Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Earth NASA Space Science

NASA Shoots Down Comet Elenin Doomsday Predictions 144

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the phew-i-was-worried dept.
coondoggie writes "The comet Elenin, which will pass by Earth October 16, has generated such an inordinate amount of doomsday reports from a number of different sources that NASA today issued a release meant to address a variety of them. To address the myriad concerns, NASA said its scientists compiled a list of the most popular questions it has received about Elenin."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

NASA Shoots Down Comet Elenin Doomsday Predictions

Comments Filter:
  • by md65536 (670240) on Wednesday August 17, 2011 @12:18PM (#37120140)

    They shot down a comet?! With what, lasers or nukes? (I didn't bother to RTFS)

    • by Nanosphere (1867972) on Wednesday August 17, 2011 @12:26PM (#37120240)

      They shot down a comet?! With what, lasers or nukes? (I didn't bother to RTFS)

      DMCA takedown notice.

    • by MikeyC01 (231948)

      It was Bruce Willis with a Makita and Aerosmith singing power ballads in the background.

    • From TFA

      NASA shoots down comet Elenin doom and gloom predictions (...)
      At its closest point, it will be 22 million miles (35 million kilometers) from us. That's more than 90 times the distance to the Moon.

      Looks like Bruce Willis can keep playing in turkeys.

      • by smitty97 (995791)

        That's more than 90 times the distance to the Moon.

        soo.. how far is that in football fields

        • by kryliss (72493)

          ~378,349,488 Football fields.....

    • by jeffmeden (135043)

      Good, so you didnt have to be exposed to this blatant racism:

      And there is no such thing as a black dwarf

      I mean come on.

      • by itsdapead (734413)

        And there is no such thing as a black dwarf

        What'choo talkin' about, NASA?

        • by rubycodez (864176)
          On a more serious note, the term "black dwarf" can be used to describe a white dwarf star that has cooled to near absolute zero. There will not be such a thing in this universe for at least 10^15 years.
          • On a more serious note, the term "black dwarf" can be used to describe a white dwarf star that has cooled to near absolute zero. There will not be such a thing in this universe for at least 10^15 years.

            So I guess that means, as the white dwarf cools, it will be come a Red Dwarf?

    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      Nah the only shooting they did was of tinfoil hatters who had seen too many movies.

      What I DO find funny though is that anyone would believe a word they say. Now I'm not a tinfoil hatter and thought they were full of shit, but does anyone here HONESTLY believe if an agency of the US government was to find out that something seriously fucking nasty was gonna happen to us that they couldn't stop that they would tell us? Not a chance in hell. There would be too much panic, too much rioting and looting, too much

      • Re:That's so cool (Score:4, Informative)

        by rubycodez (864176) on Wednesday August 17, 2011 @01:13PM (#37120794)
        Not an issue with asteroids, too many astronomers independent of the U.S. government would see such a thing. It's the same with the tin foil hatters claiming huge amounts of radiation are blowing across the USA from the west, too many people could detect such a thing (including me)
        • by DrVxD (184537)

          huge amounts of radiation are blowing across the USA from the west, too many people could detect such a thing (including me)

          Tinfoil underpants may well protect you from detecting it.

        • by hairyfeet (841228)

          Oh I didn't say I didn't think they weren't nutters, as I said the tinfoil hatters are by and large completely full of shit. I simply said anybody who thinks the government would detect something that was gonna seriously fuck our shit up and be honest with the people is likewise full of shit. Governments aren't in the business of being honest, they are in the business of keeping things running smooth. Things don't run smooth when the monkeys are freaked the fuck out so they would STFU.

          And how far out can yo

          • by rubycodez (864176)
            It isn't just the amateurs, but schools all around the globe have large telescopes. No way could any one government suppress students, faculty, visiting scientists. The University of Hawaii's Pan-STARRS has already found potentially hazardous asteroids, last September it found a fifty meter one (2010 ST3) at 20 million miles from earth.
          • by cusco (717999)
            Fukushima. A ridiculous amount of this BS comes from Univision, the Spanish-language cable station that's associated to Sony in some way. You should have seen the build up prior to Y2K. When the ball dropped in Times Square the commentators were still saying things like, "No one knows what's going to happen in the next few minutes!" (In Spanish, of course.) My niece was so freaked out that she wouldn't let my wife and I go to the biggest freaking party the Space Needle has ever seen.
            • by Toonol (1057698)
              My niece was so freaked out that she wouldn't let my wife and I go...

              That's an interesting family dynamic...
            • by Genda (560240)

              Yeah, the Fukushima disaster has resulted in increases in radioactive sulfur in California. Of course the levels are well below danger levels, but some folks are still all up in arms and terrified that they'll go to bed glowing light night lights.

