NASA test planetary defence spacecraft to divert asteroid's path
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Doomsday predictions are rife as 2022 edges closer each day, despite their limited evidence. Figures throughout history have cast their prophecies on events that claim to be the beginning of the end of the world. Nostradamus, while not predicting entirely apocalyptic events, is perhaps one of the world’s most famous “seers”. When twisted in specific ways, many of his “predictions” appear to have come true – the death of Henry II of France in 1559, the Great Fire of London in 1666, the emergence of Adolf Hitler, the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the assassination of US President John F Kennedy.
Some have wildly claimed that one of his predictions spells disaster for the Earth in 2022 through an asteroid collision.
It is difficult to determine what exact dates Nostradamus is talking about, however, because his 942 poetic quatrains in, ‘Les Prophéties’, are based on astrological movements.
Yet, Nostradamus did describe a “celestial stone” falling to Earth, with a “great fire” following.
Some believe this reference to “fire” falling from the sky could actually be a nod to a climate disaster, like a deadly forest fire.
One of his poems read: “Like the Sun the head shall sear the shining sea:
“The Black Sea’s living fish shall all but boil,
“When Rhodes and Genoa,
“Half-starved shall be,
“The local folk to cut them up shall toil.”
Nostradamus is not alone in suggesting that an asteroid will one day smash the Earth.
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The Messiah Foundation International was founded in 1980 to promote the Goharian Philosophy of Divine Love, which claims to be a syncretic fulfilment of Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Hindu prophecy.
Its creator, Riaz Ahmed Gohar Shahi, has been depicted as the messianic figure of many religions, given the title of Mehdi, Messiah, and Kalki Avatar.
Having written a number of books on spirituality, in 2000, he published, ‘The Religion of God’, which was well received in the spiritual circles.
In the book, Shahi predicts that the world will end in 2026 when an asteroid collides with Earth.
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Exploring the prediction in 2015, The Independent wrote: “The only hope for humanity is Shahi himself, unsurprisingly — if you recognise his image around, especially in the moon, you’ll be alright.”
According to the Foundation’s website, 2026: “Images of Lord Jesus Christ and His Sublime Eminence Ra Riaz Gohar Shahi (the Awaited Imam Mehdi, Messiah and Kalki Avatar) are clearly visible on these celestial and terrestrial bodies, and are able to perform many miracles.”
However, just a year after the book’s publication, Shahi disappeared while in London.
To be clear, there is currently no known threat of an asteroid colliding with Earth in the next century.
NASA is constantly watching the cosmos, categorising any Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) as Potentially Hazardous Objects (PHO) if they could pose a threat to life on Earth.
And experts at Planetary Defence Conference have been running drills for years should an asteroid head towards Earth.
Occasionally, asteroids can also make “close approaches” to Earth, but this does not mean they are going to strike.
NASA previously said: “As they orbit the Sun, NEOs can occasionally approach close to Earth.
“Note that a ‘close’ passage astronomically can be very far away in human terms: millions or even tens of millions of kilometres.”
Most of these objects fly well clear of Earth and NASA charts out their orbits for hundreds of years in advance.
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