A CNN report claiming that a Manhattan-sized asteroid would collide with earth and destroy everything by 2041, has turned out to be a fake.
The story, posted by a ‘citizen journalist’ named ‘Marcus575’, has claimed that a newly discovered asteroid has almost 50% chance of colliding with the Earth causing mass extinction.
The fake doomsday news went viral on the internet and received more than 230,000 hits and 23,000 shares since it was published causing major embarrassment for the reputed news website.
According to the user-posted article:
“Scientists believe that during a close encounter with Mars, the asteroid was nudged slightly off its usual orbit and may currently be on a high speed collision course with our fragile planet.
“The asteroid is calculated to have a potentially lethal encounter with the Earth on March 35, 2041.”
The date, more than 20 years away – signaled that the story was not all it appeared to be, writes The Huffington Post.
The story continued:
“Astronomers have placed the odds of an impact at 1 in 2.04, which is by far the most unprecedented risk ever faced to humanity, let alone from asteroids. Such an impact could potentially end civilization as we know it.”
The user wrote that researchers had found the asteroid using the Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE), locating the object approximately 51 million miles from Earth.
Luckily, CNN has now removed the report from its website and NASA has denied that the asteroid exists.
A statement in place of the original report said:
“NASA has confirmed via email that this story is false. A spokewoman for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory says that the largest object detected by NEOWISE measures 3 km in diameter and poses no risk to Earth. The iReport has been removed.”