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Wait, So There’s Not a Giant Asteroid Hurling Toward Us After All?

This is an artist impression obtained from The University of Warwick and The University of Cambridge shows a rocky and water-rich asteroid being torn apart by the strong gravity of the white dwarf star GD 61. Similar objects in the Solar System likely delivered the bulk of water on Earth and represent the building blocks of the terrestrial planets. Astrophysicists have found the first evidence of a water-rich rocky planetary body outside our solar system in its shattered remains orbiting a white dwarf. in a new study released October 10, 2013, scientists at the Universities of Warwick and Cambridge published in the journal Science analysed the dust and debris surrounding the white dwarf star GD61, 170 light years away. Using observations obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope and the large Keck telescope on Hawaii, they found an excess of oxygen a chemical signature that indicates that the debris had once been part of a bigger body originally composed of 26 per cent water by mass. By contrast, only approximately 0.023 per cent of the Earth's mass is water. = RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / Image copyright Mark A. Garlick, space-art.co.uk, The University of Warwick and The University of Cambridge" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS NO ARCHIVE = Embargoed for release: 10-Oct-2013 14:00 ET (18:00 GMT) Mark A. Garlick/AFP/Getty Images
Perhaps this is what CNN envisioned when they posted online what turned out to be a false report of an asteroid headed toward Earth.AFP/Getty Images

Talk about roid rage.

CNN.com probably left some folks a bit confused this weekend after it posted a report of a “Giant asteroid possibly on collision course with Earth.”

The report was apparently submitted to CNN’s iReport platform, which accepts unsolicited news from “citizen journalism.”

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The news item, which was eerily similar to the 1997 NBC mini-series “Asteroid,” was ultimately determined to be false and taken down from the site.

Screenshot of the message iReport users saw after the story was removed.Jimromenesko.com

Of course, had an editor looked a bit closer at the report, which scheduled the “potentially lethal encounter with the Earth” for March 35, 2041, this non-news likely would have never been published to the site in the first place.

We’ll keep watch to see what other news of impending doom can penetrate CNN’s fortress of online editors.

h/t Jim Romenesko

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