December 2012: the end of the world?

Ninurta%2006[1]The Maya civilization is a pre-Columbian civilization known for its knowledge of mathematics and astronomy, as for his art and architecture. Many of these civilizations reached their apogee of development during the classical period (C. 250 al 900), and continued throughout the post-classical period until the arrival of the Spaniards. In their moment of maximum development, they were the most densely populated and culturally dynamic societies in the world.

From this ancient American civilization and its astronomical system was born a calendar with related prophecies that soon became the subject of discussion about the events that characterize the end times in the 21st century.. This famous Mayan calendar foretells that a catastrophic event will take place on 21 December 2012. Unfortunately the Maya did not specify what would happen but in spite of this the catastrophic argue that the world will end that day. Scientists have different theories and philosophies about what could happen scientifically. Their theories include events that would change the earth such as the alignment of the planets, the galactic alignment, the change of poles, the coming of extraterrestrials and nuclear explosions.

According to what the researchers say, the Mayan astronomical predictions were based on a collection of systematic calendars similar to each other used by the old American civilizations as well as the Aztecs. These calendars start from the sixth century. A.C.. There were basically two important calendars: one was solar and the other was planetary, based on the movement of the planet Venus, in conjunction with other planets and stars. The two calendars overlapped each other and each was based on a cycle of 5000 years. As soon as one finished, the other began. However, it is not that the Maya were predicting the end of the world. Based on their cycle calculations 5000 years, predicted that there would be an extraordinary event on 21/12/2012 and one at the beginning of 22/12/2012. In other words they were simply predicting the end of the planetary or solar calendar of the gods 5000 years. Although their scientists and astronomers meant some natural disaster, they did not mean the end of events and the end of the world. Modern researchers say the 21/12/2012 an extraordinary event will happen called the precession of the equinoxes.

The Christian response to this catastrophic prophecy?

I cristiani possono essere classificati come un gruppo di persone che crede in tali catastrofi, and this is the consequence of a wrong reading of the Bible and too much emphasis on the events described in the book of the Apocalypse, which still remains an allegorical and hermeneutic book, on which we must not overreact with the risk of incurring the foundation of apocalyptic sects, as are those of Jehovah's Witnesses or other evangelicals. Anyway, more mature Christians conclude that this is due to poor biblical knowledge and cite a text from Scripture to justify this claim:

«But no one knows about that day and hour, not even the angels of heaven, not even the Son, but the Father alone.
As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of man. Indeed, as in the days before the flood they ate and drank, he took a wife and went to husband, until the day Noah entered the ark, and people didn't notice anything, until the flood came and took them all away, so it will happen at the coming of the Son of man. Matteo 24:36-39

The 21 December 2012 it will surely be an interesting day, as well as the 22 December, when the earth revolves around the sun, which it has done in the past, but this will not bring about the end of world events.

NASA scientists are also of this opinion, in the last few years, they have been bombarded with emails from frightened people asking about this topic. Tired of always giving the same answers, have opened an official page on the NASA website, where they answer users' questions.

Below are NASA's answers to questions regarding the 2012

1) There are dangers to the land in the 2012? Many websites say the world will end in 2012.

Nothing bad will happen to the Earth meò 2012. Our planet is fine and the most credible scientists know that there is no danger associated with 2012.

2) What is behind the prediction that the world will end in December 2012?

The story began with the statement that Nibiru, a hypothetical planet discovered by the Sumerians, it is directed towards the earth. Zecharia Sitchin, who writes novels on the ancient Mesopotamian civilization of the Sumerians, states in several books (eg The Twelfth Planet, published in 1976. English title The Twelfth Planet, ed. Mediterranee, ed) to have found and translated Sumerian documents identifying the planet Nibiru, in orbit around the Sun every 3.600 years. These Sumerian fables include stories of "ancient astronauts", from an alien civilization called Anunnaki, who would visit Earth.

