Could a solar flare destroy the Earth in 2012?

2012: No Killer Solar Flare

Article Updated: 24 Dec , 2015
by

We could be in for a huge firework display in 2012. The Sun will be approaching the peak of its 11-year cycle, called “solar maximum”, so we can expect a lot of solar activity. Some predictions put the solar maximum of Solar Cycle 24 even more energetic than the last solar maximum in 2002-2003 (remember all those record breaking X-class flares?). Solar physicists are already getting excited about this next cycle and new prediction methods are being put to good use. But should we be worried?

Related 2012 articles:

According to one of the many Doomsday scenarios we have been presented with in the run-up to the Mayan Prophecy-fuelled “end of the world” in the year 2012, this scenario is actually based on some science. What’s more, there may be some correlation between the 11-year solar cycle and the time cycles seen in the Mayan calendar, perhaps this ancient civilization understood how the Sun’s magnetism undergoes polarity changes every decade or so? Plus, religious texts (such as the Bible) say that we are due for a day of judgement, involving a lot of fire and brimstone. So it looks like we are going to get roasted alive by our closest star on December 21st, 2012!

Before we go jumping to conclusions, take a step back and think this through. Like most of the various ways the world is going to end in 2012, the possibility of the Sun blasting out a huge, Earth-damaging solar flare is very attractive to the doomsayers out there. But let’s have a look at what really happens during an Earth-directed solar flare event, the Earth is actually very well protected. Although some satellites may not be…

The Earth has evolved in a highly radioactive environment. The Sun constantly fires high-energy particles from its magnetically dominated surface as the solar wind. During solar maximum (when the Sun is at its most active), the Earth may be unlucky enough to be staring down the barrel of an explosion with the energy of 100 billion Hiroshima-sized atomic bombs. This explosion is known as a solar flare and the effects of which can cause problems here on Earth.

Before we look at the Earth-side effects, let’s have a look at the Sun and briefly understand why it gets so angry every 11 years or so.

The Solar Cycle
A comparison between solar min and solar max with a diagram below. NASA/SOHO (top), Ian O'Neill (bottom)

First and foremost, the Sun has a natural cycle with a period of approximately 11 years. During the lifetime of each cycle, the magnetic field lines of the Sun are dragged around the solar body by differential rotation at the solar equator. This means that the equator is spinning faster than the magnetic poles. As this continues, solar plasma drags the magnetic field lines around the Sun, causing stress and a build up of energy (an illustration of this is pictured). As magnetic energy increases, kinks in the magnetic flux form, forcing them to the surface. These kinks are known as coronal loops which become more numerous during periods of high solar activity.

This is where the sunspots come in. As coronal loops continue to pop up over the surface, sunspots appear too, often located at the loop footpoints. Coronal loops have the effect of pushing the hotter surface layers of the Sun (the photosphere and chromosphere) aside, exposing the cooler convection zone (the reasons why the solar surface and atmosphere is hotter than the solar interior is down to the coronal heating phenomenon). As magnetic energy builds up, we can expect more and more magnetic flux to be forced together. This is when a phenomenon known as magnetic reconnection occurs.

Reconnection is the trigger for solar flares of various sizes. As previously reported, solar flares from “nanoflares” to “X-class flares” are very energetic events. Granted, the largest flares my generate enough energy for 100 billion atomic explosions, but don’t let this huge figure concern you. For a start, this flare occurs in the low corona, right near the solar surface. That’s nearly 100 million miles away (1AU). The Earth is nowhere close to the blast.

As the solar magnetic field lines release a huge amount of energy, solar plasma is accelerated and confined within the magnetic environment (solar plasma is superheated particles like protons, electrons and some light elements such as helium nuclei). As the plasma particles interact, X-rays may be generated if the conditions are right and bremsstrahlung is possible. (Bremsstrahlung occurs when charged particles interact, resulting in X-ray emission.) This may create an X-ray flare.

The Problem with X-ray Solar Flares
SOHO EIT image of a record breaking solar flare (SOHO/NASA)

The biggest problem with an X-ray flare is that we get little warning when it is going to happen as X-rays travel at the speed of light (one of the record breaking 2003 solar flares is pictured left). X-rays from an X-class flare will reach the Earth in around eight minutes. As X-rays hit our atmosphere, they are absorbed in the outermost layer called the ionosphere. As you can guess from the name, this is a highly charged, reactive environment, full of ions (atomic nuclei, and free electrons).

During powerful solar events such as flares, rates of ionization between X-rays and atmospheric gases increase in the D and E region layers of the ionosphere. There is a sudden surge in electron production in these layers. These electrons can cause interference to the passage of radio waves through the atmosphere, absorbing short wave radio signals (in the high frequency range), possibly blocking global communications. These events are known as “Sudden Ionospheric Disturbances” (or SIDs) and they become commonplace during periods of high solar activity. Interestingly, the increase in electron density during a SID boosts the propagation of Very Low Frequency (VLF) radio, a phenomenon scientists use to measure the intensity of X-rays coming from the Sun.

Coronal Mass Ejections?
A CME in 2007 (SOHO/NASA)
X-ray solar flare emissions are only part of the story. If the conditions are right, a coronal mass ejection (CME) might be produced at the site of the flare (although either phenomenon can occur independently). CMEs are slower than the propagation of X-rays, but their global effects here on Earth can be more problematic. They may not travel at the speed of light, but they still travel fast; they can travel at a rate of 2 million miles per hour (3.2 million km/hr), meaning they may reach us in a matter of hours.

This is where much effort is being put into space weather prediction. We have a handful of spacecraft sitting between the Earth and the Sun at the Earth-Sun Lagrangian (L1) point with sensors on board to measure the energy and intensity of the solar wind. Should a CME pass through their location, energetic particles and the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) can be measured directly. One mission called the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) sits in the L1 point and provides scientists with up to an hour notice on the approach of a CME. ACE teams up with the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) and the Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory (STEREO), so CMEs can be tracked from the lower corona into interplanetary space, through the L1 point toward Earth. These solar missions are actively working together to provide space agencies with advanced notice of an Earth-directed CME.

So what if a CME reaches Earth? For a start, much depends on the magnetic configuration of the IMF (from the Sun) and the geomagnetic field of the Earth (the magnetosphere). Generally speaking, if both magnetic fields are aligned with polarities pointing in the same direction, it is highly probable that the CME will be repelled by the magnetosphere. In this case, the CME will slide past the Earth, causing some pressure and distortion on the magnetosphere, but otherwise passing without a problem. However, if the magnetic field lines are in an anti-parallel configuration (i.e. magnetic polarities in opposite directions), magnetic reconnection may occur at the leading edge of the magnetosphere.

In this event, the IMF and magnetosphere will merge, connecting the Earth’s magnetic field with the Sun’s. This sets the scene for one of the most awe inspiring events in nature: the aurora.

