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Sci-Tech

NASA will totally warn us if an asteroid apocalypse is coming

Don't worry unless all the good wine starts disappearing.

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A composite image of Bennu taken from OSIRIS-REx at a distance of 330 km (205 miles).

NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

There were some alarming headlines floating around over the weekend about how NASA has revealed a sure sign that would indicate the apocalypse is coming. This heart-pounding warning traces back to a video released on Jan. 10 from educational YouTube channel Big Think. 

The video poses the question "Would scientists tell us about a looming apocalypse?" to NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller.

Thaller's answer boils down to something along the lines of, "Of course we would, silly." 

Here's Thaller's joking sign of the apocalypse: "The day you have all the scientists buy up all the great wine and max out their credit cards and disappear then you might want to worry." But she assures us, "If we knew something dangerous was coming there would be no way for us to hide it."

Thaller says she has to field questions about whether the space agency is concealing evidence of aliens as well as asteroids. 

NASA has a history of being forthright about its work. You can browse its online database of near-Earth objects and scout for close approaches

NASA is also busy studying potentially hazardous asteroid Bennu through the Osiris-Rex mission. What we learn about Bennu will be helpful as scientists develop plans for protecting our planet from an asteroid impact.

There are plenty of real things to fret about in this world, but NASA hiding evidence of an incoming Earth-shattering asteroid isn't one of them.