Saturday 1 December 2012

World not ending next month: NASA

Some of us may fall for all that talk about the end of the world coming on December 21, 2012, but the scientists at NASA are intent on doing away with the rumours. They say that December 21, will not be the end of the world, but will be just another winter solstice. In a detailed FAQ, NASA has provided answers to a bunch of questions related to the so-called end of the world, prediction origins, the Mayan Calendar, and other things. "Our planet has been getting along just fine for more than 4 billion years, and credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012," NASA states on the FAQ page.

NASA states that all the rumours began with claims that Nibiru, a supposed planet discovered by the Sumerians, was headed towards the Earth. Interestingly, the end of the world was predicted to be in May 2003, but when nothing happened, the date was moved forward to December 2012 and linked to the end of one of the cycles in the ancient Mayan calendar. Incidentally, the Mayan calendar's cycle ends on the 2012 winter solstice, and so the doomsday date was predicted to be on December 21, 2012.

As for rumours surrounding the Mayan calendar ending in December 2012, NASA is quick to point out that just as the calendar on one's kitchen wall does not stop after December 31, the Mayan calendar will not end on December 21, 2012. "This date is the end of the Mayan long-count period, but then -- just as your calendar begins again on January 1 -- another long-count period begins for the Mayan calendar," NASA states in the post.

Most importantly, when quizzed about their reactions to constant claims of the world ending, NASA said that there is no evidence or science that backs such claims. “There is none, and for all the fictional assertions, whether they are made in books, movies, documentaries or over the Internet, we cannot change that simple fact. There is no credible evidence for any of the assertions made in support of unusual events taking place in December 2012,” it asserts.

The buzz surrounding the December 21, 2012 phenomenon has been especially noticeable. Social networks are full of posts about the date and the rumours surrounding it, albeit in a humourous way. While the truth will be known once the date arrives, a trusted body like NASA slamming the rumours goes a long way to spreading awareness.

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