'Doomsday' Comet Passing by Earth
Online theorists saw armageddon
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2011 5:21 PM CDT
A comet passing by Earth will fail to bring about the end times, one astronomer says.   (AP Photo/National Optical Astronomy Observatory/ Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy/National Science)

(Newser) – A comet touted as the bringer of Armageddon will fly past Earth tomorrow night in a knot of icy fragments, Space.com reports. At least one astronomer, however, does not foresee earthquakes and tsunamis. The so-called "doomsday comet," Elenin, "was a second-rate, wimpy little comet that never should have been noted for anything, really," astronomer Don Yeomans says. "It was not even a bright one."

But doomsayers on the Web saw correlations between Elenin and world events; one anointed the comet "planet Nibiru," and called its arrival an "Extinction-Level Event." Chuckled Yeomans: "Just driving to work every day ... is going to have far more of a gravitational effect on Earth than this comet ever will." In fact, the splintered comet may be hard for night-watchers to spot. "It's time to move on to the next Armageddon," Yeomans says. (In a more credible comet story, scientists have found one that contains Earth-like water.)