of blunders and bloopers were committed by NASA.

The margin of error was just not taken into account thus botching the process of measurement more than was necessary. The albedo or reflectivity of the surface of asteroids was measured by NASA.

Nathan claims that NASA forgot to apply Kirchhoff’s law of thermal radiation in the equations it applied to these outer space bodies. The result was chaos. Misinformation is the name of the game, according to Nathan. 

Albedo is a critical factor in the mix. When you mess up here and forget to apply certain key heuristics the end result is a flawed model of asteroids and NEOs.

Nathan told NYTimes that the flaws could go all the way up to 30% and in some odd cases even as great as 300%. This is a preposterous thing and it ought to be investigated in a proper manner. Nathan compared albedo to the shiny chrome dome of a restaurant.

The sunlight which ricocheted off its surface resembled the space phenomenon. Meanwhile, the astronomers at NASA claim that there are no mistakes in their readings. This thus seems to be a case of the unstoppable against the immovable. 

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
Sumayah Aamir (Google+) has deep experience in analyzing the latest trends.




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