Later Nancy Lieder, a self-styled psychic who claims to be in contact with aliens, wrote on her website Zetatalk that the inhabitants of a fictional planet around the star Zeta Reticuli had warned her that Earth was in danger from Planet X or Nibiru. The catastrophe was initially scheduled for May 2012, but, since nothing happened, the doomsday date was recalculated (a usual procedure for catastrophists) and moved forward to December 2012. Only recently have these two fables been linked to the end of the long Mayan count that falls on the winter solstice of 2012, hence the date scheduled for the day of judgment: 21 December 2012

3) The Sumerians were the first great civilization, and made many precise astronomical predictions, including the existence of the planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. So why shouldn't we believe their predictions about Nibiru?

The name Nibiru comes from Babylonian astrology, and has sometimes been associated with the god Marduk. Nibiru appears as a minor character in the Babylonian creation poem, Enuma Elish, recorded in the library of Ashurbanipal, re of Assyria (668–627 a.C.). The Sumerian civilization flourished much earlier, approximately from the thirteenth to the seventeenth century BC. Claims that Nibiru is a planet and that it was known to the Sumerians are contradicted by scholars who (unlike Zecharia Sitchin) they study and translate the written documents of ancient Mesopotamia. That Sumerian was truly a great civilization, important for the development of agriculture, water management, urban life and especially writing. However, he left few documents of an astronomical nature and almost certainly did not know about Uranus, Neptune or Pluto. The Sumerians did not even understand that the planets orbit the sun, an idea that first developed only in ancient Greece, two millennia after the end of the Sumerian civilization. The idea that they had sophisticated astronomy and even a deity called Nibiru is only a product of Sitchin's imagination.

4) How can you deny the existence of Nibiru, if NASA discovered it in 1983 and the story appeared in the most authoritative newspapers? At that time you baptized it Planet X and later it was called Xena or Eris.

IRAS (NASA's infrared astronomical satellite which in 1983 he probed the sky for 10 months) discovered many sources of infrared rays, but none of these were Nibiru or Planet X or any other object belonging to the outermost solar system. In summary IRAS cataloged 350.000 sources of infrared rays and initially many of these were not identified (hence the purpose, naturally, to carry out this investigation). All these observations were followed by further studies performed with more powerful tools, both on Earth and in Space. The rumors of a "tenth planet" instead spread in 1984, after the publication in Astrophysical Journal Letters of a scientific study entitled "Unidentified point sources in the IRAS minisurvey", which dealt with different infrared sources "without counterpart". Later it was discovered that these "mysterious objects" (except one, revealed the puff of an "infrared cirrus") they were just distant galaxies, as published in 1987. No source identified by IRAS has ever turned out to be a planet. An interesting discussion on this complex subject can be found on Phil Plait's website. The basic idea is that Nibiru is a myth, without any basis in fact. For an astronomer, insistent claims about a planet that is "close" but "invisible", they are just stupid.

5) Maybe we should ask about Planet X or Eris, and not of Nibiru. Because NASA is keeping Eris's orbit secret?

The term "Planet X" is an oxymoron, when applied to a real object. The generic term has been used by astronomers in the last century for a possible or suspected celestial body. Once the object is found, it is given a real name, as was done with Pluto or Eris, to both of which, one time, it was referred to as Planet X. If a new object turns out to be unreal, or not a planet, then you will never hear of it again. If it's true, it will no longer be called Planet X. Eris is one of the dwarf planets recently found by astronomers outside the solar system, planets that are in normal orbits that will never bring them close to Earth. Like Pluto, Eris is smaller than our Moon. It is very far away and its orbit will never bring it closer than 4 billions of miles or so. There is no secret about Eris or its orbit, as you can easily verify by searching on Google or Wikipedia.

6) You deny that NASA built a telescope at the South Pole (SPT) to search for Nibiru? Why else would they build a telescope at the South Pole?

There is a telescope at the South Pole, but it was not built by NASA and is not used to study Nibiru. The South Pole Telescope is funded by the National Science Foundation and is a radio telescope, not an optical instrument. Cannot create visible light images, nor photographs. You can check it on Wikipedia. Antarctica is an ideal place for infrared and shortwave radio astronomical observations, and it also has the advantage that bodies can be observed continuously without the interference of the day-night cycle. I should add that it is impossible to imagine a way in which a body can only be seen from the South Pole. Even if it were directed towards the south of the Earth, it would be visible from all over the southern hemisphere.

