A rumor is circulating online that Earth may be on the galaxy's naughty list.

A U.K. tabloid circulated a story online that NASA has spotted a massive asteroid that it expects to hit earth five days before Christmas. Like most Internet rumors, this was taken as fact by some websites. This fanned the flames of alarm and spread the rumor as truth even faster than before. The stories circulating said that the asteroid was the size of the World Trade Center and would cause damage across the entire planet.

Snopes.com investigated the rumors and reached out to NASA's Center For Near Earth Objects. The center keeps track of objects in space that are close to Earth and while there is in fact a large asteroid expected to pass near Earth around Christmas, it will safely miss by a distance of 3.6 million miles. It's safe to say we don't have to worry about giant space rocks this Christmas, though a lump of coal or two might be in your stocking depending on the year you've had.

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