Nasa has confirmed that a 'Manhattan sized' asteroid will not strike the Earth in 2041 after a 'citizen journalism' article on CNN claiming otherwise went viral.
The article reportedly posted to CNN's 'citizen journalism' iReport website claimed that a 10-mile-wide asteroid had been discovered by the NeoWise telescope.
The story received more than 200,000 views in the time it was online, and 22,000 social media shares.
"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."
Yes, that's right - March 35th. That might have been your first clue this was not all it appeared.
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."
Luckily Nasa has now 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."
Here's what the story looked like when it was published:
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