Satellites in Peril
As the CME magnetic field connects with the Earth’s, high energy particles are injected into the magnetosphere. Due to solar wind pressure, the Sun’s magnetic field lines will fold around the Earth, sweeping behind our planet. The particles injected in the “dayside” will be funnelled into the polar regions of the Earth where they interact with our atmosphere, generating light as aurorae. During this time, the Van Allen belt will also become “super-charged”, creating a region around the Earth that could cause problems to unprotected astronauts and any unshielded satellites. For more on the damage that can be caused to astronauts and spacecraft, check out “Radiation Sickness, Cellular Damage and Increased Cancer Risk for Long-term Missions to Mars” and “New Transistor Could Side-Step Space Radiation Problem.”

As if the radiation from the Van Allen belt wasn’t enough, satellites could succumb to the threat of an expanding atmosphere. As you’d expect, as if the Sun hits the Earth with X-rays and CMEs, there will be inevitable heating and global expansion of the atmosphere, possibly encroaching into satellite orbital altitudes. If left unchecked, an aerobraking effect on satellites could cause them to slow and drop in altitude. Aerobraking has been used extensively as a space flight tool to slow spacecraft down when being inserted into orbit around another planet, but this will have an adverse effect on satellites orbiting Earth as any slowing of velocity could cause it to re-enter the atmosphere.

We Feel the Effects on the Ground Too

Sensitive to solar activity? Power grids on the ground (AP Photo/Smithsonian)

Although satellites are on the front line, if there is a powerful surge in energetic particles entering the atmosphere, we may feel the adverse effects down here on Earth too. Due to the X-ray generation of electrons in the ionosphere, some forms of communication may become patchy (or be removed all together), but this isn’t all that can happen. Particularly in high-latitude regions, a vast electric current, known as an “electrojet”, may form through the ionosphere by these incoming particles. With an electric current comes a magnetic field. Depending on the intensity of the solar storm, currents may be induced down here on the ground, possibly overloading national power grids. On March 13th 1989, six million people lost power in the Quebec region of Canada after a huge increase in solar activity caused a surge from ground-induced currents. Quebec was paralysed for nine hours whilst engineers worked on a solution to the problem.

Can Our Sun Produce a Killer Flare?
Artist impression of a huge flare on red dwarf star EV Lacertae observed by the Swift observatory (NASA)

The short answer to this is “no”.

The longer answer is a little more involved. Whilst a solar flare from out Sun, aimed directly at us, could cause secondary problems such as satellite damage and injury to unprotected astronauts and blackouts, the flare itself is not powerful enough to destroy Earth, certainly not in 2012. I dare say, in the far future when the Sun begins to run out of fuel and swell into a red giant, it might be a bad era for life on Earth, but we have a few billion years to wait for that to happen. There could even be the possibility of several X-class flares being launched and by pure bad luck we may get hit by a series of CMEs and X-ray bursts, but none will be powerful to overcome our magnetosphere, ionosphere and thick atmosphere below.

“Killer” solar flares have been observed on other stars. In 2006, NASA’s Swift observatory saw the largest stellar flare ever observed 135 light-years away. Estimated to have unleashed an energy of 50 million trillion atomic bombs, the II Pegasi flare will have wiped out most life on Earth if our Sun fired X-rays from a flare of that energy at us. However, our Sun is not II Pegasi. II Pegasi is a violent red giant star with a binary partner in a very close orbit. It is believed the gravitational interaction with its binary partner and the fact II Pegasi is a red giant is the root cause behind this energetic flare event.

Doomsayers point to the Sun as a possible Earth-killer source, but the fact remains that our Sun is a very stable star. It does not have a binary partner (like II Pegasi), it has a predictable cycle (of approximately 11 years) and there is no evidence that our Sun contributed to any mass extinction event in the past via a huge Earth-directed flare. Very large solar flares have been observed (such as the 1859 Carrington white light flare)… but we are still here.

In an added twist, solar physicists are surprised by the lack of solar activity at the start of this 24th solar cycle, leading to some scientists to speculate we might be on the verge of another Maunder minimum and “Little Ice Age”. This is in stark contrast to NASA solar physicist’s 2006 prediction that this cycle will be a “doozy”.

This leads me to conclude that we still have a long way to go when predicting solar flare events. Although space weather prediction is improving, it will be a few years yet until we can read the Sun accurately enough to say with any certainty just how active a solar cycle is going to be. So, regardless of prophecy, prediction or myth, there is no physical way to say that the Earth will be hit by any flare, let alone a big one in 2012. Even if a big flare did hit us, it will not be an extinction event. Yes, satellites may be damaged, causing secondary problems such as a GPS loss (which might disrupt air traffic control for example) or national power grids may be overwhelmed by auroral electrojets, but nothing more extreme than that.

But hold on, to sidestep this issue, doomsayers now tell us that a large solar flare will hit us just as the Earth’s geomagnetic field weakens and reverses, leaving us unprotected from the ravages of a CME… The reasons why this is not going to happen in 2012 is worthy of its own article. So, look out for the next 2012 article “2012: No Geomagnetic Reversal“.

Leading image credits: MIT (supernova simulation), NASA/JPL (solar active region in EUV). Effects and editing: myself.


108 Responses

  1. Ian O'Neill says:

    Hi Riccardo,

    That is a really good point, very interesting observation. I suspect however that any magnetic interference in the ionosphere (D and E layers – about 100km thick) will be incosequential to the interior magnetism of the planet. However, some scientists believe that the Sun’s magnetic field (or interplanetary magnetic field) could in some way influence the internal convective/turbulent motion in the Earth’s mantle/core… but there is currenly no evidence to prove this. The Earth’s magnetic field appears to be very robust, it would take a very big planetary body to kick the magnetic poles around I would think…

    Thanks for stopping by 🙂

    Cheers! Ian 😀

  2. Ian O'Neill says:

    Hehe, thanks Jorge… I’m awaiting the next round of angry messages 😉

    There’s a lot more doomsday articles where this came from, so things can only get better!

    Cheers! Ian

  3. tacitus says:

    And once more science conquers pseudoscience except in the minds of the “true believers” who will not allow something as inconvenient as the facts get in the way of their feelings and intuitions.

  4. Riccardo says:

    And what’s up if an overcharge in the ionosphere due to x-flares, is so strong, to cause a planet wide shortcut and a consequent poles shift? Could it be possible? Or what is needed to cause such a shift?

  5. Jorge says:

    Ian, you are aware, of course, that you’ll soon become the most hated member of the UT team, aren’t you?

    😉

  6. Ian O'Neill says:

    Actually Daniel, that’s not accurate. Solar physicists have been predicting a “larger than average” solar cycle for some time, and it’s only recently that some scientists have been discussing the possibility of a quiet solar max. There are still the warnings from various sources that cycle 24 will very quickly accelerate and will still be huge….

    There are no definites when predicting the actions of our Sun…

    Cheers, Ian 🙂

  7. kurtislee says:

    Ian,

    you are what my dear old mom used to call a “rable-rouser”. Good luck with the round.

  8. Adam says:

    Watch out for the Quarkonium nugget that will cause the Sun to Super-Flare!

