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NASA: Huge asteroid will not destroy Earth in September

By Amy R. Connolly
NASA: Huge asteroid will not destroy Earth in September
NASA struck down apocalyptic theories that a giant asteroid will hit Earth in September, saying there is "not one shred of evidence" the rumors are true. This view of Earth comes from NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer aboard the Terra satellite. Image from NASA

WASHINGTON, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- NASA struck down apocalyptic theories that a giant asteroid will hit Earth in September, saying there is "not one shred of evidence" the rumors are true.

In response to online rumors about a massive asteroid strike between Sept. 15 and 28, the U.S. space agency sought to clarify "numerous recent blogs and web postings" as false. "All known Potentially Hazardous Asteroids have less than a 0.01 percent chance of impacting Earth in the next 100 years," NASA said.

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"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, Calif.

For years, YouTubers have been predicting the doomsday asteroid to hit near Puerto Rico, triggering a massive earthquake that will devastate the United States, Mexico, and Central and South America.

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This isn't the first time NASA had made moves to quell Internet hysteria. In 2011, there were rumors the comet Elenin would destroy Earth. Instead, it broke up into small pieces in space. In 2012, Internet rumors predicted an asteroid strike would end the world on Dec. 12, 2012, in conjunction with the end of the Mayan calendar. Others, too, have missed Earth "just as NASA said they would," the space agency said.

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"Again, there is no existing evidence that an asteroid or any other celestial object is on a trajectory that will impact Earth," said Chodas. "In fact, not a single one of the known objects has any credible chance of hitting our planet over the next century."

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