NASA warns the public to check the facts the rumors they debunk. If an asteroid was on course to smash into the earth next month, we’d already see it, says NASA
NASA would have already spotted the asteroid if one was indeed bearing down on the Earth for a strike next month, the space agency stated last week.
To intercept and destroy field of rumors placing an asteroid strike between Sept. 15 and 28, NASA’s Paul Chodas, issued an official statement through NASA’s press office.
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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 the manager of space agency’s Near-Earth Object office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “If there were any object large enough to do that type of destruction in September, we would have seen something of it by now.”
Spaceguard, the nickname for the Near Earth Object office, tracks asteroids within 30 million miles of the Earth. It characterizes each of them and predicts their paths.
NASA pointed to the various rumors about world-wrecking rocks that have been spread over the years, asserting that such false narratives will continue and education is its best tool in discounting them.
There’s “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.”
For those still worried about lorry-sized rocks bringing an end to life as we know it, three astronomers have detailed a novel approach to isolating identifying asteroids sooner. The approach entails combing several short exposures of the night sky, so that the star look like streaks and the feint asteroid come to light, so to say.
The techniques takes a longer time with smaller telescopes, lead author Aren Heinze, a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Hawaii, said in an interview with Discovery News.
“With a larger telescope, you can do a shorter exposure on each part of the sky and can cover the same part of the sky with more sensitivity in a small amount of time,” said Heinze.
The researchers’ early findings have been accepted by the Astrophysical Journal, but three indicated that technique is still in its infancy and there’s still much more work to be done.