The media has widely reported that an asteroid big enough to destroy all life on Earth will pass close by later this week. This has understandably caused some unease amongst our readers and we have received literally thousands of emails, tweets and telegrams asking us to double check the maths.
We approached our contacts at NASA who provided this statement:
"The imminent arrival of an asteroid speeding toward us at more than 30,000 miles an hour, which will pass between the Earth and the moon is certainly an exciting event for astronomers, amateur and professional alike. However, there is no need to be concerned as we have calculated the trajectory of the asteroid extremely accurately.
"It all depends on the relative orbits of the asteroid and the Earth. We can calculate the closest point during the fly past because we know exactly how long it takes the Earth to orbit the sun.
"In cosmological terms, it will be pretty close, in fact if this year was not a leap year then the orbits would actually coincide and there would be an impact event. But, as we said, we have calculated everything very carefully and there is nothing to worry about."