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No Truth to News That a Space Rock Will Hit Earth and Split It in Half

Misbar's Editorial Team Misbar's Editorial Team
27th December 2021
No Truth to News That a Space Rock Will Hit Earth and Split It in Half
Spanish-speaking Mexican websites shared the video (Facebook).

The Claim

A space rock will hit Earth and split the planet in half.

Emerging story

Facebook accounts have recently shared a claim about when an asteroid will hit Earth and split it in half.

A supporting image within the article body
A supporting image within the article body

Photo Description: The screenshots capture the purported claim shared on Facebook.

Misbar’s Analysis

Misbar’s team investigated the circulated claim and found it fake. The image is only an illustration, which was shared years earlier by Getty. Misbar’s team also searched NASA’s website and did not find any news in this regard. NASA did not make any announcement about this alleged asteroid collision with Earth.

A supporting image within the article body

NASA had already stated in an article on its website regarding collisions with Earth that “[t]he Earth’s atmosphere protects us from the multitude of small debris, the size of grains of sand or pebbles, thousands of which pelt our planet every day. The meteors in our night sky are visible evidence of this small debris burning up high in the atmosphere. In fact, up to a diameter of about 10-meters (33 feet), most stony meteoroids are destroyed in the atmosphere in thermal explosions. Obviously, some fragments do reach the ground, because we have stony meteorites in our museums. Such falls are known to cause property damage from time to time. On October 9, 1992, a fireball was seen streaking across the sky all the way from Kentucky to New York.”

The article adds that “NASA knows of no asteroid or comet currently on a collision course with Earth, so the probability of a major collision is quite small. In fact, as best as we can tell, no large object is likely to strike the Earth any time in the next several hundred years. To be able to calculate the statistics better, astronomers need to detect as many of the near-Earth objects as possible. It's likely that we could identify a threatening near-Earth object large enough to cause catastrophic changes in the Earth's environment potentially.”

A supporting image within the article body

NASA stated that an asteroid between 1.1 and 2.5 miles wide is expected to fly by but not collide with Earth. The asteroid is called 52768 (1998 OR2), and it was “first spotted in 1998. It will pass within 3,908,791 miles of Earth, moving at 19,461 miles per hour.”

NASA added that the “flyby is expected to occur on Wednesday, April 29, at 4:56 a.m. ET, according to NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies. They track Near-Earth Objects that could collide with Earth.”


Translated by Ahmed N. A. Almassri

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