              Human beings have a remarkably poor ability to assess real threats vs. non-real threats. They did a study of folks living in the path of a Mt. Hood eruption and subsequent flood. Folks who lived 30 miles away were deeply concerned. Those 20 miles away worried all t

            • by hairyfeet (841228)

              Fukushima? Oh Good Lord I didn't realize people were THAT damned stupid. How much you wanna bet somebody saw that video on those WWII fire balloons launched from Japan and said "ZOMG if teh balloons could get here teh rads could get here too ZOMG!" while ignoring the fact that unlike a mushroom cloud Fukushima hasn't done anything that could reach up into the trade winds.

              Ya know, if nothing else we need to give the Tinfoil Hatters of America credit for being entertaining. I mean every time you've heard wh

      • It's not so much the government saying "trust us" but there is that axiom that extraordinay claims require extraordinary proof. The tinfoil hatters normally have some proof but mostly conjecture and leaps of logic to get to their conclusion.

        For example, 2012 doom predictions where in December 2012 where alignment of the Earth will cause it to experience extra gravity. Thus it will knock the Earth out of orbit ending in catastrophe according to the tinfoil hatters. Astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson explained

        • by Thud457 (234763)

          "Astronomer" Neil deGrasse Tyson

          Like I'm really going to believe the dirty sonofabitch that assassinated Pluto.

  • by milbournosphere (1273186) on Wednesday August 17, 2011 @12:18PM (#37120146)
    Bruce Willis and the space shuttle would save us from any comet threat. What's that you say? The shuttle's been retired? Great, we're fucked.
  • by jhhl (513935) on Wednesday August 17, 2011 @12:20PM (#37120160) Homepage

    ... as if there were no threat from a comet named "eLenin"!

    • by itsdapead (734413)

      ... as if there were no threat from a comet named "eLenin"!

      No, no its ELEnin - as in "Extinction Level Event". Didn't you watch the documentary Deep Impact? (Well, it was virtually a documentary compared to Armageddon!)

      ...but don't worry, these things only ever fall on New York, Washington and a few non-US cities with distinctive landmarks. As long as you're at least 100 miles from the Taj Mahal, Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty or Big Ben you should be safe.

      • by idontgno (624372) on Wednesday August 17, 2011 @01:22PM (#37120924) Journal

        You missed the other, more significant part of the comet's name. "eleNIN"... Which means the Extinction-Level Event involves Nine Inch Nails.

        I knew Trent Reznor was wrapped up in this Doomsday thing. I just knew it. This comet is His herald, a harbinger of a brave new world full of stuff from NIN songs. And videos. And maybe Quake-related weaponry.

        • by ginbot462 (626023)

          >> I knew Trent Reznor was wrapped up in this Doomsday thing.

          Yes, this Mr Self Destruct has seen the earth is ripe with decay of sin. Hurt, he gave up on the terrible lie. The mark has been made upon this heresy and the big man with a gun will lead a march of the pigs into a warm place. This ruiner will burn the last wish. And underneath ti all, in the great below, we will find our happiness in slavery. ... I could keep going, but I think you get it. Hell, you write a apocalyptic movie just out of The

      • by 2names (531755)
        You know who could stop this ELE? Nine Inch Nails.
      • No, no its ELEnin - as in "Extinction Level Event".

        Well, if ELE stands for Extinction Level Event, I guess the NIN must be some sort of Roman numeral designation... except I can't remember what N stands for. Perhaps it's a typo or transcription error, and should be MIM. That would make this "Extinction Level Event - 1999".

        But that only raises the question "What's the hold-up? It's frickken 2011 over here."

      • by Genda (560240)

        So all you poor bastitdges who live a stones throw from Mt. Rushmore, should just bend over and kiss your buttocks good bye, while you still gott'em.

    • ... as if there were no threat from a comet named "eLenin"!

      They were going to call it iLenin, but Apple threatened to sue.

    • As long as it is eLenin, we are still kinda fine, all things considered. I shall run to the hills when eStalin appears, though.
  • by mapkinase (958129) on Wednesday August 17, 2011 @12:24PM (#37120214) Homepage Journal

    Otherwise why would they go at such length to debunk?

    It cannot block Sun at this distance, so tt must be the brown dwarf...

    • Doomsdayers are having a field day with this, look at this line (from the article) that really made me laugh.

      I've heard about three days of darkness because of Comet Elenin. Will Elenin block out the Sun for three days?
      • by geekoid (135745)

        Yes, Yes it will. We will all die. I'll tell you what, I'll give you 10 Grand now in exchange for the title to your house. You are free to use the house until then.

