In case you’ve begun rounding up War Boys, collecting bottle caps, and practicing your best Cruise run, you might want to stop now. Because contrary to various media reports, there is no giant comet or asteroid heading for Earth.
Oh, internet. It seems we can’t make it a single year without a rumor like this popping up. The latest one has gotten so out of hand that NASA issued an official statement to help clear the – ahem – atmosphere.
“Numerous recent blogs and web postings are erroneously claiming that an asteroid will impact Earth, sometime between Sept. 15 and 28, 2015,” they write. “There is no scientific basis – not one shred of evidence – that an asteroid or any other celestial object will impact Earth on those dates. Not a single known object has any credible chance of hitting our planet over the next century.” Last time we checked, that includes this September.
If you find yourself asking, “But, do they really know?” The answer is yes. The team at NASA’s Near-Earth Object (NEO) Observation Program, commonly (and awesomely) known as “Spaceguard,” works around-the-clock to detect, track and characterize any asteroid or comet that passes within 30 million miles of Earth. (In case that didn’t sink in: our planet has a team of space-guards.)
“We discover these objects, characterize the physical nature of them, and predict their paths to determine if any could be potentially hazardous to our planet,” explains NEO manager Paul Chodas, who’s been computing the orbits of asteroids and comets for over 30 years. “Again, there is no existing evidence that an asteroid or any other celestial object is on a trajectory that will impact Earth.”
While we’re at it, we might also add that there won’t be two moons in the sky on August 27. Apocalypse: not now.