7) There are many photographs and videos of Nibiru on the Internet. It is perhaps not proof that it really exists?

The vast majority of photos and videos on the Internet take shapes around the sun (apparently in support of the assumption that Nibiru has been hiding behind the Sun for several years). These are actually false images of the Sun resulting from internal lens reflections, often called lens flare (light effects that are formed when a lens frames a particularly bright source, ed). They can be easily identified as they appear diametrically opposite to the real image of the Sun., as if they were reflected from the center of the image. This is particularly evident in the movies, where the camera moves, and the false image "dances" almost always exactly in front of the real image. Lens flare-like effects are the basis of many UFO photographs taken at night, with strong light sources, for example street lamps, on background. I'm surprised there aren't many people who recognize this common photographic artifact. It also surprises me that these photographs showing something almost as large and bright as the sun (a "second Sun") are accepted, often on the same websites, along with claims that Nibiru is too faint to be seen or photographed except with large telescopes. A widely used telescopic photo shows two views of an expanding gas cloud, far beyond the solar system, which is not moving. This is evidenced by the fact that the stars are the same in both images. A careful reader of my website identified these photographs with the gaseous shell around the star V838 Mon. Wikipedia has a good review of it and a nice photo taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. Another high school student was initially struck by images of a shapeless red spot said to be Nibiru. Later he learned, taking a course on Photoshop, how to create similar images from scratch. A video posted on Youtube in the summer 2012 shows a dude that, standing in the kitchen of his house, asserts that one of the objects discovered by NASA's X-ray telescope is Nibiru. How do you explain it? Claims that, as this false color x-ray image made by NASA is blue, this must necessarily be, in reality, a nearby planet, with an ocean. All of this would be fun, if it weren't used to scare people.

8) Can you explain why the area (5h 53m 27s, -6 10′ 58″) it was overshadowed by Google Sky and Microsoft Telescope? Someone speculates that these are the coordinates where Nibiru is currently located.

Several people have asked me about this empty rectangle in the constellation of Orion, are Google Sky, which is an image slideshow from the Sloan Digital Survey. This area cannot be Nibiru's "hideout", as it is a part of the sky that could be seen from all parts of the Earth during the winter 2012, when much of the talk about Nibiru began. This would also be in contradiction with the assertion that Nibiru would hide behind the Sun or that it could only be seen from the southern hemisphere. However, I too was curious about this empty rectangle, and then I asked a friend, a scientist who has worked for Google for years, who replied that he had discovered that "the missing data was due to a processing error in the image editing program we use to view the footage of the Sloan Survey. The team assured me that the problem will be solved in the next application!”

9) If the government were aware of the existence of Nibiru, it would not keep the secret to prevent panic from spreading? It is not the government's job to keep the population quiet?

The government's many goals do not include keeping the population at ease. My experience says that sometimes parts of the government do the exact opposite, as in the frequent references to various terrorist threats, or the announcements about traffic accidents on long weekends with public holidays, which are no more dangerous than any other period. There is a long tradition of associating bad things with political opponents (Older readers will remember the "missile gap" in the US elections of 1960, younger people will notice the frequent references to who is or isn't keeping the US safe from terrorists). Sociologists have also indicated that many of our irrational fears are Hollywood products, while in the real world people have a good record in helping each other in case of danger. I think everyone recognizes, Furthermore, that keeping bad news secret is, usually, counterproductive, making the matter even worse when the facts, at the end, are fulfilled.

Even if he wanted to, however, the government could not keep Nibiru a secret. If Nibiru were real, indeed, it would be monitored by thousands of astronomers, amateurs and professionals. Astronomers who are present all over the world. I know the astronomical community, and I know these scientists would not keep a secret even if they were ordered to do so. It is simply not possible to hide a planet orbiting inside the Solar System.

