Once again Steve Russo, Director of the East Kentucky Science Center, has shared some great information. If you've never been there... you need to go check out some of their exhibits, laser shows, and the planetarium.
You can find much more by clicking this link: East Kentucky Science Center
The following Q&A should shed some light on the whole 2012 debate. All the bold print was provided by East KY Science Center.
THE WORLD WILL NOT END IN 2012 !!!!
Question (Q): Are there any threats to the Earth in 2012? Many Internet websites say the world will end in December 2012.
Answer (A): Nothing bad will happen to the Earth 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.
Q: What is the origin of the prediction that the world will end in 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. Then these two fables were 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.
Q: Does the Mayan calendar end in December 2012?
A: Just because the calendar on your kitchen wall ends on December 31, doesn’t mean that time doesn’t exist after that. The same holds true for the Mayan calendar which does not end 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.
Q: Could phenomena occur where planets align in a way that impacts Earth?
A: 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. Each December the Earth and Sun align with the approximate center of the Milky Way Galaxy but that is an annual event of no consequence.
Q: Is there a planet or brown dwarf called Nibiru or Planet X that is approaching the Earth and threatening our planet with widespread destruction?
A: Nibiru and other stories about wayward planets are an Internet hoax. 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, they do not exist.
Q: Is the Earth in danger of being hit by a meteor in 2012?
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 MAY have led to the extinction of the dinosaurs. Nothing is predicted to hit in 2012.
Q: How do scientists feel about claims of pending doomsday?
A: There is no evidence for any of the assertions made in books, movies, documentaries, or over the Internet, in support of unusual events taking place in December 2012.
Q: Is there a danger from giant Solar storms predicted for 2012?
A: 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 time-frame and is predicted to be an average Solar cycle, no different than previous cycles throughout history.
This sheet prepared by the staff of the East Kentucky Science Center and Planetarium. 606-889-4809