Headline July 19, 2018/ " 'SCIENTISTS SPACE STORIES' "


THOUSANDS OF ASTEROIDS are passing through Earth's neighborhood all the time, Although the odds of a direct hit on the planet anytime soon are slim-

Even a small asteroid the size of a house.......  could explode with as much energy as an atomic bomb.

So scientists at NASA are charged with scanning the skies for such dangerous space rocks. If one were on a collision course with our planet, information about how big it is and what it's made of would be essential for deflecting it or calculating the potential destruction.

For the past couple of years, Nathan P. Myhrvold, *a former chief technologist at Microsoft*, has roiled the small, congenial community of asteroid scientists by saying they know less than they think about these near-Earth objects.

He argues that a trove of data from NASA that they rely on is flawed and unreliable.

Since 2011, a NASA project known as Neowise has cataloged the sizes and reflectivity of 158,000  asteroids, and it claims that its diameter estimates are often within 10 percent of the actual size.

Dr. Myhrvold says that uncertainties are much greater, largely because NASA researchers used data from a satellite designed for observing distant objects, not nearby asteroids. "The science is terrible," he said.

Now his arguments have been published in Icarus, one of planetary science's most prestigious journals.

" I've gotten people to agree I was right,"  Dr. Myhrvold said.

When Dr. Myhrvold first revealed his research in 2016, NASA said that it had not been through  scientific peer review. Two years later, the agency is still defending the results of the mission.

"The Neowise team stands by its data and scientific findings that have been published in several peer-reviewed journal articles," the agency said in a statement." NASA is confident the processes and analyses performed by the Neowise team are valid, as verified by independent researchers."

In an email, Edward L. Wright, a University of California, Los Angeles, scientist who served as the  principal investigator for the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, the mission that Neowise grew out of, disputed some technical aspects of Dr. Myhrvold's paper.

He said one section about the error analysis was a "waste of paper". He did not respond to further emails.

Dr. Myhrvold's findings pose a challenge to proposed NASA asteroid - finding mission called  Neocam, short for Near-Earth Object Camera, which would probably cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

A congressional committee that controls NASA's purse strings just included $10 million more in a budget bill for the development of Neocam.

The same scientist, Amy Mainzer of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif, is the  principal investigator for Neowise and Neocam. NASA said she was unavailable for comment.   

At least one scientist at NASA found merit in Dr. Myhrvold's pursuit. David Morrison, a planetary scientist at the space agency's Ames Research  in Mountain View, Calif, said of the scientific issues raised in the papers, "For most part, I think Myhrvold  is correct."

" I do think it's valuable for someone, a smart outsider, to go in and analyse data that are important," said Dr. Morrisson, who is not involved with Dr. Myhrvold's research or Neowise.

" That has to help science. That cannot be a bad thing."

The Honor and Serving of the latest Global Operational Research on Space and Scientists continues. The World Students Society thanks author and researcher Kenneth Chang.

With respectful and loving dedication to Student Salar Khan/United States, all planned to study Space Sciences and then the Scientists, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world.

See Ya all "register" on wssciw.blogspot.com - The World Students Society, for every subject in the world and Twitter - !E-WOW! - the Ecosystem 2011:

''' Students & Asteroids "'

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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