The small asteroid just six to nine feet across that “collided” with Earth in January 2014, streaking across the sky as shown in the animation above as it broke up in the atmosphere (credit: Nasa/JPL)
It is rare that NASA feels the need to issue an official statement to put people’s minds at rest, but in response to a rumor that has gone viral around the world, the US space agency has insisted that the claims that an asteroid will hit the Earth in September have “no scientific basis.”
The ominous predictions were first made by an online community of biblical theorists who claimed that the asteroid would hit sometime between September 15th and 28th. They warned the impact, which was said will occur near Puerto Rico, would cause widespread destruction along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the US, Mexico, and much of Central and South America.
It is thought the doomsday prophecy was first made by self-proclaimed prophet Rev Efraid Rodriguez, who says he learned of the disaster in a message from God. He said the asteroid would hit the ocean and cause a devastating earthquake and tsunami. Rev Rodriguez claims he wrote to NASA in 2010 warning of the asteroid, and his claims of impending doom in September this year have spread on the internet.
NASA issued the following statement on Wednesday:
NASA: There is No Asteroid Threatening Earth
Numerous recent blogs and web postings are erroneously claiming that an asteroid will impact Earth, sometime between Sept. 15 and 28, 2015. On one of those dates, as rumors go, there will be an impact — “evidently” near Puerto Rico — causing wanton destruction to the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States and Mexico, as well as Central and South America.
That’s the rumor that has gone viral — now here are the facts.
“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.
Nasa tracks around 12,992 near-Earth objects which have been discovered orbiting within our solar system close to our own orbit. It estimates around 1,607 are classified as Potentially Hazardous Asteroids.