10) Because the Mayan calendar says the world will end in 2012? I have heard that the Mayans themselves were quite accurate, in the past, with other planetary forecasts. How can you be sure you know more than they did?

Calendars exist to keep track of the passage of time, not to predict the future. The Mayan astronomers were intelligent, and they have developed a very complex calendar. Ancient calendars are of interest to historians, but they certainly can't compete with the ability to keep track of the time we have today, or the accuracy of the calendars currently in use. In any case, the calendars, be they ancient or contemporary, they cannot predict the future of our planet, nor warn us about things that will happen on a specific date, see the 2012. I note that my desk calendar ends much earlier, the 31 December 2015, but I don't interpret this as an Armageddon prediction: it's just the beginning of a new year.

11) What is the theory of pole reversal? It is true that the earth's crust makes a rotation of 180 degrees around the core within a few days, if not hours? This has something to do with the fact that our Solar System transits below the galactic equator?

A reversal of the rotation of the Earth is impossible. It has never happened or will happen in the future. There are slow movements of the continents (Antarctica, eg, it was near the equator hundreds of millions of years ago), but this is irrelevant to hypothesize an inversion of the rotation of the poles. In any case, many catastrophic websites throw a lure to deceive people. They argue that there is a relationship between the Earth's magnetic field and its rotation, rotation that would change unpredictably when a magnetic inversion took place, which happens, on average, every 400000 years. As far as we know, a magnetic reversal does not cause any harm to life on Earth. It is also very unlikely to happen in the next millennia and, however, some say it will happen soon (of course in the 2012) and that this will coincide or trigger a reversal of the Earth's rotation poles. What you need to know is: a) The direction of rotation and the magnetic polarity are not connected to each other; b) There is no reason that suggests an imminent inversion of the magnetic poles, or to some detrimental effect on life, so far as, possibly, should happen; c) A sudden reversal of the earth's rotation pole, with disastrous consequences, it's impossible. None of this, Furthermore, has something to do with the galactic equator or other nonsense about the alignments of the planets that appear on many apocalyptic websites.

12) When most of the planets will line up in the 2012 and the planet Earth will be in the center of the Milky Way, what the consequences will be on it? It could cause a pole shift, and in this case what should we expect?

There will be no alignment of planets in the 2012 nor at other times for several decades in the future. And that the Earth will be in the center of the Milky Way, I do not know what that means. If they refer to the Milky Way Galaxy, we are about 30,000 light years from the center of this spiral galaxy. We tour the galactic center in a period of 225-250 millions of years, always keeping approximately the same distance. Regarding a pole shift, I don't even know what that means. If we mean a sudden change in the position of the poles (that is, the axis of rotation of the Earth), then that is impossible, as noted above. What many websites are talking about is the alignment of the Earth and the Sun with the center of the Milky Way in the constellation of Sagittarius. This happens every December, without harmful consequences, and there is no reason to expect the 2012 is different from any other year.

13) When the Sun and Earth line up on the galactic plane at the same time as the black hole will be in the center, this could not cause anything, due to the fact that the black hole has such a powerful force of attraction?

There is a supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy, and how any concentration of mass exerts a gravitational force on the rest of the galaxy. however, the galactic center is very distant, circa 30.000 light years, therefore it has insignificant consequences on our solar system and on Earth. There are no special forces coming from the galactic plane or the galactic center. The only force acting on the Earth is the gravitation of the Sun and the Moon. Like the influence of the galactic plane, even this position has nothing particular. The last time the Earth was in the galactic plane was several million years ago. Claiming that we are about to cross the galactic plane is a lie.

14) I am afraid that the Earth will enter the Dark Rift (Dark Rift) of the Milky Way. What would it cause? The Earth would be sucked up?

The "dark fissure" is a common name given to the large clouds of dust scattered in the inner arm of the Milky Way Galaxy, that prevent us from seeing the galactic center. All this fear of "galactic alignment" is absurd. At the end of December, the Sun is always more or less in the direction of the center of the Galaxy when viewed from the Earth, so? Apparently the alarmists have decided to use these nonsensical expressions on "alignment" and the "dark slit" and "photon belt" precisely because they are not understood by the public.

