NASA has clarified in a statement that comet Elenin, expected to come closest to Earth on October 16, 2011, will not collide with Earth.
As typical with most comets, Elenin will also not come closer to Earth than 22 million miles (35 million kilometers). That’s more than 90 times the distance to the moon, NASA said.
Comets are one of the most overrated subjects, often linked to destruction on Earth. The December 21, 2012 Doomsday prediction is also linked to comets that could hit the earth. However, NASA debunked any such theories of end of the world could have connections with astronomical events.
Claims that Nibiru, a supposed planet discovered by the Sumerians, is headed toward Earth, stirred a Dec. 21 doomsday “Internet hoax".“This catastrophe was initially predicted for May 2003, but when nothing happened the doomsday date was moved forward to December 2012,” NASA explained.
The faux was further aggravated as some predictors likened it to the ancient Mayan Calendar that ends on December 21, 2012, giving rise to speculations of the end of the world on the same date.
NASA’s Near-Earth Object Observations Program, commonly called "Spaceguard", detects, tracks and characterizes asteroids and comets passing relatively close to Earth using both ground- and space-based telescopes. The program also predicts their paths to determine if any could be potentially hazardous to Earth.
The last known asteroid to hit Earth was 65 million years ago that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs.
“We have already determined that there are no threatening impacts as large as the one that killed the dinosaurs,” NASA asserted defying any future doomsday because of astronomical phenomenon.
“Comet Elenin will not encounter any dark bodies that could perturb its orbit, nor will it influence us in any way here on Earth," said Don Yeomans, a scientist at NASA.
“It will be headed back out again, and we will not see or hear from Elenin for thousands of years,” he added.
Scientists suggest that instead of fearing comets “meaninglessly”, one should not miss the opportunity to view these bright objects that are not so regular in the sky.