Do you know the date, December 21, 2012, which is postulated as the last day of lives on the planet? After the release of the movie ‘2012’, many people wondered what exactly this prophesy is. History flows in the cinema accordance to the Maya calendar. December 2012 end of the world is calculated according to the Mayan calendar.
Various astronomical alignments and numerological formulae have been proposed pertaining to this ‘prediction’, though none have been accepted by mainstream scholarship. There are no credible details regarding this date on which it could be said that life on this world would cease to breathe. After the Tsunami in Japan last year, the argument is much more in public discussion.
Some Indian news channels continue to give coverage to the 2012 doomsday prediction based on the statement of some Hindu Godmen. Most of the TV reports are presented in a misleading manner.
Remember the Y2K scare? It came and went without any doom or gloom. Impressive special effects of the movie ‘2012’ aside, the last month of this year won't bring end to the world. It will, however, be another winter solstice.
Much like Y2K, scientists have pondered upon the 2012 doomsday prediction. The findings do not corroborate the rumours of a calamity.
Here are the collection of some of the frequently asked questions and answers from various scientists of NASA and European Space Agency (ESA):
Are there any threats to the Earth in 2012? Many Internet websites say the world will end in December 2012.
Nothing bad will happen to the Earth in 2012. Our planet has been getting along just fine for more than 4 billion years, and scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with the year 2012.
Is there a danger from giant solar storms predicted for 2012?
Solar activity has a regular cycle, with peaks in approximately every 11 years. During this activity, solar flares can cause some interruption of satellite communications, although engineers are learning how to build electronics that are protected against most solar storms. But there is no special risk associated with 2012. The next solar maximum will occur in the 2012-2014 timeframe and is predicted to be an average solar cycle, no different than previous cycles throughout history.
What is the origin of the prediction that the world will end in December 2012?
The story started with claims that Nibiru, a supposed planet discovered by the Sumerians, is headed towards Earth. Zecharia Sitchin, who writes fictions on ancient Mesopotamian civilization of Sumer, claimed in several books (e.g., The Twelfth Planet, published in 1976) that he has found and translated Sumerian documents that identify the planet Nibiru, orbiting the Sun every 3600 years. These Sumerian fables include stories of “ancient astronauts” visiting Earth from a civilization of aliens called the Anunnaki. Then Nancy Lieder, a self-proclaimed psychic talent who claims she is channeling aliens, wrote on her website Zetatalk that the inhabitants of a fictional planet around the star Zeta Reticuli warned her that the Earth was in danger from Planet X or Nibiru. This catastrophe was initially predicted for May 2003, but when nothing happened the doomsday date was moved forward to December 2012! Only recently have these two fables been linked to the end of the Mayan long-count at the winter solstice in 2012 – hence the predicted doomsday date of December 21, 2012.
The Sumerians were the first great civilization, and they made many accurate astronomical predictions, including the existence of the planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. So why should we not believe their predictions about Nibiru?
Nibiru is a name in Babylonian astrology sometimes associated with the god Marduk. Nibiru appears as a minor character in the Babylonian creation poem Enuma Elish as recorded in the library of Assurbanipal, King of Assyria (668-627 BCE). Sumer flourished much earlier, from about the 23rd century to the 17th century BCE. The claims that Nibiru is a planet and was known to the Sumerians are contradicted by scholars who (unlike Zecharia Sitchin) study and translate the written records of ancient Mesopotamia. Sumer was indeed a great civilization, important for the development of agriculture, water management, urban life, and especially writing. However, they left very few records about astronomy. Certainly they did not know about the existence of Uranus, Neptune or Pluto. They also had no understanding that the planets orbited the Sun, an idea that first developed in ancient Greece two millennia after the end of Sumer. Claims that Sumerians had a sophisticated astronomy, or that they even had a god named Nibiru, are the product of Sitchin’s imagination.
Does the Mayan calendar end in December 2012?
Just as the calendar you have on your kitchen wall does not cease to exist after December 31, the Mayan calendar does not cease to exist 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 begins for the Mayan calendar.
Could ‘phenomena’ occur where planets align in a way that impacts Earth?
There are no planetary alignments in the next few decades, Earth will not cross the galactic plane in 2012, and even if these alignments were to occur, their effects on the Earth would be negligible. Each December the Earth and sun align with the approximate center of the Milky Way Galaxy but that is an annual event of no consequence.
What is the polar shift theory? Is it true that the earth’s crust does a 180-degree rotation around the core in a matter of days if not hours?
A reversal in the rotation of Earth is impossible. There are slow movements of the continents (for example Antarctica was near the equator hundreds of millions of years ago), but that is irrelevant to claims of reversal of the rotational poles. However, many of the disaster websites pull a bait-and-shift to fool people. They claim a relationship between the rotation and the magnetic polarity of Earth, which does change irregularly, with a magnetic reversal taking place every 400,000 years on average. As far as we know, such a magnetic reversal doesn’t cause any harm to life on Earth. A magnetic reversal is very unlikely to happen in the next few millennia, anyway.
Earth, as seen in the Blue Marble: Next Generation collection of images, showing the color of the planet's surface in high resolution. This image shows South America from September 2004.
Is the Earth in danger of being hit by a meteor in 2012?
The Earth has always been subject to impacts by comets and asteroids, although big hits are very rare. The last big impact was 65 million years ago, and that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs. Today NASA astronomers are carrying out a survey called the Spaceguard Survey to find any large near-Earth asteroids long before they hit. We have already determined that there are no threatening asteroids as large as the one that killed the dinosaurs. All this work is done openly with the discoveries posted every day on the NASA NEO Program Office website, so you can see for yourself that nothing is predicted to hit in 2012.
How do NASA scientists feel about claims of pending doomsday?
For any claims of disaster or dramatic changes in 2012, where is the science? Where is the evidence? 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.
Do scientific experiments of CERN destroy the world?
Apparently there is an experiment on a very large scale planned for the year 2012- 2014. Should this be included in a list of 2012 predictions? Could this bring about an end of the world 2012 doomsday? In a long very tunnel, particle physicists plan to collide electrons and positrons (the opposite of electrons) in 27km long tunnel in the boarder of Switzerland and France. During the experiment, they will use energies of up to a trillion electron volts. This will hurl these particles at close to the speed of light. Peoples think that because of such a high energy, the earth change into black hole. But in fact, in any case it creates very tiny (one trillion of the size of a mustard size black hole, which evaporates within fraction of second of creation. Will December 21 2012 end of the world predictions be fulfilled through scientific a experiment? We don't think so.
Some people have interpreted the galactic alignment apocalyptically, claiming that when it occurs, it will somehow create a combined gravitational effect between the Sun and the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy (known as Sagittarius A), thus creating havoc on Earth. Apart from the fact that the "galactic alignment" already happened in 1998, the Sun's apparent path through the zodiac as seen from Earth does not take it near the true galactic center, but rather several degrees above it.
So, please do not wonder about the 2012. There is no scary event going to happen. After December 21, of course there will be the December 22 and so on. It is just a calendar... At least for other several thousands of years, there will be life on Earth. (Source: NASA/ ESO, Paris Observatory)