By Erica Abbott
PIRO4D / Pixabay
Reports that NASA confirmed that the Earth will be experiencing 15 days of darkness in November 2017 are false. The persistent rumor, which has circulated the internet since at least 2015, has emerged once again but it is nothing more than a viral hoax.
According to PolitiFact, the fake claim was published most recently on News for Me Today under the headline, “NASA Confirms Earth Will Experience 15 Days Of Darkness In November 2017.” The article claimed that because of a rare astronomical event between Jupiter and Venus, the Earth would experience a 15-day blackout in November 2017—as detailed in a report from NASA to the White House. It purported:
There have been many reports about the changes our planet Earth could endure in the months and years to come but many of them didn’t really pan out, making us question everything we read on the internet. But this time, NASA confirms what’s been circling the web recently – our planet Earth will experience total darkness for 15 days in November 2017 starting from November 15 to November 29.
NASA reports that this strange occurrence was expected to happen but they didn’t know exactly when. Upon more detailed examination the astronomers from NASA confirmed that the phenomenon will start on November 15 at 3:00 am and will most likely last until November 30, 4:45 pm.
There is, however, no truth to this report. A similar fake report was circulated last year and again several days ago, which claimed that the blackout would actually occur this month. The rumor seems to have first gone viral after fake news website Newswatch33 published the hoax in July 2015, however, misinformed rumors of a complete blackout existed long before then.
NASA addressed the rumors back in 2012, explaining that no organization was predicting a strange alignment of the universe that would cause a blackout. They emphasized as part of a 2012 myths series:
Q: Is NASA predicting a “total blackout” of Earth on Dec. 23 to Dec. 25?
A: Absolutely not. Neither NASA nor any other scientific organization is predicting such a blackout. The false reports on this issue claim that some sort of “alignment of the Universe” will cause a blackout. There is no such alignment (see next question). Some versions of this rumor cite an emergency preparedness message from [then]-NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. This is simply a message encouraging people to be prepared for emergencies, recorded as part of a wider government preparedness campaign. It never mentions a blackout.
Of course, no matter the date, a complete blackout of the Earth is not happening. While extreme weather events can cause problems, there are no rare astronomical events or planetary alignments that will cause the planet to go dark.
Here are some examples of people sharing the fake story on social media:
Social Media Shares Fake Story about NASA Confirming 15 Days of Darkness in November
Mmm interesting…. https://t.co/HQoWaCFA7D
Source:: Business 2 Community