    (attempting a meme-launch… let’s see how long it takes to become “fact” for the loonies)

  9. AndyF says:

    Good comprehensive article Ian. Even if all of the factors conspired to permit a total disaster to overcome the Earth, why worry about it? We’re stuck on this planet, we don’t have the technical ability to prevent such an occurrence, nor the know-how to predict it, so grab a beer and kiss your a** goodbye whilst reminiscing about the good times. The one good thing is it will finally shut the Doomsayers up…..

  10. “Some predictions put the solar maximum of Solar Cycle 24 even more energetic than the last solar maximum in 2002-2003”? Come on, we have a consensus for more than a year now that cycle 24 can be average at best – and its slow start (that some already make a fuzz about) actually implies a rather weak one.

  11. Ian O'Neill says:

    Hi David, oh no, I didn’t see that! Read “helium nuclei” – changing now.

    Thanks!

    Ian

  12. Michael says:

    Just throwing the biblical perspective in this…
    Isa 30:26 Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.
    Rev 16:8 And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.
    Rev 16:9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.
    There is more, but I’m sure this is adequate for now.

  13. kurtislee says:

    Here we go again, soothsayers, and bible thumpers..

  14. Ian O'Neill says:

    To Daniel:
    Expected to start last fall, the delayed onset of Solar Cycle 24 stymied the panel and left them evenly split on whether a weak or strong period of solar storms lies ahead, but neither group predicts a record-breaker.” – from the April 2007 NOAA report you reference.

    The “consensus” you speak of makes a record breaking solar max unlikely. But there are many solar scientists (including myself) who are acutely aware that the Sun has more than a simple 11-year cycle. There is the 22-year cycle (two 11-year cycles), a 70-100 year cycle and a 200+ year cycle (plus some long-term ones). Now scientists believe that the implication of the “solar conveyor belt” may strongly influence the activity of a cycle (this is outlined in the 2006 NASA article: http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2006/10mar_stormwarning.htm)

    However, more data is needed. I actually worked on some data comparisons from ground-based and space-based observatories a while ago, and many solar cylces that appeared to be quiet, erupted to life within a year or two.

    So to say the next cycle will not be as active as the last is unfounded. I doubt it will be a record-breaker, and scientists will remain split over whether it will be big or small for some time to come. It is an unpredictable creature our star, we’ll need to wait a while before we have any accurate predictions.

    Cheers, Ian

  15. No, Ian, in April 2007 a consensus was reached among the world’s solar ‘prophets’ that a huge cycle 24 is out of the question – see the links in this story for reference.

    The panel tried – successfully – to get most everyone on board, and even the high-max faction conceeded it had no grounds for its belief – and overblown press releases, I may add – anymore. Once the new cycle gets going (later this year) a refined consensus update should be issued; it’s overdue because the Sun is lazy …

  16. David says:

    (solar plasma is superheated particles like protons, electrons and some light elements such as hydrogen nuclei).

    A hydrogen nuclei IS a Proton! Well OK I am a gardener, but I do remember my High school science.

  17. marcellus says:

    In 2012 you better get your Christmas shopping done early, because the stores are going to be very crowded on Dec. 22d when the Mayan Doomsday idiots realize the End Of The World is not going to happen.

  18. Asgard Oberon says:

    i’m not advocating for any of the 2012 theories but i do believe that the recent case EV Lacertae gives reason to question the notion that the sun(or any other star) can’t surprise us:

    [[At a distance of only 16 light-years, EV Lacertae is one of our closest stellar neighbors. But with its feeble light output, its faint magnitude-10 glow is far below naked-eye visibility.

    “Here’s a small, cool star that shot off a monster flare. This star has a record of producing flares, but this one takes the cake,” says Rachel Osten, a Hubble Fellow at the University of Maryland, College Park and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

    “Flares like this would deplete the atmospheres of life-bearing planets, sterilizing their surfaces.”]]
    http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/The_Mouse_That_Roared_Pipsqueak_Star_Unleashes_Monster_Flare_999.html

  19. P.J.LAKHAPATE says:

    It is very interesting to know about the sun.

    Unless more data is collected about the sun no conclusion can be drawn.

    We need to be very particular about the predictions based on insufficient information.

    P.J.LAKHAPATE
    plakhapate@gmail.com

  20. Andy says:

    Ian…Have mercy!!!! I implore you to intercede! Leah and Becky are still exchanging responses to your May 19th article “No Doomsday in 2012”! Their last entry was this morning! I wondered why we hadn’t heard from them in spite of the fact you have written about 2012 on at least 3 other occasions. Here’s a thought: Maybe we can somehow wean them off 2012 and onto Space Mirrors!

  21. alphonso richardson says:

    Give me strength!!
    enough with the 2012!!!

  22. Roland says:

    Thank you for this excellent and informative article. I look forward to your next article on geomagnetic reversal

  23. Faridi says:

    Ian,
    Very good an informative article. I’ve learned a lot from it. I still have some questions though. Is it true that around 2012, the Earth will be centering our galaxy? Is it true that this will have some influence on the effect that might be caused by the solar activity to the Earth?
    Please answer me fast by mail or on this page. I’m a bit TOO concerned thanks to all that dooms-crab etc.
    Thanks in advance.
    Best, Fari,

  24. Igor Dimidenko says:

    Hey, I’m sure that there will we a doomsday, but I’m not sure when and how. Either a giant solar flare or a giant comet / asteroid or some other thing. Good job thought at this and other articles! I got more to think about now!

    – Igor

  25. Tony Nightingale says:

    Asgard,

    though I am no scientist, and perhaps don’t know exactly what I am talking about, this upcoming solar flare is supposed to be either a large solar flare, or a small one, but not a record breaker. I’m sure if this fact STILL stands after scientists have seen the effects of EV Lacertae, I believe we are at no threat towards ‘Killer Flares’ as Ian suggested in his thread. HE also suggested they are possible, as you explained, however if Ian can almost guarantee that a ‘killer solar flare’ is not going to occur, then I will take a wild stab in the dark and conclude that since he is a solar scientist, and a logical one at that, it likely will not happen.

    Though I am open minded and believe that your prophecy may in fact be true, I simply choose to deny it out of paranoia. If Ian could back me up, I’d appreciate it! (Pweese?)

  26. Annika says:

    with evidence and knowledge like this floating around i’m not sure why ppl are still paranoid about the “end”. probably cuz its interesting and scarry at the same time. but i’m sure NASA and these astrobiologists know what they are talking about, so i’m not worried 🙂
    i kno some ppl may say “they dont know what they are talking about, they are lying to us” blah blah blah, NASA’s goal is to seek information and the truth, why would an organization like that lie to us? ppl baffle me sometimes

  27. Annika says:

    i’m sure there will b a doomsday too bcuz everything that has a beginning also has an end. but recent searches and sceintists support evidence that the earth and the universe are still stable enuff to survive at least another couple hundred years.

  28. Courtney H. says:

    Thank you for providing such concise, informative answers to this whole debacle. This is one of the only sites I’ve been able to find that has bothered to offer scientific evidence to prove or disprove the 2012 Doom theory. Everything else I’ve found through google has been religious and fanatical ramblings based off of old mythology and ancient calenders. Don’t get me wrong, I respect ancient culture, but in an age where science is getting as sophisticated as it is, I always remain skeptical. I require real answers. You helped to provide some of that. 🙂

    This article is actually very reassuring. I was pulling up nothing but Doomsday results from multiple search engines, and it was beginning to make me uneasy. Finding this article, as well as a few others, really clarified what was actually going on without any supernatural, religious or cult-like themes involved. I really wish that there were more sites and news resources that addressed the issue like you have, but alas, they seem to be few and far in between.

