A Teenager Just “Delighted” NASA By Pointing Out a Significant Error in Their Data


Image result for A Teenager Just “Delighted” NASA By Pointing Out a Significant Error in Their Data

A British school student recently contacted NASA to point out that there was an error in data recorded on the International Space Station (ISS), earning him thanks from the US space agency.

Miles Soloman, a 17-year-old student from Tapton School in Sheffield, was working on the TimPix project, which lets school students in the UK access data recorded by radiation detectors during British astronaut Tim Peake’s six-month stay on the ISS.

Amongst other projects, Peake participated in a research program that aims to understand the impact of space radiation on humans. Radiation on the ISS is monitored with USB-shaped Timepix detectors, which are plugged into computers and regularly send data back to Earth.

Soloman and his fellow students were given these Timepix measurements in a giant pile of Excel spreadsheets, allowing them to practice data analysis on real-world scientific information.

When they sorted the data by energy levels, Soloman noticed something odd.

“I went straight to the bottom of the list, and went to the lowest bits of energy there were,” he told BBC Radio 4’s World at One current affairs program.

“I noticed that where we should have no energy, where there was no radiation, it was actually showing -1. The first thing I thought was ‘Well you can’t have negative energy,’ and then we realised that this was an error.”

Soloman and his physics teacher James O’Neill jumped into action and emailed NASA straight away.


As Soloman explained to BBC Radio, researchers at NASA responded that they were aware of the error, but thought it had only been happening once or twice a year. They were wrong.

“What we actually found was that they were happening multiple times a day,” says Soloman.

“They thought they had corrected for this,” said physicist Lawrence Pinsky from the University of Houston, who is involved with the TimPix project, and is a collaborator of the radiation monitoring project on ISS.

“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.”

Prompted by BBC’s World at One host Martha Kearney on whether such a revelation by a schoolboy was embarrassing, Pinsky answered that he didn’t think so.

“It was appreciated more so than being embarrassing,” he said. “The idea that students get involved at a real level means that there’s an opportunity for them to find things like this.”

The TimPix project is one of many initiatives organized by IRIS (the Institute for Research in Schools), a UK-based charitable trust that gives students and teachers opportunities to do actual scientific research at school.

IRIS has partnered with organizations such as CERN, NASA, Wellcome Trust, and the UK Royal Horticultural Society to bring real science projects into the classroom and get kids excited about pursuing careers in science.

“We’re also tapping into the potential of young minds and what they can do,” said Soloman’s teacher O’Neill. “As far as I’m concerned, the greatest research group we can form is our students around the country.”

Apart from analysing radiation exposure on ISS, students have also been doing genetic research into cardiovascular disease, analysing the atmosphere of Mars, and taking part in the MoEDAL experiment at the Large Hadron Collider, looking for signs of a magnetic monopole.

There’s even a project in the works that will let kids build a replica of the Large Hadron Collider in Minecraft, working in collaboration with the particle physics team from the University of Oxford.

At least for Miles Soloman, IRIS has definitely given him inspiration to pursue more science, although he hastens to explain that he wasn’t trying to outsmart NASA researchers when he pointed out the data error.

“I’m not trying to prove NASA wrong, I’m not trying to say I’m better, because obviously I’m not – they’re NASA,” he said. “I want to work with them and learn from them.”



    (April 1, 2017 - 3:17 pm)

    It’s vey efforfless to ind outt any topoic on nett ass compaed tto textbooks, aas I founnd thi paragraph att this web page.

    Greetngs frim Florida! I’m boreed att wprk so I deccided too brfowse your webwite oon mmy iphone durig luinch break.
    I lovve the incormation yoou provijde hre andd can’t wait too ake a look whyen I
    geet home. I’m amazrd att howw fast yur blog loadded oon my phine ..
    I’m not ecen usinmg WIFI,just 3G .. Anyways, supeb
    blog! I’ve bwen browsing onkine mote than 3 houjrs today, yyet I ndver found any interestin article lie
    yours. It’s pretty worthh enoug ffor me. In myy
    view, iff all webb oeners aand bkoggers mare goodd content aas you did, thhe neet wiull bbe a lot
    more usxeful than ver before. http://cspan.org

    Academia do importador

    (April 3, 2017 - 8:04 am)

    Como o admin deste página web está funcionando, não hesitação muito rapidamente será conhecidos , devido à sua qualidade conteúdo.

    formula negócio online/treinamento

    (April 3, 2017 - 4:11 pm)

    Eu sou espantado, devo dizer . Raramente eu fazer encontro um blog é ambos educativa
    e divertido , e sem dúvida, tem bateu o prego na cabeça.
    O problema é algo muito poucos pessoal é falando inteligentemente sobre.

    Eu sou muito feliz I encontrado isto durante meu caçar algo respeito deste .


