Scientists at NASAís Jet Propulsion Laboratory have put out a new video to address false claims about the "Mayan apocalypse," a non-event that some people believe will bring the world to an end on Dec. 21.
In the video, which was posted online Wednesday (Mar. 7), Don Yeomans, head of the Near-Earth Objects Program Office at NASA/JPL, explains away many of the most frequently cited doomsday scenarios.
Addressing the belief that the calendar used by the ancient Mayan civilization comes to a sudden end in December 2012, and that this will coincide with a cataclysmic, world-ending event, Yeomans said: "Their calendar does not end on December 21, 2012; itís just the end of the cycle and the beginning of a new one. Itís just like on December 31, our calendar comes to an end, but a new calendar begins on January 1."
Yeomans also attempted to allay fears regarding potential causes of a Mayan apocalypse, including Nibiru, an imaginary planet that some people think is swinging in from the outer solar system just in time to collide with Earth in December. "This enormous planet is supposed to be coming toward Earth, but if it were, we would have seen it long ago. And if it were invisible somehow, we would have seen the [gravitational] effects of this planet on neighboring planets. Thousands of astronomers who scan the sky on a daily basis have not seen this," he said.
Image as seen on Scientific American. "2012 Doomsday Debunked Their calendar does not end on December 21, 2012; itís just the end of the cycle and the beginning of a new one. Image: Space.com"
He added that there is zero possibility of a NASA cover-up. "Can you imagine thousands of astronomers who observe the skies on a daily basis keeping the same secret from the public for several years?"
As for solar flares, Yeomans explained that these do exist ó in fact, two massive solar flares erupted just days ago, sending bursts of solar radiation into space ó but they are part of the sunís normal 11-year cycle. Radiation from solar flares can damage orbiting satellites, but Earthís magnetosphere shields its inhabitants from the blasts, and the flares are not a health concern.
"Then we have planetary alignments," Yeomans said. Some doomsayers believe the other planets and the sun will align with the Earth in December and cause catastrophic tidal effects. "Well, first of all, there are no planetary alignments in December of 2012, and even if there were, there are no tidal effects on the Earth as a result. The only two bodies in the solar system that can affect the Earthís tides are the moon, which is very close, and the sun, which is massive and also fairly close. But the other planets have a negligible effect on the Earth."
(Incidentally, it is perfectly normal for the sun and moon to align, bolstering each otherís gravitational pulls on Earth and generating higher-than-normal ocean tides. This happens twice each month.)
Addressing the claim that Earthís axes are going to shift on Dec. 21, 2012, he said: "The rotation axis canít shift because the orbit of the moon around the Earth stabilizes it and doesnít allow it to shift." He noted that the magnetic field does shift every half-million years or so, but "thereís no evidence itís going to happen in December, and even if it were to be shifting, it takes thousands of years to do so. And even if it did shift, itís not going to cause a problem on the Earth apart from the fact that weíre going to have to recalibrate our compasses."
Invoking the astronomer Carl Saganís famous maxim, he said: "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Since the beginning of time there have been literally hundreds of thousands of predictions for the end of the world, and weíre still here."
"Two criticisms about the article. One minor. One major. Minor: Iíd hoped to see written that all this doomsday talk about 2012 does not come from the ancient Maya or their descendents, but is a modern interpretation of the calendar and itís surrounding cosmology.
Hereís my major criticism: this article is about debunking myths regarding doomsday events relating to 2012 and specifically the Mayan calendar. The photograph you included in the article is of the Sun Stone, made by the Aztecs over a thousand years later by a completely different civilization. Furthermore, the Sun Stone isnít even a calendar. Itís unclear what itís original purpose was. So, while your article debunks one myth, itís perpetuating another.
But thanks for writing this piece!"
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (source)
Ed Note: Why does NASA feel the need to address this issue? Why is it important to the agency that people believe one way or the other about the future?
Does NASA have a campaign debunking the Easter Bunny? When NORAD ítracks Santa on radarí, does NASA hold a press conference refuting any misconceptions?
IQ, Psy Ops and the "Civilization" of the Scam 2015-05-27 2:27
Cognitive dissonance is the firewall that exists in most minds when confronted with a challenge to their basic beliefs about the world. As it is human nature to avoid admitting being in error or having been duped, for most humans the ego zealously flees the admission to oneself of significant error.Challenges to our worldviews or paradigms of belief are also ...
"Europe Could be Overrun with White South Africans" 2015-05-26 23:05 Edited by Red Ice
Dear Madam Merkel: We want our brothers and sisters to come home!
Hundreds of thousands of sub-Saharan Africans are pouring into Europe, stressing the economy and social services, causing insane rates of crime and threatening to crush society in its entirety. Arab Moslems also continue to pour in under the guise of "asylum‚ÄĚ and are continuing to threaten ...
Increasing Cosmic Rays 2015-05-26 23:35
Driving Force in Climate Changes, Volcanos and Earthquakes
Back in 1996 Danish physicists suggested that cosmic rays, energetic particles from space, are important in the formation of clouds. Since then, experiments in Copenhagen and elsewhere have demonstrated that cosmic rays actually help small clusters of molecules to form. By firing a particle beam into a cloud chamber, physicists in Denmark and ...
Swede Has Had Enough 2015-05-26 22:21
Description from YouTube: A Swedish man reached the absolute end of what he can take anymore and tells a few truths to Swedish politicians. The man is the founder of a new political party called Riksdemokraterna.
'Is this white enough for you?' Dutch immigrant children rally against segregation 2015-05-26 22:37
Immigrant children and their parents in two Amsterdam neighborhoods took to the streets on Friday asking for families to enroll their "white" children in local schools, which are becoming increasingly segregated.
The 100 or so schoolchildren - mostly from Africa and the Middle East - took part in a rally, AFP reported. They were wearing bright wight t-shirts imprinted bearing the ...