Comet Elenin, which in August further aggravated Internet hoax following Harold Camping's May 21 Doomsday prophecies early this year, is no more, NASA said Tuesday.
Many feared that Elenin, which came closest to Earth Oct. 16, would collide with the Earth, thus stirring end of the world by causing earthquakes and other disasters to befall planet Earth.
NASA defied any such beliefs connecting comets with doomsday.
According to the latest statement from the space agency, comet Elenin has broken apart into chunks of dust and ice, what it is primarily composed of, and its remnants will not be seen for almost 12 millennia. Does that mean doomsday predictors should keep away from their foretelling for at least 12,000 years?
NASA said that it could not guess why minor astronomical events became a wild Internet faux and that there would always be such Internet rumors happening.
The scientific reality is this modest-sized icy dirtball's influence upon our planet is so incredibly minuscule that my subcompact automobile exerts a greater gravitational influence on Earth than the comet ever would, said Don Yeomans of Near-Earth Object Program Office at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.
As typical with comets, Elenin came as close as 45 million miles (72 million kilometers) to the Sun Oct. 16, when the comet's remnants got no closer than about 22 million miles (35.4 million kilometers), and met a fate as most comets do, he added
Elenin did as new comets passing close by the Sun do about two percent of the time: It broke apart; once they break up, there is no hope of reconciliation, said Yeomans.
NASA's Spaceguard plan, a Near-Earth Object Observations Program, detects, tracks and characterizes asteroids and comets passing relatively close to the Earth using both ground- and space-based telescopes. The program also predicts their paths to determine if any could be potentially hazardous to the Earth.
There are no known credible threats to date, Yeomans asserted, debunking any doomsday predictions because of comets or asteroids.
The last known most devastating impact was the one 65 million years ago that killed and led to the extinction of the dinosaurs, he added.