NASA Assures the World that We Won’t All Die in an Asteroid Impact Next Month

Friday, 21 August 2015 - 3:20PM
Space
Friday, 21 August 2015 - 3:20PM
NASA Assures the World that We Won’t All Die in an Asteroid Impact Next Month

Over the last few weeks, blogs and fringe websites have propagated rumors that a massive asteroid impact will place the world in peril next month, and NASA really, really wants you to know it isn't true. Really.

According to the rumors, the asteroid would strike near Puerto Rico between the 15th and 28th of September, devastating the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States and Mexico, as well as Central and South America.

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"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 NASA's Paul Chodas in a statement.
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Chodas is the manager of NASA's Near-Earth Object office at JPL, which closely monitors all space objects that could potentially make contact with our home planet. If there were a massive asteroid poised to destroy Earth, they would know about it.

Opening quote
"If there were any object large enough to do that type of destruction in September, we would have seen something of it by now," said Chodas.
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According to NASA, not only will that two-week period be asteroid-free, we can expect to be safe from any near-Earth object impact for our collective lifetimes. All the space objects that have been deemed "potentially hazardous" have less than a 0.01% chance of impacting Earth in the next century. 

NASA is full of consummate professionals, but you can practically hear their annoyance in their statement as they repeatedly nix the rumors:

Opening quote
"Again, there is no existing evidence that an asteroid or any other celestial object is on a trajectory that will impact Earth," said Chodas. "In fact, not a single one of the known objects has any credible chance of hitting our planet over the next century."
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If the rumors weren't so ridiculous and baseless to begin with, we'd say they sound defensive. Do they protest too much? No, according to NASA's Asteroid Watch, they protest just enough, as the next five closest approaches to Earth are nowhere even close to the surface. The nearest miss is an asteroid that is a full 1,050,000 miles away, and takes place today, August 21. So as long as that asteroid doesn't travel a million miles in the next eight hours, we're probably safe for a good long while.

Via The Guardian.

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