An asteroid or anything like that is not going to hit Earth in September. Lately on the Internet, numerous stories have been saying that, between September 15 to 28 this year, an asteroid four kilometers (2.5 miles) wide will knockout Puerto Rico, destroying much of the Atlantic and Gulf shores of the U.S. and Mexico, and also Central and South America. The theory appears to have initiated from Reverend Efrain Rodriguez, who “sent a letter” to NASA in 2010 cautioning of an asteroid impact in 2015. Mainly overlooked at the time, numerous websites and videos have now picked up on the claim and conveyed it as fact. Well there is no such asteroid or comet exists. How do we know this? Well thanks to NASA’s Near-Earth Object (NEO) office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California, we know that there is nothing like that going to happen next month. NASA’s Near-Earth Object is able to track all Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) of a rational size. We know of numerous other PHAs, some that will come near to Earth (but not impact) in the next almost 100 years, but there is basically no noteworthy object that will smash our planet any time soon, particularly not next month.
|Image credit: We're all going to die one day. Eventually. But not due to an asteroid next month. solarseven/Shutterstock.|
This story of asteroid impact has since gone viral, so much so that NASA has given out a infrequent statement confirming that, no, apocalypse is not around the corner, something the agency is normally hate to do. Paul Chodas, manager of NASA's NEO office, said in the statement. "There is no scientific basis – not one shred of evidence – that an asteroid or any other celestial object will impact Earth on those dates. If there were any object large enough to do that type of destruction in September, we would have seen something of it by now.”
The actual danger of asteroids and comets to Earth, however, is very real. Many researchers have been demanding for a better Earth defense and detection system, to make sure we can find and terminate any possibly world-ending asteroids in future. Certainly, some small rocks, like the Chelyabinsk meteor in February 2013, do succeed to trick the radar. But something as wide as four kilometers is basically too big not to be seen, and there's nothing in the close future that poses a real danger. According to NASA the chance of a large asteroid striking Earth in the next 100 years at 0.01%.