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Ooops! 17-Year-Old British Schoolboy Emails NASA to Correct 'Faulty' Data

Mar 24, 2017 09:18 AM EDT
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A British teenager has emailed scientists at NASA to tell them that their data is faulty.

According to International Business Times, Miles Soloman, who is studying physics, chemistry and advanced math at Tapton Secondary School in Sheffied, is taking part in a project run by the Institute for Research in Schools (IRIS).

The project give the students a chance to work on real data collected by the International Space Station (ISS) as it orbits the Earth.

As the 17-year-old schoolboy was looking at the data taken in space from December 2015 to June 2016, he noticed that the radiation sensors on the ISS were recording false data.

Miles's teacher and head of physics, James O'Neill, told BBC Radio 4's World at One programme, "We were all discussing the data but he just suddenly perked up in one of the sessions and went 'why does it say there's -1 energy here?'"

Miles said there is no such thing as negative energy. While NASA said they appreciate that Miles tagged them, the issue was already known even before Miles brought it up.

Atlas Obsucra reported that negative energy may occur, but it is rare and therefore, is only expected to occur once in a six-month period. However, Miles have found negative energy recorded multiple times.

"They thought they had corrected for this. The problem is that some of the algorithms which converted the raw data were slightly off, and therefore when they did the conversion, they wound up with a negative number," physicist Lawrence Pinsky from the University of Houston, who is involved with the project said, as quoted by Science Alert.

Prof. Larry Pinksy, from the University of Houston, told Radio 4 that the recent incident shows the importance of the IRIS projects, and believes that the students will find more interesting things.

Meanwhile, NASA even invited Solomon to further look on the anomaly. He hopes that his discovery will inspire the students to become next generation scientists.

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