If we talk about the safety of the Earth, the real threats come from global warming and the loss of biological diversity, and probably in the future from the collision with an asteroid or a comet, certainly not from the pseudoscientific statements on the 2012.

15) I have heard that the Earth's magnetic field will reverse in 2012, just when solar storms are expected to reach their highest level in history. This will kill us or destroy our civilization?

Near a peak of solar activity (which occurs approximately every 11 years), there are far more solar flares and coronal mass ejections than near a minimum. Mass eruptions and ejections pose no danger to humans or other life forms on Earth. They could endanger astronauts in deep space or on the moon, and this is a matter that NASA should learn to deal with, but that's not our problem. Large eruptions can disrupt radio transmissions, cause very bright auroras (Northern and Southern Lights), and damage the electronic components of some satellite in space.

Today, many satellites are programmed to deal with this eventuality, for example by unplugging some of their more sensitive circuits and going into “protected” mode for a few hours. In extreme cases, solar activity can even interrupt electrical transmissions on the ground, causing electrical blackouts, but these are rare cases.

The last solar peak occurred in 2001, and the next had been foreseen 11 years ago more or less for the 2012. However, the most recent low of solar activity was unusual, with a duration of a couple of years with almost no spots or other signs of solar activity, so scientists currently believe that the next peak will be postponed, perhaps al 2012. however, the details of the solar cycle remain fundamentally unpredictable. It is true that the Earth's magnetic field protects us by creating a large area in space, called the earth's magnetosphere, within which much of the material emitted by the Sun is captured or deflected, but there is no reason to expect an inversion of the magnetic polarity shortly thereafter. These magnetic reversals occur on average only once each 400.000 years.

16) I am upset about a report on the Fox News website that says that in the 2012 a "Powerful solar storm could block the US for months". It referred to a report from the National Academy of Sciences commissioned and funded by NASA. But if nothing happens with the arrival of the 2012, because NASA allows certain nonsense to be disclosed?

NASA is pleased with the National Research Council's report on helophysics. As observed, this report includes a worst-case analysis of what could happen today if there was a replica of the most powerful solar storm ever recorded (in 1859). The problem is how this type of information can be used out of context. There is no reason to expect a solar storm of this size in the near future, certainly not specifically in the 2012. The reference to the "event in 2012" exemplifies this problem. There are no predictions of an "event in 2012". We don't even know if the next peak of solar activity will take place that year. The entire catastrophic scenario on the 2012 it's a hoax, powered by advertisements for 2012, the science fiction disaster film. I can only hope that most people will be able to distinguish the plot of a Hollywood movie from reality.

17) My friends at school tell me we're all going to die in 2012 due to a meteor that will hit the Earth. It's true?

The Earth has always been subject to impacts with comets and asteroids (as happens for the Moon, on which you can see better, since it lacks an atmosphere that erodes the impact craters), although large collisions are very rare. The last significant impact occurred 65 millions of years ago, and caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. Today NASA astronomers are carrying out the "Spaceguard Survey", a system to detect every large asteroid in the vicinity of the Earth long before it hits it. We have already established that there are no threatening asteroids as large as the one that killed the dinosaurs. All this activity is done publicly through the discoveries displayed on the website every day NASA NEO Program Office, and everyone can verify for themselves that no collision is foreseen for the 2012.

18) If Nibiru is a buffalo, because NASA does not publish a denial? How can these stories be allowed to circulate and scare people? Because the US government does nothing?

If you go to the NASA home page,, you will find many articles denouncing the Nibiru-2012 hoax. Try searching for the item “Nibiru” or “2012”. There isn't much else NASA can do. These hoaxes have nothing to do with NASA and are not based on its data, for which we, as an agency, we are not directly involved. But the scientists, both inside and outside NASA, admit that this hoax, with his attempt to scare people, serve as a distraction from more serious scientific issues, such as global warming and the disappearance of biological diversity. We live in a country where freedom of speech is in force, which includes the freedom to lie. We should be glad there are no censors. But if we use common sense, we can recognize the lies. As we get closer to the 2012, the lies will become more and more evident.

