CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida — Many apocalyptic predictions call for doomsday to occur in 2012. The most specific apocalypse countdown clock is predicted for the date of December 21, 2012 based on the Mayan calendar. Other 12/21/2012 doomsday predictions are derived from Biblical, astrological, mythological or Nostradamus interpretations.
JANUARY 2013 UPDATE:
The forecast calls for a 1 percent chance of a powerful Class X solar flare or major solar geomagnetic storm in the Earth’s mid-latitudes on the 20, 21, or 22 of December 2012.
Solar wind speed, as measured by the ACE spacecraft, reached a peak speed around 500 km/s. Total IMF reached 5.3 nT at 19/1125Z.
Event probabilities (20 December / 21 December / 22 December)
IV. Penticton 10.7 cm Flux
Observed 19 Dec 113
Predicted 20 Dec-22 Dec 110/110/110
90 Day Mean 19 Dec 120
V. Geomagnetic A Indices
Observed Afr/Ap 18 Dec 005/005
Estimated Afr/Ap 19 Dec 004/005
Predicted Afr/Ap 20 Dec-22 Dec 006/005-006/005-006/005
VI. Geomagnetic Activity Probabilities 20 Dec-22 Dec
A. Middle Latitudes
Minor Storm 01/01/01
Major-severe storm 01/01/01
B. High Latitudes
Minor Storm 10/10/10
Major-severe storm 05/05/05
Answer (A):The world will not end in 2012. 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.
A: The story started with claims that Nibiru, a supposed planet discovered by the Sumerians, is headed toward Earth. This catastrophe was initially predicted for May 2003, but when nothing happened the doomsday date was moved forward to December 2012 and linked to the end of one of the cycles in the ancient Mayan calendar at the winter solstice in 2012 — hence the predicted doomsday date of December 21, 2012.
A: Just as the calendar you have on your kitchen wall does not cease to exist after December 31, the Mayan calendar does not cease to exist on December 21, 2012. This date is the end of the Mayan long-count period but then — just as your calendar begins again on January 1 — another long-count period begins for the Mayan calendar.
A: Nibiru and other stories about wayward planets are an Internet hoax. There is no factual basis for these claims. 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. Eris is real, but it is a dwarf planet similar to Pluto that will remain in the outer solar system; the closest it can come to Earth is about 4 billion miles.
A: A reversal in the rotation of Earth is impossible. There are slow movements of the continents (for example Antarctica was near the equator hundreds of millions of years ago), but that is irrelevant to claims of reversal of the rotational poles. However, many of the disaster websites pull a bait-and-switch to fool people. They claim a relationship between the rotation and the magnetic polarity of Earth, which does change irregularly, with a magnetic reversal taking place every 400,000 years on average. As far as we know, such a magnetic reversal doesn’t cause any harm to life on Earth. Scientists believe a magnetic reversal is very unlikely to happen in the next few millennia.
A: The Earth has always been subject to impacts by comets and asteroids, although big hits are very rare. The last big impact was 65 million years ago, and that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs. Today NASA astronomers are carrying out a survey called the Spaceguard Survey to find any large near-Earth asteroids long before they hit. We have already determined that there are no threatening asteroids as large as the one that killed the dinosaurs. All this work is done openly with the discoveries posted every day on the NASA Near-Earth Object Program Office website, so you can see for yourself that nothing is predicted to hit in 2012.
A: For any claims of disaster or dramatic changes in 2012, where is the science? Where is the evidence? There is none, and for all the fictional assertions, whether they are made in books, movies, documentaries or over the Internet, we cannot change that simple fact. There is no credible evidence for any of the assertions made in support of unusual events taking place in December 2012.