You might have stumbled over a post somewhere predicting the end of the world is coming, along with an eclipse, in September. The claim goes that in early Autumn a giant asteroid will smash into the planet as was predicted by the Bible and the show Lost (not a joke). Don’t worry though. NASA says we’re fine. And they would know.

Efrain Rodriguez, the most high-profile prophet claiming we’re on the brink of extinction, also says mankind will face seven years of tribulations after the asteroid, so he might not be the best source for hard science.

NASA on the other hand, assures us that no asteroids are on a collision course with the planet. They can make that assurance because NASA takes the apocalypse very seriously. They want to stop it.

As it turns out, NASA’s rebuttal of these recent claims is indicative of the agency’s evolving interests. NASA ran the Planetary Defense Conference relatively recently and is not-so-quietly exploring how to destroy asteroid with lasers or spacecraft. The man in charge of this effort is one Thomas D. Jones, PhD, a former Air Force pilot turned scientist and NASA veteran with four space shuttle missions under his belt and an expertise in planetary sciences.

More people know about Rodriguez and his outrageous claims more than Dr. Jones, but Dr. Jones may just be America’s foremost apocalypse expert. We’ll listen to him.