Following doomsday predictions that an asteroid impact that triggers widespread extinction of species would occur between September 22 and 28, conspiracy theorists have been speculating about the “near-Earth asteroid” that would cause the predicted catastrophe.
And despite the recent statement by Paul Choda, manager of NASA’s Near-Earth Object Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, that there are no asteroids threatening to hit Earth in the “foreseeable future,” and that all presently known Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) have less than 0.01 percent chance of impacting in the next 100 years, doomsday theorists continue to tout the 200-meter-wide asteroid 2012 TT5 as the near-Earth asteroid to watch as September 22-28 approaches.
It is known that at least six near-Earth asteroids will pass close to Earth between September 22 and September 28. But according to conspiracy theorists, asteroid 2012 TT5 is the best candidate for the predicted September asteroid impact apocalypse.
What do we know about 2012 TT5?
Asteroid 2012 TT5 is expected to make closest approach to Earth on September 24 at a distance of 0.0625 AU, equivalent to about 9.35 million kilometers. The minimum calculated distance, allowing for the possible inaccuracies in plotting the trajectory of the space rock, is 8.33 million kilometers (4.6 million miles or 0.55 AU).
The distance of 8.33 million miles (0.055 AU) places asteroid 2012 TT5 just outside the boundary of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs), defined as asteroids measuring about 150 meters or more in diameter and approaching Earth at a range of about 0.05 AU (approximately 7.5 million or 4.65 million).
Despite the fact that NASA rates the chances of 2012 TT5 hitting Earth on September 24 as very slim, conspiracy theorists are betting on the asteroid as the “killer rock.”
Doom-mongers say that NASA’s assessment that the chances of asteroid 2012 TT5 hitting Earth on September 24 are slim is based only on calculated probabilities and that actual events can and do beat calculated odds.
Some doom-mongers point to the fact of a significant level of uncertainty about the trajectory of 2012 TT5 to support the argument that 2012 TT5 could defy expectations.
The asteroid is assigned a “condition code” of six, on a scale that ranges from zero (orbit highly certain) to nine (orbit highly uncertain). This, according to conspiracy theorists, means that the margin of error in calculating the trajectory of asteroid 2012 TT5 could be more significant that realized.
But some skeptics have countered this argument, saying that in most cases the condition code moves towards zero as astronomers refine their observations and determine with greater certainty the trajectory of threatening astronomical objects. But there is always the chance that further refinement of measurement of a body’s orbital path yields unexpectedly alarming trajectory plots, doomsday theorists reply.
“The Asteroid name is 2012 TT5 — it is closest to the earth on September 24, 2015 — this is an astronomy fact!!
But in no way as of now is it forecast to impact the earth — but objects in space are very unpredictable!
Who would have thought that on January 26, 2015 we will have a very close call with a third of a mile wide asteroid named 2004 BL86?
So the main point is that there is a chance that on September 24, 2015 — Judgment Day — that there could be an Asteroid breakup or a major impact with the Earth — if the scripture in Revelation 8:1-7 is primed for that scripture to be fulfilled.”
Biblical doomsday theorists are linking predictions of an asteroid impact catastrophe in September with Revelation 8, where an angel performs an atonement day ritual in heaven and then “casts fire” from “heaven” toward Earth.
In Revelation 8, the atonement day judgment unfolds in seven stages. Each stage is heralded by a trumpet blast that cues an apocalyptic event. The graphic references to “fire and hail mixed with blood” and a “burning mountain” that plunges into the sea and wipes out a third of all life suggests to biblical doomsday theorists a detailed prophetic description of an asteroid impact event.
[Images: Getty via The Weather Network]