    (April 3, 2017 - 5:12 pm)

    Tudo é muito aberto com um claro explicação da
    questões . Foi verdadeiramente informativo.
    Seu site é muito útil . Muito obrigado por partilha!

    o guia da reconquista perfeita baixar

    (April 3, 2017 - 5:39 pm)

    Escreva mais, é tudo o que tenho a dizer.
    Literalmente, parece que você se baseou no vídeo para seu ponto
    de vista. Você obviamente que sabem que você está falando, por
    que resíduos sua inteligência em apenas
    postar vídeos para seu local quando você poderia estar nos
    dando algo esclarecedor para ler?


    (April 3, 2017 - 5:40 pm)

    UAU, só o que eu estava busca para. Vim aqui procurando por
    % meta_keyword %

    Oi lá , eu quero para se inscrever para este web site para
    obter mais recentes atualizações, então onde posso fazê-lo por
    favor ajudar .

    marketing digital globo

    (April 3, 2017 - 6:10 pm)

    Eu realmente gosto que vocês são também. Este tipo de
    trabalho inteligente e cobertura ! Manter-se o incrível
    funciona caras tenho vocês para meu blogroll.

    formula negócio online funciona

    (April 3, 2017 - 7:36 pm)

    Escreva mais, é tudo o que tenho a dizer. Literalmente, parece que você se baseou no vídeo para seu ponto de vista.
    Você definitivamente que sabem que você está falando,
    por que Jogue fora sua inteligência em apenas postar vídeos para seu local
    quando você poderia estar nos dando algo esclarecedor para

    Obrigado por compartilhar seu pensamentos.
    Eu realmente apreciar seus esforços e eu será esperando por
    seu próxima ups gravar Obrigado mais uma vez.

    Pedro Benjamin

    (April 3, 2017 - 10:13 pm)

    Há definitivamente muito a conheça isto tópico
    . Eu gosto todos o pontos fez .

    t shirt design company

    (April 4, 2017 - 8:10 pm)

    a hundгed% viscose.

    spa massage lyon

    (April 5, 2017 - 6:49 pm)

    D’apres le docteur Hooker, quelques-unes de ces formes australiennes
    s’etendent le long des hauteurs de la peninsule de Malacca, et sont
    faiblement disseminees d’une part dans l’Inde, et,
    d’autre part, aussi loin vers le nord que
    le Japon. http://www.sophiechassat.com

    formula negócio online 2.0

    (April 5, 2017 - 10:39 pm)

    Eu posso simplesmente dizer o que um alívio encontrar alguém quem
    realmente entende o que são discutindo on-line . Você na verdade sabe
    como trazer um problema para acender e torná-la importante.
    Mais e mais pessoas deveria Veja isso e
    compreender este lado de seu história. É surpreendente
    você aren ‘ t mais popular porque você certamente possuem o dom.

    formula negócio online reclame aqui

    (April 6, 2017 - 1:27 am)

    Queria te agradecer por isto fantástico ler!!!! Eu definitivamente desfrutado cada um
    pouco de isso. Eu tenho você marcados para verificar novo coisas você postar…

    visit my website

    (April 11, 2017 - 5:35 pm)

    You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I
    find this topic to be really something that I think I would
    never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me.
    I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the
    hang of it!

    marketing digital curso pdf

    (April 26, 2017 - 3:25 pm)

    Eu não sou muito de um internet leitor deve ser honesto
    mas seu sites muito bom, continue assim! Eu
    vou em frente e marque seu site voltar mais tarde.
    Tudo de melhor

    asos coupon code

    (May 21, 2017 - 8:41 am)

    I’ve been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this blog. Thanks , I will try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your website?

    buat email baru di gmail

    (May 31, 2017 - 2:49 pm)

    Magnificent items from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff prior to and you’re simply extremely fantastic.
    I really like what you’ve acquired here, certainly like
    what you are saying and the way through which you are saying it.
    You’re making it entertaining and you still take
    care of to keep it smart. I can not wait to learn much more from you.
    This is really a tremendous web site.

    baterie wannowe stojące

    (June 1, 2017 - 6:47 pm)

    Heya i am for the primary time here. I came across this board and I find It
    truly useful & it helped me out a lot. I’m hoping to offer
    one thing back and aid others like you aided me.

    baterie łazienkowe

    (June 2, 2017 - 1:06 am)

    Very quickly this web site will be famous among all blogging viewers,
    due to it’s fastidious posts


    (June 3, 2017 - 4:37 pm)

    Hi there to all, how is everything, I think every one is getting more from this
    web page, and your views are nice for new users.

    generic viagra

    (June 3, 2017 - 9:31 pm)

    I will right away clutch your rss feed as I can not to find your e-mail subscription link or e-newsletter service.
    Do you have any? Kindly permit me recognise in order that
    I could subscribe. Thanks. generic viagra


    (June 4, 2017 - 2:16 pm)

    I visit daily a few blogs and websites to read posts, however this webpage presents feature
    based articles. http://caffelatteitzimna.com/?option=com_k2&view=itemlist&task=user&id=292947

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *