[meteorite-list] Beyond 2012: Why the World Won't End

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Tue, 18 Dec 2012 10:53:40 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <201212181853.qBIIrelY014454_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


Beyond 2012: Why the World Won't End
November 13, 2012

Dec. 21, 2012, won't be the end of the world as we know, however, it
will be another winter solstice.

Contrary to some of the common beliefs out there, the claims behind the
end of the world quickly unravel when pinned down to the 2012 timeline.

Below, NASA Scientists answer questions on the following 2012 topics:

    * End of the World
    * 'Prediction' Origins
    * Mayan Calendar
    * Total Blackout
    * Planetary Alignment
    * Nibiru/Planet X/Eris
    * Polar Shift
    * Meteor Strike
    * NASA Science
    * Solar Storms


Question (Q): Are there any threats to the Earth in 2012? Many Internet
websites say the world will end in December 2012.

    Answer (A):The world will not end in 2012. 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.

Q: What is the origin of the prediction that the world will end in 2012?

    A: The story started with claims that Nibiru, a supposed planet
    discovered by the Sumerians, is headed toward Earth. This
    catastrophe was initially predicted for May 2003, but when nothing
    happened the doomsday date was moved forward to December 2012 and
    linked to the end of one of the cycles in the ancient Mayan calendar
    at the winter solstice in 2012 -- hence the predicted doomsday date
    of December 21, 2012.

Q: Does the Mayan calendar end in December 2012?

    A: 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 period begins for the Mayan calendar.

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 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
    - Watch the Video

Q: Could planets align in a way that impacts Earth?

    A: There are no planetary alignments in the next few decades and
    even if these alignments were to occur, their effects on the Earth
    would be negligible. One major alignment occurred in 1962, for
    example, and two others happened during 1982 and 2000. 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.
    - More about alignment http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/2012-alignment.html

Q: Is there a planet or brown dwarf called Nibiru or Planet X or Eris
that is approaching the Earth and threatening our planet with widespread

    A: Nibiru and other stories about wayward planets are an Internet
    hoax. There is no factual basis for these claims. If Nibiru or
    Planet X were real and headed for an encounter with the Earth in
    2012, astronomers would have been tracking it for at least the past
    decade, and it would be visible by now to the naked eye. Obviously,
    it does not exist. Eris is real, but it is a dwarf planet similar to
    Pluto that will remain in the outer solar system; the closest it can
    come to Earth is about 4 billion miles.

Q: 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

    A: 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-switch 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. Scientists believe a magnetic reversal is very unlikely to
    happen in the next few millennia.
    - More about polar shift

Q: Is the Earth in danger of being hit by a meteor in 2012?

    A: 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 Near-Earth Object Program Office website
    <http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov>, so you can see for yourself that nothing
    is predicted to hit in 2012.

Q: How do NASA scientists feel about claims of the world ending in 2012?

    A: 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.
     - Why you need not fear a supernova
     - About super volcanoes

Q: Is there a danger from giant solar storms predicted for 2012?

    A: Solar activity has a regular cycle, with peaks approximately
    every 11 years. Near these activity peaks, 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 time frame
    and is predicted to be an average solar cycle, no different than
    previous cycles throughout history.
     - Video: Solar Storms
     - More about solar storms


Additional information concerning 2012 is available on the Web, at:

    * Andy Fraknoi: "Resources for Responding to Doomsday 2012: An
      Annotated Guide

    * National Public Radio: "Ask A NASA Astrobiologist About Dec. 21

    * NASA Astrobiology Institute: "Nibiru and Doomsday 2012

    * Bad Astronomy: "The Planet X Saga: The Scientific Arguments in a
    * Sky and Telescope Magazine: "2012: The Great Scare
    * Phys.org: "Mayan People Demand End to Doomsday Myth
    * Houston Museum of Natural Science: "Maya 2012: Prophecy Becomes
Received on Tue 18 Dec 2012 01:53:40 PM PST

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