Doomsday Comet Elenin Passed By Earth Mostly Unnoticed

By on Oct 17, 2011 in Astronomy, Science Comments

Comet Elenin, a comet described by some as a “Doomsday Comet“, closely passed by Earth early Sunday, October 16, 2011, mostly unnoticed, international news sites reported that day.

According to reports, comet Elenin started breaking up last August after a huge solar storm blasted it. Astronomers also said that a close pass by the sun on September 10 finished it off.

Comet Elenin Trajectory
Trajectory of Comet Elenin
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Instead of a completely intact comet, what passed near the Earth early Sunday morning was a stream of debris from the comet, reports said. It was said to have passed the Earth at a distance of 35.4 million kilometers.

The comet was discovered in December 2010 by Leonid Elenin, a Russian amateur astronomer. Rumors circulated on the internet claiming that comet Elenin will cause massive earthquakes and tsunamis after aligning with other heavenly bodies. According to astronomer Don Yeomans of the Near-Earth Object Program Office at NASA‘s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, these claims were pure nonsense.

“Elenin was a second-rate, wimpy little comet that never should have been noted for anything, really. It was not even a bright one,” Yeomans was quoted as saying.

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