CNN has pulled down a report posted to its iReport project — which allows citizen journalists to report on breaking news stories — claiming that astronomers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory were tracking a Manhattan-sized asteroid that could “extinguish life on Earth in less than 30 years from now.”
The asteroid was expected to have ‘…a potentially lethal encounter with the Earth on March 35, 2041,” according to the Huffington Post.
The report, posted by ‘Marcus575’ and which received 233,939 views before being taken down, read:
“If astronomers are right, all life on this planet could be extinguished in less than 30 years from now. Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have detected a large object the size of Manhattan possibly on a collision with Earth. Using their Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE), the 10-mile wide object was found approximately 51 million miles from Earth, Scientists believe that during a close encounter with Mars, the asteroid was nudged off its usual orbit and may currently be on a high speed collision course with our fragile planet.”
CNN has since pulled the erroneous report, and issued a statement reading: “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. – davidw, CNN iReport producer”
CNN told Bruce Willis to ‘stand down’ and confirmed that no news-gathering resources were pulled from its search for missing airliner MH370.
[Attack of the asteroid on the Earth on Shutterstock]