the

ScienceCasts: Why the World Didn't End Yesterday

why the world didn't end yesterday

presented by science at NASA

December 22nd 2012 if you're watching

this video it means one thing the world

didn't end yesterday according to media

reports of an ancient Maya prophecy the

world was supposed to be destroyed on

December 21st 2012 but look around you

the whole thing was a misconception from

the very beginning says dr. John Carlson

director of the center for RKO astronomy

the Maya calendar did not end on

December 21st 2012 and there were no

Maya prophecies foretelling the end of

the world on that date the truth he says

is more interesting than fiction Carlson

is a hard-nosed scientist a radio

astronomer who earned his degree

studying distant galaxies he became

interested in the 2012 phenomenon 35

years ago when he attended a meeting of

the American Association for the

Advancement of science and learned about

the Maya where the rainforests of

Mesoamerica now stand a great

civilization once flourished the people

of Maya society built vast cities with a

population density comparable to modern

Los Angeles County they mastered

astronomy and developed an elaborate

written language most impressive to

Carlson was their expansive sense of

time in times Mayas used dwarfed those

currently used by modern astronomers he

explains according to our science the

Big Bang occurred 13.7 billion years ago

there are dates in Mayan ruins that

stretch back a billion billion times

farther than that the Maya Long Count

calendar was designed to keep track of

such long intervals it is the most

complex calendar system ever developed

written using modern typography the Long

Count calendar resembles the odometer in

a car because the digits rotate the

calendar can roll over and repeat itself

this repetition is key to the 2012

phenomenon

according to Maya theology the world was

created 5125 years ago on a date we

would write August 11 3114 BC at the

time the Maya calendar looked like this

on December 21st 2012 it is exactly the

same in the language of Maya scholars 13

baktuns elapsed between the two dates

this was a significant interval in Maya

theology but stresses carlson not a

destructive one none of the thousands of

ruins tablets and standing stones that

archaeologists have examined foretell an

end of the world

modern science agrees NASA experts

recently gathered in a Google hangout to

share their findings Don Yemen's head of

NASA's near-earth object program stated

that no known asteroids or comets were

on a collision course with earth neither

is a rogue planet coming to destroy us

if there were anything out there like a

planet headed for Earth said NASA

astrobiologist David Morrison it would

already be one of the brightest objects

in the sky everybody on earth could see

it you don't need to ask the government

just go out and look it's not there Lika

guhathakurta head of NASA's living with

a star program said the Sun is not a

threat either the Sun has been flaring

for billions of years long before the

Maya even existed and it has never once

destroyed the world right now the Sun is

approaching the maximum of its 11-year

activity cycle she added but this is the

wimpiest solar cycle of the past 50

years reports to the contrary are

exaggerated to Carlson December 21st

2012 is not a day of dread on the

contrary he says I have been waiting to

experience this day for more than 30

years for him experiencing December 21st

2012 means visiting the Maya homeland in

the Yucatan and thinking back to the

height of Maya civilization when ancient

humans contemplated expanses of time

orders of magnitude beyond modern

horizons and of course appreciating the

fact that the world didn't end yesterday

got more questions about December 21st

2012 check WWN se gov / 2012 for answers

and for breaking science news stay tuned

to science.nasa.gov