NASA Denies 2012 Apocalypse
Astronomer criticizes list of doomsday 'Mayan' predictions
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2011 3:11 PM CST
Streaks of fire head directly for Earth ... in someone's apocalyptic fantasy.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – The Earth will not be destroyed or burned or gravitationally warped on Dec. 12, 2012, according to a NASA scientist, reports. Despite claims that the Mayan calendar predicts our planetary demise next year, astronomer Don Yeomans says we can "sleep well on Dec. 21 of next year." Is that code for sleeping with the fishes? Apparently not, as Yeomans goes down the list of proposed apocalypses for next December:

  • Planet Nibiru. Yes, a UFO aficionado who claims to be communicating with aliens says that this mystery planet will destroy Earth next year. "There's no evidence whatsoever that Nibiru exists. ... It can't hide behind the sun forever, and we would've seen it years ago," Yeomans says.
  • Gravitational Warp. Some say that planets lining up next December will harm Earth grievously. Only problem, says Yeomans: "There is no planetary alignment on Dec. 21, 2012."
  • Mayan Calendar. Sure, their long-count calendar ends next December—but that's like our century ending. Another one inevitably follows. "The Maya never predicted the end of the world occurred at that time," Yeomans says.
Click to see him criticize other apocalyptic predictions, and explain why "scientists really have their work cut out for them."

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Dec 20, 2012 6:24 PM CST
How stupid will everyone feel tomorrow when nothing happens? i keep explaining to everybody, the Mayans didn't predict the end of time to take place on Dec 21, 2012! It's just that it was the maximum amount of time their 'primitive' system could calculate. Example: Look at Roman numerals... 4998 is the highest number standard Roman numerals can count, MMMDDDCCCLLLXXXVVViii. So now what happens if you have 5000 of something? Do you simply claim it's impossible to have 5000 total of anything? Centuries later, in the Middle Ages, people tried to come up with a solution. They'd put a horizontal line over the numeral to represent that it's "times 1000", and vertical lines on the sides of numerals to represent "times 100,000". So for them, their highest number was 499,800,000. But even STILL, the best they could come up with then was relatively finite... meaning, you could only count so much and then be forced to END. The Mayan calendar is in the same boat.
Dec 17, 2012 2:17 PM CST
Hello from the future. Working hard to divert these asteroids with my mental prowess. We're gonna be okay.
Dec 12, 2011 8:25 AM CST
Of course they're denying it, no one will be around on 12/22/12 to call them liars.