NASA nixes asteroid threat rumor

Should we be worried about an asteroid impacting Earth sometime between Sept. 15 and 28? NASA says "no."

“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 a statement.

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The Internet was abuzz with rumors that the asteroid would hit somewhere near Puerto Rico in September, resulting in severe destruction in Central and South America as well as along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of Mexico and the United States.

NASA reported that they have observed no asteroids or comets that could hit the planet anytime soon. The known “potentially hazardous asteroids” have less than a 0.01 percent chance of impacting Earth over the course of the next 100 years.

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“If there were any object large enough to do that type of destruction in September, we would have seen something of it by now,” Chodas asserted.

These kinds of concerns are nothing new. Every so often, Web posters will discuss theories of potential cataclysmic collisions, like the 2011 rumors about the Elenin, the “doomsday” comet that never posed any real danger to Earth, breaking up into debris before ever reaching the planet.