The New Year's eve you celebrated on Saturday night is not going to be your last. Scientists reassure us that the world will not witness its end in 2012, as predicted by scores of books, movies, cult groups and millions of websites on the Internet.
Wild stories about the world coming to an end on December 21, 2012 have been doing the rounds for quite some time. But scientists have now dismissed the theory as rubbish after analysing all the possible doomsday scenarios.
"Nothing will happen to Earth in 2012. Credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012," the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) said in an advisory.
The 2012 apocalypse theories began with claims that Nibiru, a mythical planet 'discovered' by the Sumerians, is headed towards Earth. Some had said this catastrophe would occur in May 2003, but when nothing happened the 'doomsday' was postponed to December 2012.
Subsequently, the date was linked to the end of one of the cycles in the ancient Mayan calendar at the winter solstice in 2012. But scientists argue that the Mayan calendar is not going to end on this date, and will only begin a new cycle similar to the calendar we follow. December 21, 2012 is only the end of the Mayan long-count period, after which another will begin.
Nibiru and other stories about wayward meteorites and asteroids heading towards Earth are an Internet hoax, the space agency said. "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 past decade, and it would be visible by now to the naked eye," NASA said. Another planet supposedly on collision course with our planet is Eris. This is a real body but it is a dwarf planet similar to Pluto and will remain in the outer solar system. The closest it can come to the earth is about four billion miles.