Doomsday 2012
Dec. 21, 2012, won't be the end of the world; it will be another winter solstice, say NASA scientists. (Photo: NASA/NOAA/GSFC/Suomi NPP/VIIRS/Norman Kuring) NASA/NOAA/GSFC/Suomi NPP/VIIRS/Norman Kuring

The end of the world is not here... at least, it won't be on 21 December, 2012, a date long predicted as Doomsday. Nasa has provided a number of geological reasons why the world will not end this year.

"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 scientists said.

Scientists also quashed fears of possibly a "total blackout" over the planet from 23 December until Christmas Day because of planetary alignments.

"Neither Nasa nor any other scientific organisation is predicting such a blackout. 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," the statement said.

Planetary alignments are regular astrological events and are harmless, similar to sun storms, which cause disruptions in satellite communications but do not lead to destruction.

Moreover, there are no threatening asteroids predicted for the remainder of the year, none, at least, as large as the one believed to have wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

Doomsday - a Mayan Theory

The 21 December, 2012, doomsday prediction is a calculation derived from the ending of one of the cycles of the ancient Mayan calendar. However, in May, archaeologists in Guatemala found what is said to be the oldest known Mayan calendar, which they said threw out earlier predictions of death and destruction by 7,000 years.

The Mayan calendar apart, several other apocalyptic predictions are also based on the Mayan belief that a planet called Nibiru is on course to hit the Earth.

"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," scientists asserted.

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