  29. Benny H. says:

    Recent NG article: “Earth’s Core, Magnetic Field Changing Fast, Study Says” [http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/pf/76158139.html]

    Ok… combine a weakened atmosphere, with a high point of solar flare activity…. and the Mayan end of the world thesis is looking pretty strong.

    Did Indiana Jones ever find those Crystal Skulls? Maybe those can help.

  30. m1omg says:

    galactic center blahblah…this actually would HAVE NO EFFECT PEOPLE “PLANERATY ALIGEMENTS” HAVE TOTALLY NO INFLUENCE GRAVITY DOES NOT GO IN A STRAIGHT LINE SO IF WE WERE DOOMED WE WOULD BE LONG DEAD

    IN 2000 EACH PLANET WAS ALIGNED AND NOTHING HAPPENED

    “influence” “bad” LOL, our Earth had periodes where there was 20x more CO2 in the aiur, when there was much more oxtygen, when ozone layer w2as almost nonexistent…and no “end of the world”, it izs purely a human fantasy because they cannot imagine that heavently bodies have lifetimes billions of times longer than any of them or even their civilization

    even if “solar flare” did, no end of the world, the life existed here when there WAS NO OZONE LAYER WHATSOVER in the precambrium

    Earth is not sensitive like new agers want you to belive, it is trillion trillion kilogram heavy ironball thats build to LAST

  31. Jacob says:

    After reading this article I have made the observation that the author, Ian O’Neill, has little understanding of the Mayan Calendar and its true end-date on the winter solstice of December 21st, 2012. For example, the prophecy is intrinsically about a spiritual evolution of humankind, an evolution of consciousness and the transition from one world to the next, via the “death of the fifth sun,” and the subsequent re-birth of a new, sixth sun, culminating in a “new world” which is purified and restored from the downward spiral of materialism, ego, and greed. Regarding X-rays: is the author aware that x-rays are solely responsible for mutations of our DNA? Increased output during periods of Solar Maximums, coupled with weakened magnetic field strength could be the very necessary ingredients for genetic mutations, and in retrospect… Evolution?

    In addition, the Mayan calendar is centered around the wheel of Precession, the approximate 26,000 year cycle which is said the drive the wheel of evolution. Is the author aware of the 62 million year extinction events found in the fossil record by Berkeley scientists, et al, and that we are VERY overdue for an extinction like event, as well as a magnetic pole shift? To further drive my point, our magnetic poles have been constantly drifting — for example, airports have to constantly repaint lines and magnetic compasses have been known to malfunction in the recent years.

    Another point I would like to bring up are the changes that are occurring in the Local Interstellar Medium (LISM) and the massive increase in space dust entering our solar system at this time… According to the data and literature, this extra space debris is colliding with the front end of the sun’s magnetic field, or heliosphere, and in effect this is causing a solar system wide heating effect. Literally, the density of space is changing and is more energetic, therefore altering the physical parameters that our known solar system has worked upon for aeons. Several planets have had magnetic pole shifts, (either partial or full reversals) since this event begin taking place. In addition, other planets have had similar “global warming” events and have registered changes in brightness, atmospheric pressure, etc.
    Returning to the Sun, this “denser” space is fueling more energetic activity from our closest star and is making for these crazy, intense solar X-ray flares to reach earth in a matter of minutes.

    In the end, what effect will all this have on the very fabric of life–or DNA?

    The potential is there, we must study it.

  32. Jacob says:

    So I have to say I did speak a little too soon… I retract my comment about Ian having little understanding about the Mayan calendar after reading this statement from another related article Ian wrote:

    “Archaeologists and mythologists on the other hand believe that the Mayans predicted an age of enlightenment when 13.0.0.0.0 comes around; there isn’t actually much evidence to suggest doomsday will strike. If anything, the Mayans predict a religious miracle, not anything sinister.”

    I agree…

    But please check out the science behind what I have brought up, i.e. the changes in the LISM, etc…

    Here are a few articles to check out Ian:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3238961.stm

    http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=12426

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn4021-galactic-dust-storm-enters-solar-system.html

    http://www.livescience.com/environment/070312_solarsys_warming.html

    http://www.divinecosmos.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=102&Itemid=36

  33. Ian O'Neill says:

    Hi Jacob:

    I ask you to read the previous 2012 articles – you’ll see I have a good understanding of the Mayan Prophecy and the Mayan calendar end date.

    My argument has never been with spiritual, religious or metaphysical beliefs; my argument is against people who are using astronomical mis-truths to sell a book or scare people. There is no evidence for a killer solar flare, pole shift, Planet X, or any other astronomical entity that will kill us right on Dec 21st 2012.

    That is not to say there are disasters that do happen, and many are unpredictable by nature (including extinction events as you mentioned), but there is NO evidence for doomsday in 2012.

    The future has never been predicted, and it never will be.

    Cheers, Ian

  34. Covenant says:

    I don’t claim to know what will happen in three & a half years from now. But if it gives me a permanent break on the worry of covering my monthly mortgage in this day’s economy, fantastic!

  35. young says:

    when will you write 2012:No Geomagnetic reversal

  36. Sounthar says:

    Hey.. what about the sun’s alignment with the galactic center on 21-12-2012……..It may trigger a massive X-flare….that can possibly zap over earth’s surface….also things about barycenter of sun with that of Jupiter and Saturn on that day may further add up to a powerful solar flare……

  37. flem says:

    if the center of the galaxy contains a super massive black hole, and the sun aligns in the center.. wouldnt something bad happen then? 😮

  38. gary says:

    Hi Ian,

    I am not concerned with Planet X in the context of whether it is real or not. What I am concerned with is if the leaders of the world believe it will happen. My reason for that statement is that they seem to be preparing themselves for a catastophe in the year 2012. They have been building underground bases and bunkers 150 storeys beneath the earth’s surface for some time now. Bill Gates, the Rockefeller Foundation, Monsanto and Syngenta have invested heavily in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault located in the Arctic dubbed the “Doomsday Seed Vault”. A number of politicians in the know have come out and expressed great concern about the actions of their own government – this is not a conspiracy, this is fact. They have visited these underground bases. I personally know a politician who has concerns. Maybe you a correct in that nothing is naturally going to happen in 2012 but what I am afraid of is that these crackpots we call our world leaders will set us all up for our last great firework show whilst they hide in safety.

  39. phienix says:

    its a great i nformation, and need more info about thiss……………..

