We have a little less than two-months until “doomsday” and you thought the presidential election would be the end! Two ancient texts confirm the end-date of the Mayan “Long Count” calendar on the winter solstice of this year, which is Dec. 21, 2012 (which just happens to be my daughter Emma’s birthday). That day’s the last day of the 13th Bak’tun, or 144,000-day cycle, of the calendar. Ancient Maya would have seen the end of the 13th Bak’tun as the end of a full-cycle of creation. Holy cow – wow, 144,000 that number sounds familiar! Now I’m scared. But I’m OK with that – I’ve made arrangements (remember?) and I still have 57 tickets.
The Mayan “long Count” is but one of many “end of time” scenarios – seriously. Besides those found in “scriptures” and those given by self-righteous ministers of faiths (too numerous to name - all wrong to date) here are the top four “doomsday events:” one - the 2012 winter solstice is cursed by planetary alignments; two - the “ultimate solar flare;” three - we will be struck by a “wayward planet” named Nibiru; four – we’ll be smacked by a humongous asteroid. Whew – please relax y’all, will be safe and sound on Dec. 22nd, 2012, take a peek at these facts.
Doomed by planetary alignment? There are no planetary alignments in the next few decades, Earth will not cross the galactic plane in 2012, and even if these alignments were to occur, their effects on the Earth would be negligible as they always have been. It’s true – the Earth and sun aligns with the approximate center of the Milky Way galaxy every December, but that is an annual event and brings us not into the arms of danger.
Doomed by the ultimate solar flare? Solar activity has a regular cycle, with peaks approximately every 11 years. Near these activity peaks, solar flares can cause some interruption of satellite communications, although engineers are learning how to build electronics that are protected against most solar storms. But there is no special risk associated with 2012. The next solar maximum will occur in the 2012-2014 timeframe and is predicted to be an average solar cycle, no different than previous cycles throughout history. Whoa – perhaps December 21st, 2013.
Doomed by the planet Nibiru? Nibiru and other stories about wayward planets are an Internet hoax (perhaps I’m wrong – surely everything on the internet “Web” must be true, especially if it’s political ‘fact’). There is no factual basis for these claims. If Nibiru or Planet X were real and headed for an encounter with Earth in 2012, astronomers would have been tracking it for at least the last thirty-years, and it would be visible by now to the naked eye. Oh wow – what’s that in the night sky? Never mind – it was Barack’s birth certificate.
Doomed by the end-time asteroid? Earth has always been subject to impacts by comets and asteroids, but big hits are very rare. The last big hit was 65 million years ago and perhaps, maybe, well some think so - led to the extinction of the dinosaurs. Today, NASA astronomers are carrying out a search called the “Spaceguard Survey” to find any large near-Earth asteroids long before they hit. So – it’s already determined that there are no threatening asteroids as large as the one that killed the dinosaurs.
So y’all rest and plan anew for your life post December 21st, 2012. I’m sure my 70th December 22nd will be just fine – I sincerely hope y’all spend it without war, starvation, hate, or religious fanaticism, and “heaven forbid” Zombie attacks.