"Doomsday” Comet Elenin: A Threat No More
By Genalyn.C | October 17, 2011 2:13 PM EST
While it brought fear to some who believed that Comet Elenin would bring the Earth to extinction, astronomers now say that only a stream of debris of the supposedly "doomsday comet" have reached the atmosphere.
Comet Elenin broke up on August after a huge solar storm blasted it. On September 10 it passed close to the sun which finished it off, so what re-entered the Earth were debris rather than a completely intact comet, astronomers say, adding that what was left of Elenin will not return for 12,000 years.
Astronomer Don Yeomans of the Near-Earth Object Program Office at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said that the comet cannot be found so he believes "it's already dead and gone."
Various predictions came about when news about the "doomsday comet" was reported.
Some rumors that started circulating that Elenin would wreck havoc to the Earth, causing massive earthquakes and tsunamis, after it aligns with other heavenly bodies. Another said that Elenin was not a comet but in fact a planet called Nibiru, and that it would bring the end of the world.
These tales were pure nonsense according to Yeoman who said that Elenin was a "second-rate, wimply little comet that never should have been noted for anything."
The comet's supposed connection to earthquakes was just a correlation as strong earthquakes happen somewhere everyday so blaming it to the comet's changing position is not statistically valid, he said.
Yeoman explained that the frenzy over Elenin could be the result of some folks making an outrageous claims which snowballed in the internet.
The comet was named after a Russian amateur astronomer, Leonid Elenin, who discovered it in December 2010.
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