Multiple reports saying a "Christmas Eve asteroid" zipping past Earth tonight may destroy the planet are indeed false, NASA has announced.
The 3,600-foot-long asteroid 2003 SD220 will fly by Earth tonight at a safe distance of 6.8 million miles, NASA said in a statement on Wednesday.
"The closest this object will come to Santa and his eight tiny reindeer is about 28 times the distance between Earth and the moon," said Paul Chodas, manager of NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object (NEO) Studies at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
The asteroid will actually make its closest flyby to Earth in 2018, but it's still expected to be a safe distance away, at about 1.7 million miles, according to Lance Benner, who leads JPL's asteroid radar research program.
Meanwhile, NASA's Near-Earth Object office is taking to Twitter to debunk reports and concerns the asteroid could wipe out our planet before the end of the year.
@EricIvey4 It's nothing to worry about. Crossing the street, driving a car are far more dangerous to individuals on a daily basis— Asteroid Watch (@AsteroidWatch) December 23, 2015