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NASA debunks 2012 end-of-the-world myths

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Odds are good that the world will keep on turning after Dec. 21. Image courtesy NASA.

No meteors, mysterious planets or polar reversals coming

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — When my son started questioning whether he should be studying for his geometry final — set for the same day that the world is supposed to end — I knew that I needed some strong ammunition to keep him motivated.

It’s one thing for an impressionable teenager to pay attention to far-fetched internet myths about a mysterious planet on collision course with the Earth, or a sudden reversal of our planet’s magnetic field, but it’s a bit more disturbing to realized that even some adults that could otherwise be considered fairly intelligent and reasonable attach some sort of special significance to Dec. 21, 2012, but I suppose people will believe what they want to believe.

While it was reassuring to see that some of the country’s top scientists contributed to a NASA website aimed at clearing up some of the misconceptions, it’s actually kind of frightening that such a website is even needed.

The bottom line is, there is no planet Nibiru, or Eris that is approaching the Earth. All those stories are part of the same general internet hoax. If there were any celestial object on a collision course with our planet, astronomers would have spotted it long ago, and it would, of course, be visible to the naked eye by now. By the way, Eris is real, but according to NASA, it’s a dwarf planet similar to Pluto that won’t come any closer to Earth than about 4 billion miles.

On the NASA web page, presented in a Q and A format, the agency says there is absolutely no science or evidence to support any claims of disaster or dramatic changes. and the scientists also clarify that the ancient Maya calendar that supposedly ends this winter solstice actually continues on after this date, going into another cycle.

There will be no blackout, no planetary alignment, no polar shift and no meteor — the world will continue to turn after Dec. 21, and my son will have to keep studying for that geometry test.

Read more from NASA at: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/2012.html

 

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