The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has taken the somewhat unusual step of declaring that the Earth most certainly will not be destroyed by a massive solar flare. But for adherents of various versions of “end of the world” theories related to the ancient Mayan calendar, it is unlikely NASA’s efforts will do any good.
NASA’s scientists have been trying to answer the burgeoning number of Internet rumors and pseudoscientific claims that have arisen periodically for years regarding claims that the Mayan calendar predicts the end of the world on December 21, 2012. In 2009, NASA responded to the release of Columbia Pictures’ movie 2012 with an extended “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) entitled “2012: Beginning of the End or Why the World Won’t End?” which dealt with many of the claims that had been floating around at that point. As observed at that time, there are parallels between the irrational fears associated with the “Year 2000” (Y2K) computer "bug" and 2012 doom and gloom:
Remember the Y2K scare? It came and went without much of a whimper because of adequate planning and analysis of the situation. Impressive movie special effects aside, Dec. 21, 2012, won't be the end of the world as we know. It will, however, be another winter solstice.
Much like Y2K, 2012 has been analyzed and the science of the end of the Earth thoroughly studied. Contrary to some of the common beliefs out there, the science behind the end of the world quickly unravels when pinned down to the 2012 timeline.
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