  • The original article (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 17, 2011 @12:26PM (#37120236)

    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/features/comet_elenin.html

    networkworld.com seems overloaded, and I probably don't want to see their ads anyway

    • http://www.nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/features/comet_elenin.html

      networkworld.com seems overloaded, and I probably don't want to see their ads anyway

      Thank you and just to be annoying and all, why are we linking this guy's blog again? Did I miss the memo?

  • "Never believe anything until it's been officially denied."

    Sir Humphrey Appleby, "Yes Minister".

  • And when the Comet lands on their little pointy heads, WHAT THEN? I'll tell you - they'll be crawling to my crib begging, yes BEGGING to be my slave or minion as I will have all the food and bullets in my comfy Undisclosed Location. And then I will rule - yes RULE the world - MUUahahahaaaaaaa! So line up now, peons - the good minion jobs go fast. NEXT!
  • I know the truth! That comet's been to Yuggoth, and the Mi-Go are PISSED that we told them their planet isn't a planet anymore. Expect a full fungal invasion! Ia! Ia!
    • Uhm, mate, hate to break it to you, the Mi-Go invasion is long over. They are into the whole mind-control thing, you know? Well, have you watched our elected leaders lately?

      The good news is, they so far proved to be somewhat benevolent overlords, compared to what else is out there. The problem, however, is that their arch-nemesis He-Who-Is-Not-To-Be-Named, The Unspeakable One, has set his minion against them. Again, watch the latest politics, the minions set up to take power. The King In Yellow is walking t

      • by geekoid (135745)

        ".. is that their arch-nemesis He-Who-Is-Not-To-Be-Named, The Unspeakable One"
        MacBeth?

  • "It will have an immeasurably miniscule influence on our planet. By comparison, my subcompact automobile exerts a greater influence on the ocean's tides than comet Elenin ever will."
    • by demonbug (309515)

      "It will have an immeasurably miniscule influence on our planet. By comparison, my subcompact automobile exerts a greater influence on the ocean's tides than comet Elenin ever will."

      No kidding. What the hell kind of subcompact can blot out the sun and cause the tectonic plates to shift?

      • by geekoid (135745)

        An American one!

        ahha. Actually I am american and it's not true...but man that's funny.

      • by Quirkz (1206400)
        If that's the subcompact, I'd hate to see the effects of a standard size.
      • by type40 (310531)

        No kidding. What the hell kind of subcompact can blot out the sun and cause the tectonic plates to shift?

        (sigh)

        I miss my AMC Pacer.

    • Oh shit! The worlds going to end due to some NASA's guy subcompact automobile! Run for the hills!

  • http://www.ebiblefellowship.com/outreach/tracts/may21/ [ebiblefellowship.com]

    It's not may 21st anymore, it's October 21st. That's a little too close for coincidence I think. /afk: going to go sell all my possessions, tell my kids they are going to hell, go on a massive road trip with stinky men in weird tshirts. Maybe I'll wear my tinfoil hat while I'm at it, who knows.

    • by IMightB (533307)

      I'd like to know who believes that crap? Those that do should emulate Heavens Gate. I mean Time Cube is probably more believable. Religious Nuts have been predicting the End since before Christianity was a gleam in Zoroaster's eye. How many times has it come true?

      Is ebiblefellowship the same wacko that predicted it on May 21 and was wrong?

      The Rapture Index (http://www.raptureready.com/rap2.html) is another example of idiocy. Their indicators are War, Peace, Economy up, Economy down, Good Times,

      • by IMightB (533307)

        I should correct my self. I should have said "since before Christianity was a gleam in Ahura Mazda's eye".

      • by Chris Burke (6130)

        I'd like to know who believes that crap? Those that do should emulate Heavens Gate. I mean Time Cube is probably more believable. Religious Nuts have been predicting the End since before Christianity was a gleam in Zoroaster's eye. How many times has it come true?

        Seventeen times, which is pretty awful when you consider how many times it has been predicted throughout history.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      The Grateful Dead are back?

  • Weird, never heard of Elenin until this article showed up. How do these doomsday scenarios appear? Do people just come up with a story after a bad trip?

  • These doomsday enthusiasts must be really bored or unhappy people. It seems they get really excited about the prospect of something bringing about an end to their lives. Or they see it as a super-dramatic test where they can prove themselves worthy by surviving it.

    Perhaps they should join the armed forces?
    • These doomsday enthusiasts must be really bored or unhappy people. It seems they get really excited about the prospect of something bringing about an end to their lives. Or they see it as a super-dramatic test where they can prove themselves worthy by surviving it.

      Perhaps they should join the armed forces?

      If they want to be bored and unhappy and get excited about something that is likely to bring about the end of their lives, they should simply follow the US Presidential Election campaign. Eighteen months and counting!

      • If they want to be bored and unhappy and get excited about something that is likely to bring about the end of their lives, they should simply follow the US Presidential Election campaign. Eighteen months and counting!

