NASA Says 4KM Huge Asteroid will Destroy Earth in Apr 2020: Fact Check


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NASA Says 4KM Huge Asteroid will Destroy Earth in Apr 2020

Story:

Latest News: NASA Says a 4KM Huge Asteroid will Strike Earth on 29th April 2020 and Cause Catastrophic Destruction!

Other Versions

(Hindi)
1. धरती का महाविनाश 29 अप्रैल 2020 भाटयो वीडियो देखो ज़्यादा ज़्यादा शेयर करो

2. महाविनाश का काउंटडा
कोरोनो वायरस के बाद क्या हो जाएगा 29 अप्रैल 2020 को धरती का विनाश😱🙈 Latest न्यूज़

Fact Check:

A ‘latest news’ doing rounds on social media platforms claims NASA says a 4KM Huge Asteroid will Strike Earth on 29th April 2020 and cause Catastrophic Destruction. There are also videos with similar claims amidst Coronavirus crisis around the world. Do not worry; the mentioned Asteroid will pass safely on the date without causing harm to Earth.

About the Claims in Question

The Asteroid hit claims are doing rounds on social media in different versions and languages. Related videos are also doing rounds on social media saying on one side is the deadly Coronavirus killing people worldwide and scaring everyone. On the other hand, there’s a threat coming from Space which can destroy human civilization totally. It goes on to say an Asteroid of the size of Himalayas coming from space with a high speed can hit Earth on 29th April 2020. It also mentions many scientists express grave fears the Asteroid strike may destroy humans like it did it with Dinosaurs millions of years ago.

The claims in question originated from a related article on Daily Express website express.co.uk published on 6th March 2020. It came with the title, “Asteroid warning: NASA tracks a 4KM asteroid approach – Could end civilization if it hits“. The article described details about the Asteroid named 52768 (1998 OR2) heading our way.

Did NASA Say the Asteroid will Destroy Earth in April 2020?

It is a fact, the Asteroid (space rock) named 52768 (1998 OR2) with estimated diameter (1.8 km – 4.1 km) will approach close to Earth on 29th April 2020. However, the estimated distance, according to NASA, is almost 4 million miles away from Earth, i.e. 16.36 Lunar Distance. The object velocity relative to Earth at close approach is around 8.7 km/s. Note, this is not a new Asteroid. It was discovered in July 1998 and NASA keeps tracking it among several others. More importantly, NASA mentioned about it in a list of near-Earth objects (NEOs) – Close Approaches.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory classified 1998 OR2 as a “Potentially Hazardous Asteroid” because it occasionally passes near Earth’s orbit and is large enough to cause serious damage on impact. Again, on 29th April, the close approach distance of the Asteroid will be around 16 times the distance of Moon from Earth. So, it does not carry any damaging effect or threat to Earth or human civilization for that matter. The Giant ‘potentially hazardous’ asteroid comparable in size to Mount Everest will fly safely by Earth in April end 2020.

The aforementioned article on Daily Express added a clarification later saying the Asteroid will in fact pass on close approach distance from Earth. To conclude, the messages and videos warning world or human civilization will end as a 4KM huge Asteroid will strike Earth on 29th April 2020 are hoaxes. EarthSky website earthsky.org also reports about it adding, observers can peer through Telescopes and see the Asteroid 52768 (1998 OR2) as a slow-moving “star”. For your information, this is not the first time such misleading claims originated online. Earlier similar stories said NASA warned a Giant Asteroid may Hit Earth in December 2019.

Hoax or Fact:

Hoax.


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Prashanth Damarla
Debunker

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