Doomsday mongers were proven wrong when the predicted date of the world's end came and went without an apocalypse. E Bible Fellowship, the Christian group whose leader announced Oct. 7 as the judgment day, is fairly quiet online.

Another doomsday rumor has been set to rest when the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) made it clear that asteroid 86666 (2000 FL 10) headed towards Earth will safely pass by on Oct. 10. Earlier today, the extraterrestrial rock indeed passed by without catastrophic incident.  

NASA's asteroid-tracking group Jet Propulsion Lab's Near Earth Object Office already announced that asteroid 86666's closest fly-by distance to Earth will be at 15 million miles. The space agency has released the asteroid's pathway through an animation to demonstrate the closest it will get to Earth, approximately half the distance between Earth and the Red Planet. 

With a speed of 40,000 miles per hour, a collision would be nothing less than catastrophic. First spotted 16 years ago, asteroid 86666 is 15 times the size of all asteroids on the space agency's radar.

On Aug. 19, 2015, NASA issued an official statement to debunk the doomsday claim about an asteroid set in a collision path with Earth. The apocalyptic statement was propagated by conspiracy theorists who said the deadly space rock will make contact in Sept. 2015 in Puerto Rico. The collision was expected to result in a life-ending destruction on the planet. The month of September came and went and the world remained the same.

All comets and asteroids flying by Earth within 30 million miles are being tracked by the space agency, both on the planet and in space. Commonly known as Potentially Hazardous Asteroids, the risk of collision in the next century is slim at 0.01 percent.

Part of NASA's Journey to Mars includes the Asteroid Redirect Mission which aims to launch a spacecraft towards an asteroid to dig out multi-ton boulder from its surface. This asteroid chunk will then be redirected into the moon's stable orbit which allows astronauts to study an asteroid directly. Data gathered will then be used to protect the Earth from doomsday rocks. The asteroid chunk in the moon's orbit will stay put for about 100 years.

Photo: State Farm | Flickr

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