  40. Gregarious says:

    It is very interesting to me to explore what is currently being discovered and theorized about astronomy and physics. One, is that the universe is very electrical, and our universe is more like atoms than we realize. Another is the new theory of everything, that gives a coherent explanation of, well, everything. And that everything is increasing in size, so that there is no ‘gravity’, it is the earth expanding below our feet. Reguarding Nibiru, or Planet X, I looked into that, and it seems that most stars are binary, including ours. And that our twin star, Nemesis, is on a 3,600 year orbit around Sol. It has a few planets around it, and one being Nibiru. It is supposed to be a dim star, and on the opposite side of the sun right now. Due here in December, yup you guessed it, 2012. Seems our forefathers knew about it. And the increased solar flares, causing global warming of 3degrees, are not caused by gravity, but an electrical effect caused by the incoming Nemesis. And yes, prophesied by the book of Revelation and called Wormwood. This star is purportedly carrying along a lot of space rocks and debris, which will result in flaming hail, and water contamination, etc. The Old Testament system of prophetic feast days, and holy days would indicate it must occur in 2012, or in 2061. And to say that no prophesies have ever come true is to deny Biblical history. Easy to see why, you would need to study it, to look for it. That’s not your job, or interest. But my dad was a preacher. NASA apparently spotted this incoming star, announced it, then went silent. Nothing anyone can do about it, Bruce Willis not withstanding. Ten times the size of Saturn. But hey, I am not saying I know any of this for a fact, just saying what is being said. ;D

  41. Gregarious says:

    Also, this may explain why so many ‘leaders’ are constructing hiding places in the earth, to escape this. Also, the American Indians, among others, are now preparing to go underground, due to their religious teachings. There is one opinion I read that Negg

  42. cicero says:

    wow! so the powers that be are busy protecting themselves but not publicly officially warning anyone else. Interesting situation. I created cicerotv.com to look at world issues but the more I read, the more I think the 2012 issues are becoming the focal point.

    Geoff Stray gives an excellent video on the subject on cicerotv.com about the Mayan Calendar and 2012.

    Could do with some other points of view. Espeically science!!

  43. Brian Sheffield says:

    That’s very interesting. But also very fortunate for us.

    I still think it’s hard to believe that anyone would believe this date either way, especially due to the fact that there have been countless other doomsday dates that never occurred. 🙂

  44. Blue Monkey says:

    Anyone interested in finding out what’s going on with 2012

    check out:

    http://www.experiencefestival.com/fo…calendar-2012/

    this shows that numbers affect people not nature

    this shows that 2012 obsessions and 9/11 obsessions are connected

    this shows that the calender changing in 2012 is the western one, but only in its indirect affects

    all natural / cosmic / galactic / universal disasters are rejected by the theory

    this shows that fears about the end of time/world are actually fears about the end of the year.

    Blue Electric Monkey

  45. James says:

    I think this is a great article an dispels a lot of the hyped up threat of solar flares. If, and only if the worst were to happen to the earth, i agree with an above post that we are powerless to prevent it and should accept it as life, of which we, the sun and the universe all are

  46. Kevin Finn says:

    I am actually really scared about the fact that the world could end, especially in 2012. I have a new sister and i want her too grow old and have a life. I want to have a life to and die of my age, not because of the end of the world. I just get very worried even thinking about it.

    Someone please give me some positive info!

    -Kevin

  47. Ross says:

    FINALLY! someone who isn’t bible bashing about the whole 2012 doomsday thing. I totally agree with your views on the solar flare, thanks Ian!
    😀
    -Ross
    p.s. its actually quite funny to watch all the bible bashers on Youtube talking about ‘nibiru’ and the Nephilim and things.
    ah well enough of my Blabber
    thanks 😛

  48. Dan I am says:

    Sometimes as I imagine what our species will become through techno-evolution (what I call our future science of species enhancement as we begin to understand the fabric of time and space better) it occurs to me that that maybe is and will always be and always was God as we have called him. At some point in the process, we develop the ability to join with another’s conciousness and time travel, even transcending the physical form. At that point, we become the past, present and future. We have the ability to know that which we will know and we have the ability to become what we would become simply by visiting our own species in that time. In other words, we outgrow the need to evolve naturally altogether. We become time and knowledge itself. What I’m saying is, in effect, I think maybe God does exist and I think maybe God is, in effect, us; what we will become; maybe what others (species) have become before us, if you want to look at it on a linear time-line. Of course, time is no longer a boundary once one becomes, or merges with, God. Is it possible to get any deeper or more off-topic? ;P
    This is where my thoughts inevitably wander when I consider what’s at risk if our species dies. Not that I think God couldn’t have come from origins other than our species, but I would like to see us make it to other planets, because right now, we have all our eggs in one “basket”.

  49. Dan I am says:

    Of course, if life can evolve to become God, doesn’t it stand to reason that life itself could have come from God, sort of an endless loop of time and life whose very beginning may not exist at all, at least, in any way we can comprehend.

  50. Dan I am says:

    If all of this were true, then why don’t we, God, come to our assistance at various times in history? Who says God hasn’t? We would have no way of knowing. But what would be the point? If God is and will be and always has been us, then we as a species made it. But in our current unevolved form, each of us can’t rejoin the “life force” of God until each of us dies anyway. So, why change a good thing like our species’ survival to become one with God by changing the course of human history to unfold differently? As the Bible says, God works in mysterious ways.

  51. Aaron says:

    You guys have very interesting replies, and this article was great its a very interesting way to spend time learning about things which can and can’t be rather then sitting on the couch tossing a ball up and down. Thanks

  52. We will see what happen, but the world will change..

  53. KOLT3R says:

    Some people think that the world will just go into a state of change such as visitors from above lights in the sky…..in my opinion there is no one god….i believe that possibly Alien Lifeforms have watched us over time and wanted to make contact….what would you tell people if you lived in biblical times that you saw a flaying ball of light come down from above and god talked to you or whatever!….the fact is, could it be possible that our god could very much be Extraterrestrial beings…i mean do you really think that Aliens would believe in god as we do or see him?…..the answer is very unlikely! Why would they worship the son of god who was a human?…the universe is so big and there’s noway our god is the answer to all life in the universe…Aliens could be our gods….maybe they created us?….some people say they have had contact with other beings…psychics say we should be 200 years behind what we are now but we have had the help of aliens….who knows there are so many theories and no one knows if theres are right but we like to throw them out there in the open you will always get peeps that think your is the right one and peeps who dont….like governments and religion cause there are so many of them….ITS ALL MADE UP!

  54. Gnostic joe says:

    Forgive the Maddness, the Chaos & the Evil.
    Time is so short because it is an illusion.
    please take some time to look over the

    The Nag Hammadi Library

    The Gospel of Truth

    the Secret Book of John

    the Gospel of Judas

    the Gospel of Thomas

    If Religious authorities were to recognize the Gnostic message, they would be admitting that their belief system is an extraterrestrial implant in the human mind!

    Would that be Maddness?? or the TRUTH!!!!

    May you find your light
    Gnostic joe

  55. Dan I am says:

    Okay, I cringe when I read what I posted above. Sorry all. I hope we all make it past December 2012. I hope I find a job soon. Being hungry is bad.

  56. Alexander says:

    The author of this article is now my hero.

