‘Doomsday’ Comet Remnants To Pass By Earth On Sunday; No Armageddon Forecast

This is one conspiracy theory that can boast of being out of this world literally. The comet Elenin, dubbed the Doomsday Comet’, is due to pass Earth on Sunday, 23rd October, 2011. The comet has been closely watched by skywatchers, both out of interest and out of fear of the conspiracy theories. Some claim that Elenin is really the planet Nibiru that is destined to bring doom on Earth.

The Elenin Comet - as seen in early September. The comet has disintegrated since then.

About Elenin

Elenin started to break up late August and continued to do so till early September, due to the increased solar activity. The closest approach distance of Elenin will be approximately 22 million miles or 36 million kilometers. Elenin will be a big disappointment for both conspiracy theorists and other sane people it won’t be apocalyptic and it’ll hardly be a light show either. The comet is broken up into fragments and these pieces will not be very visible as they stream across space.

The conspiracy theory is Elenin’s only claim to fame it is a disappointing little rock orbiting the Sun with a massively eccentric orbit (i.e. one that strays away from being a circle by a long margin) and a very long period (i.e. it takes a very long time to orbit the Sun). Elenin’s return, if it survives this current journey, is projected to happen after 12,000 years.

The orbit of Elenin

Apocalypse – or not quite

There have been and will be many Armageddon theories. Rest assured that the uneventful passing of this comet will not quell the frequency of these theories. You can also be sure of the fact that this is unadulterated rubbish.

After Harold Camping and his great Doomsday prediction that spectacularly went bust, we have Nibiru (or Elenin, whichever you prefer). Everyone enjoys an apocalyptic fairy tale once in a while, right?

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Debjyoti Bardhan

Is a science geek, currently pursuing some sort of a degree (called a PhD) in Physics at TIFR, Mumbai. An enthusiastic but useless amateur photographer, his most favourite activity is simply lazing around. He is interested in all things interesting and scientific.