Feeds

NASA: THE TRUTH about the END OF THE WORLD on 21 Dec

Boffins tackle Mayan Prophecy

Security for virtualized datacentres

Five NASA scientists took time out yesterday to assure the public that the world will not end on 21 December.

The astroboffins dismissed claims that a rogue planet called Nibiru will smash into Earth in three weeks, killing us all. The planetary smash-up just before Christmas 2012 was allegedly predicted by the Mayans.

A wave of letters and emails from worried Americans has prompted NASA to pull together some of its top brass in a Google Hangout and make them answer questions from the public.

Doomsday, one possible scenario for 21 December 2012

"This is just manufactured fantasy," said David Morrison, an astrobiologist from NASA's Ames Research Center, "but the truth is that many people are worried about it and many of those people do write to NASA."

In particular I'm concerned about the young people who write to me and say they are terribly afraid, they say they can't sleep, they can't eat. Some of them have said they are contemplating suicide.

So while it's a joke to many people and a mystery to others, there is a core of people who are truly concerned.

NASA has tried to dampen fears about December 2012 several times over the past few years, in 2009 and in 2011, for example, it quelled suggestions the earth would be destroyed by a mega volcano in the last few weeks of 2012.

The brainiacs answered a range of questions from the public, including "Is NASA predicting a total blackout of the Earth from the 21st - 23rd December?"

No, said Mitzi Adams, a solar/archaeoastronomer from NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. She elaborated:

There's nothing we know of physically that would allow the Sun to switch off for three days and then switch back on.

As for Nibiru - the legendary planet which the Mayans believed had a "3,600-year-long orbit of the Sun" - smashing us to bits in three weeks' time, David Morrison of the Ames Centre said:

It makes no sense, because if it was there we could see it. We'd have been tracking it for a decade or so. And by now, it would be the brightest object in the sky after the Sun and Moon. You can dispel this rumour yourself, just go out and look at the sky.

There's an information page if you need a few more facts. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
LOHAN invites ENTIRE REG READERSHIP to New Mexico shindig
Well, those of you who back our Kickstarter tin-rattling...
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.