An anchor at CNN surprised everyone watching when she asked scientist Bill Nye if the meteor hurtling past Earth was a result of global warming.
Deborah Feyeric, who has worked at CNN for 13 years, asked the question when she was transitioning from a story about global warming and the blizzard in the east coast to a segment about Asteroid 2012 DA14. The asteroid is expected to pass just 17,200 miles from Earth on Friday.
“We want to bring in our science guy, Bill Nye, and talk about something else that’s falling from the sky, and that is an asteroid,” Feyerick said. “What’s coming our way? Is this the effect of, perhaps, global warming? Or is this just some meteoric occasion?”
Nye, who has an engineering degree from Cornell University, cut off Feyerick before she could say more.
“No, no, no,” he said, as he struggled to answer the question.
“...except it’s all science. The word meteorology and the word meteor come from the same root, so uhh...” he said.
Nye has applied a few times to be a NASA astronaut, and seemed shocked when she asked if global warming was related to the meteor.
The news anchor graduated from Columbia University in New York with a degree in English literature.
Many are praising Nye for answering the question without making her feel awkward.
Popular Science said he was charitable in his answer.
“Nye was good enough to respond with what sounded like a non-sequitur...instead of saying, “No, dummy,” Popular Science said.
The asteroid is said to be 150 feet wide and will pass extremely close to Earth, closer than some of our satellites orbit.
Though it is not expected to strike Earth, if it did, it would create a force 1,000 times greater than the Hiroshima atomic bomb.
In 1908, a similarly-sized asteroid hit Russia and flattened 820 square miles of forest.