        We need a US Presidential Election Campaign drinking game. Now that I could get excited about and it probably would bring about the end to some people's lives.

  • FAQ from NASA (Score:5, Informative)

    by bziman (223162) on Wednesday August 17, 2011 @12:55PM (#37120556) Homepage Journal
    The actual FAQ from NASA [nasa.gov] was posted two weeks ago. Nice of someone to link to it.
    • by oneiros27 (46144)

      Thanks ... it keeps me from having to look at the coondoggie / NetworkWorld blog spam with lots of self-referrential links, and rarely actually links to their source.

  • by C_Kode (102755) on Wednesday August 17, 2011 @01:00PM (#37120598) Journal

    And there is no such thing as a black dwarf

    That's racist!

  • It've been cooler if they had actually shot down the comet.
  • by Lord Grey (463613) on Wednesday August 17, 2011 @01:14PM (#37120804)

    Great answer (emphasis mine):

    Can [Comet Elenin] influence us from where it is, or where it will be in the future? Can this celestial object cause shifting of the tides or even tectonic plates here on Earth?

    ... comets are not the most densely-packed objects out there. They usually have the density of something akin to loosely packed icy dirt. "So you've got a modest-sized icy dirtball that is getting no closer than 35 million kilometers (about 22 million miles)," said [Don Yeomans, a scientist at NASA JPL]. "It will have an immeasurably miniscule influence on our planet. By comparison, my subcompact automobile exerts a greater influence on the ocean's tides than comet Elenin ever will.

    Oh, those wacky people at JPL. Always finding new ways to make Joe Average understand science.

  • by pz (113803) on Wednesday August 17, 2011 @01:22PM (#37120916) Journal

    The submitting author's UID is coondoggie. The article's stated author is Michael Cooney. Perhaps we can have conflict-of-interest information more explicit, Taco, please?

    • by djp928 (516044)

      Why would you not click on an article just because the author is the one who submitted it?

      • by pz (113803)

        Because there's an appearance of conflict of interest. This fellow writes blog articles. It is likely that he gets direct monetary benefit from hits on his site. Therefore, the motivation for his submitting is not necessarily in the best public interest.

        It may be that everything is on the up-and-up, but it would not necessarily appear so.

        • by djp928 (516044)

          Ok, well you keep being the righteous police of the public interest, and I'll keep reading whatever articles interest me regardless of who submitted them.

  • In (pre soviet) Russia, Comet shoots down YOU!

    • There is probably a very large overlap of people who where e-mailing NASA about comet Elenin and those who believe that the Tunguska blast was not caused by a comet or rocky meteorite but instead a failed test of Tesla's, alien space craft, alien weapon, or some other goofy thing. Probably not a direct mapping because there are people like my mother who if she heard that a comet was going to hit earth would believe it but generally isn't into conspiracy theories (just don't ask about Kennedy).
  • by PPH (736903)

    Q: When performing your analysis, did you use, feet, meters, or furlongs?

    NASA: Er, em. Let us get back to you about that comet missing the earth issue.

  • They really have no idea how the mind of a conspiracy theorist works. Denying it in this fashion will only prove it to be true.
    • by geekoid (135745)

      Sometimes it's not about the person you are talking to, but the people who are listening.

      These conspiracy assholes spread their shit and it literally scares young children. It often gets into the the mainstream media, and then people are, justifiably, concerned. Even when they think it's probably nothing, they don't know what it is.

      Those are the people that need to be reached out to.

  • From TFA, quoting Don Yeomans, a scientist at NASA JPL:

    "So you've got a modest-sized icy dirtball that is getting no closer than 35 million kilometers [about 22 million miles)," said Yeomans. "It will have an immeasurably miniscule influence on our planet. By comparison, my subcompact automobile exerts a greater influence on the ocean's tides than comet Elenin ever will."

    ZOMG! That damn scientist's car is changing the earth's tides, and the bastard admits it!

  • "You can't reason somebody out of something they did not rationaly reason themselves in" is an adage I found mostly true. All those elenin-doomsday comet people have not a frigging clue what they are speaking about, making up neutron star and whatnot. This might be an interresting FAQ for the "undecided" (the one which stumbled upon those doomsday stuff and want to check if it is true) but this will be utterly lost on the "woo" which made up their mind and made up whatever magical explanation without even a
  • They don't want there to be a panic while they're quietly moving the very rich and politicians to underground bunkers. Later, after humanity is wiped out, all those rich people and politicians will be the foundation for a new humanity. A better humanity. A humanity unsullied by the tawdry genes of the poor and middle class. A humanity made up entirely of ruling elite. That's what NASA's not telling you!

Brain fried -- Core dumped

Working...