Viral Hoax: NASA Debunks CNN’s Prediction of 2041 Apocalypse Caused by 'Giant' Asteroid Headed to Destroy the Earth

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By jaskiran kaur | May 29, 2014 10:46 AM EST

A CNN article posted on CNN's iReport Web site claimed that earth will meet its end in 2041 when a "giant asteroid" will collide with the planet. The story went viral and led readers to believe in impending apocalypse. However, NASA confirms that the story is "false" as it debunks the doomsday hoax that went viral.

On May 26, 2014, the story titled "Giant asteroid possibly on collision course with Earth," grabbed attention to millions of people. The story posted on CNN's "citizen journalism" Web site claimed that a "Manhattan sized" asteroid is approaching earth and it will destroy the planet, according to Huffington Post.

The Web site notes that the article stated that "a 10-mile-wide asteroid" will strike the Earth. The asteroid had been spotted by the NeoWise Telescope or Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer.

The UK publication cited some of the statements of the hoax article posted on CNN.

"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," read the article posted on CNN (via Huffington Post)

The story predicted the asteroid's "lethal encounter" with the Earth to occur on March 35, 2041. This perhaps is the major hint proving the story was a hoax. Furthermore, the false story claimed that by far it would be the "most unprecedented risk ever faced to humanity, let alone from asteroids."

It continues to say that the impact of such a collision "could potentially end civilization as we know it."

The story was viewed more than 233,000 times and was shared about 23,000 times on social media networks, as per the screen grab of false apocalypse story provided by spaceref.com. It must be noted that the hoax story has been taken down from the CNN Web site. One can now find a note by CNN's producer in place of the original article. The note confirms that NASA has denied possibility of such a collision calling the story "false." Largest object ever discovered by NEOWISE "measures 3 Km in diameter and posed no risk to Earth," as per the spokeswoman for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, noted CNN's Web site. 

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