Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Crackpots unite, world is ending - apparently.

In yet another show of some twit spreading FUD either just to get people to talk about him, or a moron with an inability to grasp rudimentary astrophysics, there's yet another hoaxer pumping video about TU24.

TU24 is an asteroid that will pass by us sometime on Jan 29th and the nuts have come out of the woodwork exclaiming End of the World scenario's. Specifically, but not limited to, an asshat called TU24dotORG who wants people to run screaming for the hills, and the people in the hills to run screaming for the coast.

Read Phil Plaits excellent smack down of this dweeb at his blog If you look in the comments, you'll also see the nutjob himself challenging Phil to a $500 bet that it will cause some disruption to our planet, but fails to point out exactly what that might be. I mean, there are thousands of events that occur every day without asteroids - earthquakes, storms, lightning strikes, people freaking out. So how do you filter out the events that may or may not be caused by an asteroid flying past? You cant - which is precisley why its a bullshit bet, just like everything else he says.

What is more worrying is the number of gullible people out there who hear this FUD and take it for gospel. He states in one post that its "a useful tool for discussion". I'm sorry but the only "tool" here is TU24dotORG. Spreading horseshit to create fear is not useful - its egotistical YouTube posturing. It simply follows that if you post enough crap with a little bit of science twisted into it, people will listen to you and stroke your ego.

"wow, you know so much that everyone else doesnt"

"gee, you seem to be the only one talking about this"

"whats your sign baby?"

Give me a break. I think Tom, a poster on Phil's site, had it right with this comment :

Here’s some homework:

1. Research the Palermo Scale:

It compares the threat that a particular asteroid has compared to the background threat from objects of similar size. A positive number is bad, and only a couple asteroids have achieved positive numbers. TU24 read a maximum of -5.45 early on, when we were unsure of its orbit, but now doesn’t even appear on the list (

2. Check this list:

and you’ll see that another (smaller) asteroid (2008 AF3) was even closer that TU24 on January 13th.

3. Follow the news of how our understanding of the threat for Apophis (2004 MN4) evolved from the highest chance of an impact ever ( to no threat (

4. Gain more in-depth knowledge of a topic before you make a video about it.

Generating interest in NEOs and their threat is good. Overplaying any particular threat (which you are doing) is bad.

Check that shit.

Via BadAstronomy.Com

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