19) It can prove that Nibiru is a hoax? There are so many articles that say something terrible is going to happen in 2012. I need proof because the government and NASA are hiding a lot from us.

Similar questions should be asked of "doomsday" advocates for them to prove that what they say is true, and not to NASA to prove it is false. If anyone claims on the internet that there are tall purple elephants 50 feet strolling through Cleveland, some would expect NASA to prove this is not true? The burden of proof falls on those who make risky statements. Remember Carl Sagan's often quoted comment, which says extraordinary claims require extraordinary proofs. However I think astronomers have reached the point where extremely valid arguments can be made that Nibiru does not exist.. A big planet (or a brown dwarf) within our solar system it would have been noticed by astronomers for many years, and indirectly due to its gravitational perturbations on other objects, both for direct detections through infrared rays. NASA's Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) carried out the first full-sky survey in 1983, and numerous subsequent surveys would certainly have detected Nibiru had it been there. Furthermore, if a large mass passed through the inner solar system each 3600 years, we would see the destructive consequences on the orbits of the inner planets, and it is not so.

But you don't have to believe my words. Just use common sense. You have seen Nibiru? In 2012 many websites claimed it would be visible to the naked eye in the spring of 2012. If a large planet or brown dwarf headed for the inner solar system in 2012, they would already have been followed by hundreds of astronomers, both professionals and amateurs, all over the world. Do you know any amateur astronomers who are observing it? Have you seen some photos or discussions on the subject in the most popular astronomy magazines such as Astronomy or Sky & Telescope? Think about it for a moment. Nobody could hide such a thing as Nibiru if it existed.

20) What about the scary commercials for the new movie 2012? They invite us to check these websites for evidence of the Doomsday threat.

The pseudoscientific statements about Nibiru and doomsday in the 2012, accompanied by distrust of the government, are amplified by the commercial for the new Columbia Pictures movie titled 2012, released in November 2012.

The movie trailer, which is broadcast in cinemas and on their website, shows a gigantic wave that hits the Himalayas, with the following words: “How could the governments of our planet prepare 6 billions of people at the end of the world? (long pause) They couldn't. (long pause) Find out the truth. Seek 2012 with Google. "

The advertisement for the film includes a fake scientific website of the "Institute for Human Continuity" (IHC), which is absolutely fictitious. According to this website, the IHC would devote itself to scientific research and to prepare society. Its mission is the survival of humanity. The site explains that the Institute was founded in 1978 by international leaders from the world of government, of business and science. He claims that in the 2012 IHC scientists confirmed that with the 94% of probability the world would be destroyed in 2012. This website encourages people to register for a lottery to select which ones will be saved; a colleague entered the name of her cat, and it was accepted. According to Wikipedia, creating this kind of bogus website is a new advertising technique called "Viral Marketing", by analogy with computer viruses.

21) It is possible that the amount of questions described here is part of some kind of campaign for a book or film, in the hope that the amount of denials will be taken as more "evidence" that a conspiracy exists?

I ask myself this same question every day, given the amount of mail I get on Nibiru (along with various polar alignments and rotations) continues to grow - now they are more than 20 per week. It is clear that one can gain on the fear that people have of the approach of the day of judgment.

Many websites sell books and tapes about Nibiru or even "survival kits". It is very depressing, considering the many real issues such as global warming and financial collapse, on which our attention should be focused. In the last chapter of a new astronomy book (The Hunt of Planet X) Govert Shilling writes: "There is a lot to do for the demysters - those archaeologists and astronomers who keep a detached and skeptical gaze on the gigantic wave of absurdity on Nibiru and explain with scientific precision what is wrong with this cosmic fable. They will see their work come to an abrupt end in the next few years. And the 22 December of 2012 there will be a new pseudoscientific freak story that will go around and the whole circus will restart, because it doesn't matter how many new celestial bodies are discovered in our solar system, there will always be a need for a mysterious Planet X. "

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