NASA debunks 2012 apocalypse myths
WASHINGTON DC: The world is not coming to an end on December 21, 2012, NASA insists in a rare campaign to dispel widespread rumours fuelled by the Internet and a new blockbuster movie.
The latest big screen offering from Sony Pictures, 2012, opens in Australia today. It is a US$200-million production about the end of the world supposedly based on myths backed by the Mayan calendar.
The doomsday scenario revolves around claims that the end of time will come as an obscure Planet X – or Nibiru – heads toward or collides with Earth.
The mysterious planet was supposedly discovered by the Sumerians, according to claims by pseudo-scientists, paranormal activity enthusiasts and Internet theorists. Some websites accuse NASA of concealing the truth on the wayward planet's existence, but the U.S. space agency denounced such stories as an "Internet hoax."
"There is no factual basis for these claims," NASA said in a question-and-answer posting on its website. If such a collision were real "astronomers would have been tracking it for at least the past decade, and it would be visible by now to the naked eye," it added. "Obviously, it does not exist."
"Credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012," it insisted. After all, "our planet has been getting along just fine for more than four billion years."
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