The University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington

UTA Planetarium

UTA Planetarium

Ask the Astronomer Q&A

Tag: "mayan culture"

  • Does the Mayan calendar end in December 2012?
  • 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.

    (Tags:  2012  mayan culture)
  • Is the earth really going to end in 2012?
  • No, the Earth will not end in 2012. This is another hoax that has spread due to popular media. According to the hoax, the Earth will end on December 21st, 2012; the "last day" on the Mayan calendar. This however, is not the last day of the Mayan calendar, but the last day of the millenium, according to the Mayan calendar. On December 22nd, 2012, the Mayan Calendar will start over with a new millenium. Many of you may remember a similar hoax, Y2K, about 10 years ago, which also said that the world would end. These hoaxes have a tendency to spring up every few years, and there is never any truth to them. You can read more theories about the ending of 2012 on our articles page.

    (Tags:  2012  apocalypse  earth  mayan culture)
  • Is there a planet Nibiru which is reported to come close to Earth on 12 December 2012?
  • No, there is no such planet Nibiru. Nibiru is also often called Planet X. According to hoaxists, Nibiru is a planet that was discovered by the Mayans that will collide with the Earth on December 21st, 2012. This is just one of the "theories" about the world ending in 2012. The truth is, the Mayans knew of no such planet. Although they were very skilled at tracking the motions of the planets, Sun and Moon, they did not know what the planets were. They would have only been able to see the 5 naked eye planets; Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Telescopes had not yet been discovered. If there is a planet called Nibiru it would have to be very large or very close to Earth in order for the Mayans to see it. And if it is very large or very close, then you and I would be able to see it today. If it were on a collision course with Earth, it would get brighter and brighter until we could even see it in the daylight. But of course, we can't, because it doesn't exist. Rest easy tonight, the world will continue well past the year 2012.

    (Tags:  2012  apocalypse  earth  mayan culture  nibiru  planet)
  • There is an apocalypse that the world is going to end in 2012 which has been supported by astrophysical theories. Is that so? Or do the scientists believe the world will end based on Biblical beliefs?
  • No scientist has predicted an apocalypse for 2012. This is an internet hoax that has been going on for years. It is based on the belief that the Mayans "predicted" the world ending on December 21st, 2012, the end of the calendar. But just as the world doesn't end on December 31st each year when our calendar ends, the world will not end when the Mayan calendar ends - it will simply start a new cycle. There are many more articles about the apocalpyse, 2012, Nibiru and other related topics on this page and many NASA sites. We encourage everyone to read up on it.

    (Tags:  2012  apocalypse  earth  mayan culture  nibiru)
  • What is the origin of the prediction that the world will end in 2012?
  • 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.

    (Tags:  2012  mayan culture  nibiru)