What a relief: NASA has confirmed that the world will not end with a bang on or around September 15, as the latest rumour to go viral is suggesting.
Numerous recent blogs and web postings have claimed that an asteroid will impact Earth, sometime between September 15 and 28, 2015. On one of those dates, there will be an impact near Puerto Rico causing widespread destruction to the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States and Mexico, as well as Central and South America.
"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 a cross sounding Paul Chodas, manager of NASA's Near-Earth Object office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
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 said.
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 object large enough to do that type of destruction in September, we would have seen something of it by now," Chodas stated.
NASA is used to rebutting scare stories. In 2011 there were rumours about the so-called “doomsday” comet Elenin, which never posed any danger of harming Earth and broke up into a stream of small debris out in space. Then there were Internet assertions surrounding the end of the Mayan calendar on Dec. 21, 2012, insisting the world would end with a large asteroid impact.