  57. Elkcabins says:

    Seems to be a lot of worry about Bible Prophecy. Since no place in the bible speaks about the sun cooking us all I think this site is very helpful to quell some of these stupid prophecies. Seems to me our greatest worry will be mankind against himself. That is prophecy you can bet on. I can hardly wait to see the beautiful northern lights that are coming. Get your cameras ready. Thanks for the interesting site.

  58. Brandi says:

    OMG PPL!!!! Why dont you read the facts, like the science she is stating. yes i beleive in god, but our star does not have to power to “burn our planet to a crisp”. It is still a young start. and like wast the author states, we have billions of years until our star is even one the verge of burning. and when it becomes a read planet, all there will be left would be the outer planets, and they wound be the large gas planets, they will be rock. and the inner planets and the asteroid belt will also be gone. and this article has cold hard facts behind it. all in all THE WORLD IS NOT GOING TO END IN 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  59. Brandi says:

    this is like a repeat of the F*** Y2K Bug in 2000, but did it happen NO. how about the 06-06-2006 and the Apocalypse, and did that happen NO, and what keeps coming to my mind about that is, if the end the of the world people believed would have happened on 06-06-06 then y did in not happen in 1906, or 1806 or even year 6? and for people’s knowledge, new millennium did not start in 2000 it started in 2001.

  60. Randall h. Pawley says:

    Thank you to the author of this article. This insight will go a long way of understanding to many people as well as my self.

    Randy

  61. hazmat says:

    I am just absolutely astounded in the way that people eat this END OF THE WORLD bs up so willingly….as long as there is money to be made and attention to be gained it will go on and on……book deals, movies, TV appearances….basically the same reason we start Christmas on Nov. 1

    I’ve peeked at what the History Channel had to say this week on their “NOSTRADAMUS 2012” show and frankly, I am not very impressed. If you want a good laugh, check out the first season of “Penn and Teller: Bull****” where they totally debunk John Hogue and other wackjobs that are making dirty money constituting an irrational fear.

    PREPARE TO BE unAMAZED

  62. Desciple says:

    Well, spoon fed BS. As a civilization we act accordingly to the 1st sign of distress. Whether its Govt Lies or “Dooms Day” horrors we’re a young race focused on one thing… making it. So many feel fear and more and this is the problem with the world today. To further break it down: 2012 “Supposed Judgement Day” alot similar to a threat from terrorists with a Nuclear weapon. Govt controlling our lives and making decisions for us we act on any form of bad news…alot like the 2012 Upcomming events. Ive dont alot of research its alot to process. My opinion were gonna survive as a race. We are only pawns in the game of life this is how i feel we are truly tested. However if the events of 2012 are to occur be prepared for your final judgement.

  63. Amazing says:

    Good info & insight. At least based on some
    accepted ideas and observed historical data.
    LOOK—-WAIT—–for the next AL GORE to come forth and SPEW retorhic and make, earn, and collect MILLIONS of dollars and help push our economy in the wrong direction.

  64. Matt M says:

    So, Nostradomious 2012 will not happen?

  65. KelseyAugustLynne says:

    im not to sacred about this…. i mean, everythings supposed to happen in 2012. Global warmings floods supposed to happen, a huge meteor supposed to hit earth, we’re gunna be burn alive by the suns eleven year cycle, jesus’s supposed to appear in 2012. whats so specail about 2012?? but the jesus thing i kinda believe…not to be all godly but in the bible it says somethings supposed to happen on earth thats supposed to open peoples eyes about the earths health, but the worlds not gunna happen…and im very sorry if any of you are Atheists, i dont mean to mock your beliefs…oh and if you guys think im an older person, im not, im only 14

  66. darrus says:

    No it’s all just fine everyone. 911 didn’t happen, the Feds aren’t bailing out the old boy CEO clubs (while everyone else is getting laid off) and we really can rely on our media and education systems to give us the truth and educate us with the learned facts …and if you look really carefully you will see that big red pig flying over your house dragging a sign that says, “Don’t worry noble subjects… we’ll give you plenty of notice before the shiz hits the fan.”

  67. meka says:

    I think that something will happen in 2012 may be not the end of the wholeworld but parts of it I think that water will take out parts of the world out from miami to boston and kill a lot of people or a big ass rock will hit part of the earth like in the movie the day after tomorrow where new york flooded and it turn to ice I think that one of those my happen.

  68. meka says:

    In the movie morgan freeman was a black president were a mass rock hit the earth and took out parts of the wrold and now we have a black president so think about it why now all this coming about so it’s going to happen

  69. meka says:

    life will go on for some people but for some it won’t trust me when i tell you this if you read revelation in the seven seals

  70. sam says:

    hey guys.. for awhile there i must admit i did have some sleepless nights thinking about this. but really, think about it.. authors, directors, entrepreneurs.. they all want YOU to think about it. they all want you to buy their books, see their movies, and buy their “survive 2012” kits. word of mouth gets spread so quick over the internet and even something that can start from the simplest of rumors can turn into something HUGE thanks to the internet. i myself always stress over little errational things, and this is just that. don’t worry. on december 22 i’ll buy us all drinks! if anyone has any more doubts, google “ask an astrobiologist” it will put your mind at ease.

  71. sachchidanand swami says:

    how can we make so solid judjements about solar activities in 2012 are not going to harm at all? is this more than that ?

  72. TJ says:

    This is all well and good…personally I welcome the challenge..so humanity may evolve rather than devolve because of articles and shows such as..did you explain the relavence between the solar flares of …what 04 05….oh Katrina and the 3 other forget the names,all killers directly related to solar flares, Gravitational restructuring..pushing and pulling our planet…fire n brimstone ooh ooh Yellowstone supervolcano,mmm mmm mmmm..oh wow downwind of the jet stream,how about global fallout,oh yeah the caldera is rising and its about 50,000 yrs overdue…Preparation in the least,Thanks

  73. TJ says:

    people the only thing I can say is THINK for yourself,take in what others say…read much as you wish..cross reference information and make your own opinion…Think about what the moon does to the tides..gravitational ebb and flow…all of which effect our minds and the way we and life on our planet function..what happens when your sick..your body shuts down to fix the problem..either way we are earths virus…we made this living organism sick ..and earth will fix herself paying no mind to us at all..THINK and be prepared…WHO GOES TO LUNCH WITH NO SAMICH..have fun earthlings lol

  74. Tim says:

    I wonder, binary stars are the most common occuring stars. If our Sun has a twin that didn’t start lets call them gas giants then taking into account the relative mass of all the planetary bodies, is there really a huge amount of debry in a highly eplitical orbit that is somewhee out in the OORT cloud. Is this responsible for the ice ages every 12000yrs or so? and why dosen’t the public know about NIGHTFALL and the nearly 4000 class A & B bunkers (Class A being >1200m and B >400m <1200m) capable of holding 4 million odd refugees world wide with supplies and portable conventional and or nuke generators and geo-domes with powerfull metal halide lamps just in case an ELE comes along and we experience a nice long winter. We should remember we’ve only had less than 200yrs to study the night skies. The Mayan primative as they where came to some startling observations. The Solar flares are a no worry item, it’s the thought of all that missing star dust. But who really know for sure remember the Y2K bug and all those other warnings of doom. I think somethings afoot and alot of misdirection is fed to us by those that pull the strings. No I don’t believe in Aleins I follow Carl Sagan’s philosophy.
    PS: Obama’s towing the Capital Hill Mob’s line, I think he knows that having the people behind him all the way! will not stop a bullet the same as JFK found out. I think he’s smart enough to know if he doesn’t do the bidding of the real power brookers they can groom another to fill his place. The people’s choice know’s the reality now that he has obtained his goal. Now that’s far more scary than Aleins and Planet X’s. Let see how it all pans out…. Note to self should remember to take my Meds… OJ

