NASA issue statement to confirm massive asteroid isn't going to hit the Earth next month
Rest easy fellow Earth dwellers, the safety of the planet will not be threatened by a giant asteroid strike next week, as NASA say the online rumour is rubbish.
It was all started by a guy called Reverend Efrain Rodriguez who predicted the space rock would hit the planet, near Puerto Rico, between September 15 and 28.
The impact, according to the Reverend, would be an enormous, with a 300 foot tsunami and a earthquake of magnitude 12 laying waste to the west coast of North and South America, while Europe would also have to cope with some terrible effects. In total, 70million people were projected to die from the initial impact and the subsequent chaos and disease that would follow.
Normally NASA don't engage with crackpot theories but this one gained so much ground in some quarters they took the unusual step of issuing a statement.
"There is no scientific basis -- not one shred of evidence -- that an asteroid or any other celestial object will impact Earth on those dates," said Paul Chodas, manager of NASA's Near-Earth Object office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
In fact, NASA's Near-Earth Object Observations Program says there have been no asteroids or comets observed that would impact Earth anytime in the foreseeable future. All known Potentially Hazardous Asteroids have less than a 0.01% chance of impacting Earth in the next 100 years.
The Near-Earth Object office at JPL is a key group involved with the international collaboration of astronomers and scientists who keep watch on the sky with their telescopes, looking for asteroids that could do harm to our planet and predicting their paths through space for the foreseeable future. If there were any observations on anything headed our way, Chodas and his colleagues would know about it.
"If there were any object large enough to do that type of destruction in September, we would have seen something of it by now," he stated.
NASA went on to say that rumours like this are frequent and this, like all the other doomsday scenarios, is nothing to worry about.