By now you’ve probably heard of 2016 WF9. Everybody is freaking out about this ‘death asteroid’ and, if the predictions hold up, it really is something to worry about. Except, as you might have guessed, the predictions do not actually hold up.
There’s really only one person saying WF9 is the Sweet Meteor of Death some people were rooting for in the 2016 election: Dyomin Damir Zakharovich, a Russian astronomer who claims that the asteroid is actually a piece of Nibiru. What, you might ask, is Nibiru? Why, it’s a planet we were told about by Nancy Lieder, a woman who claims to be in telepathic contact with aliens from Zeta Reticuli. This would be a good point to bring up that the “Nibiru cataclysm” was supposed to have happened in 2003.
In rather sharp contrast to the doomsaying, here’s what NASA had to say about 2016 WF9:
2016 WF9 will approach Earth’s orbit on Feb. 25, 2017. At a distance of nearly 32 million miles (51 million kilometers) from Earth, this pass will not bring it particularly close. The trajectory of 2016 WF9 is well understood, and the object is not a threat to Earth for the foreseeable future.
The problem with these internet conspiracy freakouts is that they’re hiding a genuine, serious issue. Joseph Nuth, a NASA scientist, said just a month ago that if we found an asteroid heading for Earth, we wouldn’t have the tools to stop it. We need five years’ lead time, and we would simply spot the asteroid too late to do anything about it. So while the crackpots may be wrong about this particular asteroid, it’s worth noting even NASA thinks they’ve got something to worry about.
(Via The Daily Mail)