NASA debunks asteroid apocalypse rumors, after web postings claimed that an asteroid will impact Earth sometime, between September 15 and 18. The space agency reassured the people that there is no need to panic and there no real danger.
Paul Chodas, manager of NASA’s Near Earth Observations Program said there is no scientific basis or evidence that an asteroid or any other celestial object will impact Earth on those dates. The rumors claimed that an asteroid would smash into the planet around Puerto Rico, causing widespread destruction to the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of the United States and Mexico, as well as Central and South America.
“All known potentially hazardous asteroids have less than 0.01% chance of impacting Earth in the next 100 years,” said Chodas.
Chodas stated that if there was any large object that can do the type of destruction, they would have seen something by now. In July, NASA released an amazing video of a “Space Peanut” that whisked just 4.5 million miles from Earth — about 19 times the distance from the Earth to the moon. Scientists produced the image of the Space Peanut by using two Earth-based radio telescopes. However, NASA said it was a contact binary (two lobes stuck together) as it approached closer to the planet.
The next time the asteroid will approach Earth will be in 2054. NASA also mentioned that it actively detects, tracks and characterizes asteroids and comets passing 30 million miles of Earth using space and ground-based telescopes.
The Near-Earth Object Observations program (Spaceguard) discovers and tracks celestial objects, their physical nature and predicts their path to determine if they are hazardous to Earth. NASA added that this is not the first time, rumors of a celestial object impacting Earth have been made, and unfortunately it won’t be the last. It seems to be a perennial favorite of the World Wide Web, NASA added.[ Source ] [ Via ]