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Home --> Science --> Dust in the Solar Wind

Dust in the Solar Wind

Claim:   A planet-dissolving dust cloud will wipe out the solar system in 2014.

Status:   False.

Example:   [Collected on the Internet, 2005]

Monday September 12, 2005


CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Scared-stiff astronomers have detected a mysterious mass they've dubbed a "chaos cloud" that dissolves everything in its path, including comets, asteroids, planets and entire stars — and it's headed directly toward Earth!

Discovered April 6 by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, the swirling, 10 million-mile-wide cosmic dust cloud has been likened to an "acid nebula" and is hurtling toward us at close to the speed of light — making its estimated time of arrival 9:15 a.m. EDT on June 1, 2014.

"The good news is that this finding confirms several cutting-edge ideas in theoretical physics," announced Dr. Albert Sherwinski, a Cambridge based astrophysicist with close ties to NASA.

"The bad news is that the total annihilation of our solar system is imminent."

[Rest of article here.]

Origins:   In mid-September 2005, a number of puzzled readers wrote to ask about an article they'd encountered online. According to the item they sent us, our solar system was slated to cease to exist in 2014 once a newly-discovered planet-eating cloud of dust enveloped it. Was it time to fire up the rocket ships and get the heck out of Dust storm here?

Cancel your interplanetary evacuation plans — all one need know about the article quoted above is that it originated with the Weekly World News, an entertainment tabloid devoted to inventing fantastically fictitious stories while keeping its tongue firmly embedded in its cheek to a depth not measurable by any instrument known to man. Unfortunately, Yahoo!, a primary news source for many Internet users, reprints some Weekly World News articles in their TV News section under a heading of "Entertainment News & Gossip," a title that doesn't convey a strong "bogus" warning to readers who don't notice the original source is the Weekly World News (or don't know what the Weekly World News is).

The bogus article states: "It now appears that mangled information can distort matter." Our tendency is to agree.

Barbara "with regard to grey matter, that is" Mikkelson

Last updated:   19 September 2005

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  Sources Sources:
    Foster, Mike.   "Planet-Dissolving Dust Cloud Is Headed Toward Earth!"
    Weekly World News.   12 September 2005.