  75. nikkita says:

    all this is getting so ridiculous. obviously something is going to happen in 2012. probably before, it is said that we should see NiBIru or whatever by this march(2009) in australia…when word gets out people are gonna panic and that’s where crap is going to start to hit the fan.
    and whattabout that 1 blocked off spot in EVERY map of the universe? google sky, The nasa one…just look it up it will show you exactly where it is blocked on you tube…Funny how you can only see it in infrared! So niribu and planet x aren’t the same thing? ok so from what I’ve gathered from everything that’s half the people refer to it as a star and the other half a planet. so… if its a planet what is it orbiting around and if its a star why is it on a huge, very fast orbit?
    people do need to get their story straight.
    so lets forget about that, lets pretend that nibiru is fake a hoax bla…
    well whatabout the GALACTICAL alignment? its not a planetary alignment(not sure if that’s supposed to happen as well?) But from what I understand our solar system is going to be right in line with the galactical plane and in the actual milky way…have you seen the milky way lately? pictures anything EVEr? it is filled FULL of stars debris etc…well we were n the outside of that, now we are entering that dense area….we are most likely to be affected by somekind of trouble there its like a car hitting heavy traffic…why is no one talking about that? Also there is also the fact that we are going to be aligned with such a strong magnetic field it could potentially shift our poles…google up pole shifts and galactical alignment…weed out the junk and come to your own conclusion, what happens with a magnet or a positive and a negative? or even two positives??? really our poles are MAGNETIC…and this big black hole twirling incredibly fast will have no magnetical pull right? ok so our poles won’t be affected? common people, be smart. Obviously all this can not happen without consequences! O.K so this is going to happen but lets say it does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING… then what about our sun? all those solar flares? mmmmkkkkaaayyyy so it isn’t possible at ALL with the weakened condition of our atmosphere that it does ANYTHING? like Nothing Can potentially go wrong? because you guys can predict that right like you know that the sun won’t be violent?
    ok so I agree that the sun thing is less likely!
    so the mayans….who were so obsessed with time keeping that they could predict lunar eclipses THOUSANDS of years before it happened, an ancient civilization with little evidence that they were there but ruins???I wonder if MAYBE SOMETHING HAPPENED? did something happen that they tried to warn us about? hmmmm
    ok but these people must be wrong and crazy right? I mean our society is so advanced that nothing compares and everything else but what we believe in is wrong. So let me put it to you this way…WHY would they stop their calendar on the year nibiru is supposed to come back at the same time that we have a galactical alignment and a big solar flare? Yup definetly coincidence there…no science trying to hide anything. OK…lets put it out there…A GOVERNMENT,NASA,OR ANY OTHER HIGHlY AUTHORITIVE FIGURE is NOT going to tell billions of people that some mass extinction is coming…why not? don’t they have morals? no they don’t…what do you really think (knowing human selfish everyman for himself) those billions of people would do? We have 3 1/2 years left…DIG YOUR OWN SHELTERS BECAUSE THEY AINT TELLIN YA. Obviously they have their shelters and know where pretty much all underground shelters are(hmmm where did they go looking for bin laden and sadaam?) public would go crazy…look at that blocked off stuff… why is that the only blocked part? why do you think they did such a crappy job blocking it off? maybe the people blocking it off are made to do so but don’t think its right? so they did a crappy job at it? the science in computers today does allow a better job to be done…really it does.
    the scientists coming out with truthful information are “the little guys” and that’s why no one really knows because the “big guys” cover it up so well. why? because it is best for mankind and themselves…they’ll probably tell us last minute as breaking news…so we can still trust them if anything happens and if any number of people survive.
    I really can’t tell you what is going to happen, what is a myth and what is not a myth. Put the pieces together and do what you want after because if you really expect the government to save you then if anything does happen…chances are you will die.
    What can it hurt to dig a really big whole just in case? and if nothing does happen, then well still have wars and those shelters you dug will probably come in handy one day.
    people are too lazy anyway…. btw…that bug in yr 2000 that never happened? here is some news for you…look it up…it was a real bug, they fixed it 2 yrs before 2000. It was going to be a man made catastrophy….how would they fix this? they wouldn’t… I’d stop relying on others now and peacefully and nicely dig holes for yourselves and your loves ones and go towards the mountains away from the oceans….prepare for extreme cold and extreme heat… have A LOT of water and food saved… use your pets your going to need them…they always react first, trust them they have good instincts….if you see animals running your way…take shelter or run with them….this is common sence not some prophecy.
    its up to you guys….grab this comment and try and copy and paste it and post it on different sites. because nothing may happen but if something does you need to be prepared and work as a team as if the government didn’t exist…I’m not saying to break laws, or buy guns…don’t be harmful be helpful…get weapons so you can find and kill your own food IF you run out, don’t expect electricity and don’t be stupid enough to use a compass to figure out witch way is west…because uh…if there is a pole shift the people your trying to find probably can’t be found unless you really know where your going…and you may be headed for a north pole(witch is now where the compass will be pointing) to the new north pole so you can TRy and avoid freezing to death that way…its just common sence…I’m NOT saying any of this is going to happen, I barely even know my science…and I don’t think I’m crazy yet(maybe sometimes 😉 but that’s ok…anyways it all goes to say whattever does happen be prepared don’t rely on other people to do your job for you. And take where you live into factor…if you live next to water expect floods(massive) tsunamis, hurricanes possible tornadoes…if you live next to volcanoes expect volcanic activity, lots of fire earthquakes, etc…don’t forget about the weapons underground that most likely will deploy if anything happens. Be Safe, God bless and btw its all supposed to slowly start this yr so act quick!.
    good night

  76. Turpin says:

    Nibiru is still over 1000 years away from getting to the nearest spot in its orbit based on the well-backed theories. That is, if it exists. I still consider it purely theoretical. People on the internet who are trying to make it line up with 2012 are full of crap imo. What I actually think is going on, is people trying to cover up Nibiru’s existence have intelligently made these posts posing as paranoid morons, knowing that when 2012 comes and goes withh no Nibiru in sight, people who don’t know any better will have a reflex action of considering anyone who speaks seriously about such things as crazy or stupid.

  77. Turpin says:

    About the talk of Earth being sick and healing itself… I guess these are gaya believers. I’ll say right now that I’m not a believer in anything. I’ll say right now that there is no belief system of a religious nature that I subscribe to. I only follow theories that intrigue me or ring true. Let’s say the earth were a life form thhat needs to heal itself. I don’t think it’s able to use the sun or another planet to do so. I would look out for supervolcanoes though.

