Numerous recent blogs and web postings have claimed that an asteroid will impact Earth, sometime between 15 and 28 September.
“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.
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.
More information about asteroids and near-Earth objects is at: http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov
Bill Condie is a science journalist based in Adelaide, Australia.
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