  78. Joesiah says:

    u guys cant predict nothing u guys suck

  79. Joesiah says:

    ahhh u guys dont know anything u guys suck

  80. john henry says:

    wus keve tardes u guys can’t predict nuthin you gguys suck

  81. Anna says:

    Personally I think that a lot of people coming up with their own little superstitious (don’t care how it’s spelled) theories that are backed by something they’ve personally investigated on google or youtube or heard from a real spooky almanac by nostredamus or the mayan ruins pictures, really should get their facts straight and stop delving in to the sensationalized articles about prophecy and coverups. Those articles don’t really even conclude anything will happen they just say “maybe maybe not no one knows…”(insert x-files theme song here). Something could happen no one really knows when and the fact that people have been spouting out very vaige and broad predictions for the past milenia and a lot can be interpreted to land on 2012 that it has GREATLY influenced more doomsday theories. Why does it have to be on 2012? It says in the bible and many other religious texts that no one knows the day or the hour, so please consider the following: it could happen ANY day or ANY second, there are so many things on OUR planet we have to be worried about not to mention every rock and un identified element out there that could whipe us out (there are a few empty spots on the periodic table of elements), the Mayan’s even though they were very acurate in their calculations, they had about 17 different calendars, so i’ll ask you doomsdayers do they ALL end on or around December 21, 2012? And what about those “5 unlucky days” that had “no date” and no one would work in fear of an accident, how is that accurate? These are serious questions i’m truly NOT being cynical about this, i really want this answer. If i said that the government is covering up a potentially catastrophic build up of anti mater in a vaccume in the senter mars that strangely continuously points to our earth no matter where we are in orbit and the solar flairs of 2012 will spark the methaine gas rescently discovered on mars and blow a hole in the crust and release this anti mater that will incase our earth and turn everything into more anti matter and colapse the entire universe and they decided to spend the money on the machine that would collect all the methane gas and stop the possibility of this explosion happening on mars and spent it all on the economic crisis, would you believe me? it could in a very long streched out and unlikely theory be possible, but i have nothing to back this up. Oh and a little fun fact, I’ve already lived through a few “DOOMSDAYS” and i’m only 17, obviously they were wrong. The point is is that anything could happen on any day, we don’t need a mayan calendar to tell us when it will happen or a french apothecary to broadly predict it. Love when ever you can, prepare what ever you can and live like you won’t be here tomorrow, i have my own little theories on why we’re her but i doubt that we’re here to invoke fear and worrie our years away.

  82. josh says:

    For those who want to belive, no proof is needed, for those who don’t belive, no proof is enough.

  83. Red-eye says:

    I really do not know if this is true, suspected in? But to see that on the 2012 prophecy, or not believe, it is difficult to imagine.

  84. RTM says:

    I just need a pizza, coke, umbrella chair, and a pair of raybans… bring it. I’m ready!

  85. Howard Toburen says:

    My belief is that people who aren’t smart enough to master the basics of grammar and spelling, aren’t smart enough to know more about more arcane matters. But they aren’t smart enough to know it.

  86. L says:

    belittling others of their grammar will get you nowhere….

    we shouldn’t be so quick to judge on this matter. what if something unexpected happens on that specific date? or what if nothing happens? keep in mind that we humans DO NOT KNOW EVERYTHING. we cannot predict what will happen in the solar system/universe we can only make an educated guess of what MIGHT happen. there’s a 45% chance of something occurring on that date and a 55% of nothing happening imo.

    its a very interesting topic to argue about.

  87. R says:

    im from australia and u cant c no red star your on crack its march i cant see shit you know y because there is no such thing as nibiru its fake yall on crack who think its real!!! i look up at the stars er night no red star except for mars crackheads

  88. tyler says:

    think about y2k its fake dont belive it. its just something to get us worried whats the chance that suddenly earth explodes out of nowere come on people

  89. Interested says:

    Very intriguing article. It’s my belief that we can not accurately predict the extent of something we have only been recently studying, so we really have no proof to say that a catastrophic solar flare event did not occur in the past.. yes our sun is stable momentarily and as far as we have been studying it, but in astrological terms that is only very very recently. Remember, the earth was once thought to be flat. I do not believe the ancient Mayans sat around thinking of ways to prank future generations with their calender and astrological knowledge. That date was set for a reason, and all of us should be trying to figure out why and take precautions. Whats the harm in being prepared?

    for more interesting information, research the Summerians

    In science being proved right or wrong is progession in either direction, so let’s evolve our brains and figure out what is in the other 90% currently dormant.

  90. mike says:

    “I do not believe the ancient Mayans sat around thinking of ways to prank future generations with their calender and astrological knowledge. That date was set for a reason, and all of us should be trying to figure out why and take precautions.”

    Yes, I’m sure the Mayans came up with a very good reason for this date…..in between human sacrifices to their “gods”.

    Tell the truth, you once bought Tamiflu…..

    whack jobs!

  91. Rodrigo Otavio says:

    Just to update the research http://www.reuters.com/article/scienceNews/idUSTRE4BF79220081216

    An article from 16th December 2008 that says “Holes in Earth’s magnetic cloak let the sun in”.

  92. Chris says:

    The year 2012 is referring to the last year of the Long Count Maya calendar. The current Great Cycle, as the Mayas call it, is set to end on the winter solstice of 2012: December 21 2012.

    Mayans had three calendars. They had a solar calendar that was 365 days long, and a ceremonial calendar that was 260 days long. These two calendars would synchronize every 52 years. To measure longer time periods, they developed the “long count” calendar, which expressed dates as a series of five numbers, each less than twenty; something like the way we measure minutes and seconds as a series of two numbers each less than sixty. And, just in case this might seem too simple, for some reason the second to last number was always less than eighteen. The first day in the Mayan long count calendar was expressed as 0.0.0.0.0, and by our calendar, this was August 11, 3114 BC. Every 144,000 days (or about every 395 years, which they called a baktun), the first number would increment, and a new baktun would start. Recall how we all got to enjoy the excitement on the millennium of watching the digital displays roll over from 12/31/1999 to 1/1/2000? Well, that’s what’s going to happen on December 21, 2012 to the Mayan calendar. It’s going to roll over from 12.19.19.17.19 to 13.0.0.0.0, just as it has done each of the previous twelve baktuns. There’s no archaeological or historical evidence that the Mayans themselves expected anything other than a New Year’s Eve party to happen on this date: Claims that this rollover represents a Mayan prediction of the end of the world appear to be a modern pop-culture invention. It’s true that the Mayan carvings of their calendar only depicted 13 baktuns, but what did you expect them to do? Carve an infinitely long calendar every time they wanted to express a date? The explanation could be as simple as they didn’t expect people in the 21st century to still be obsessed with their archaic calendar.

  93. Mayu says:

    sorry for all the errors. It’s late and I’m tired. LOL

  94. Lou Welke says:

    It now seems that instead of a meteor or comet hitting our planet we have to worry about solar flares.
    If a solar flare could incinerate our world why would it occur now instead of the countless millions of years that our planet has existed?
    Is our sun arriving at a stage where this might happen more often than in the past millions of years?
    I still believe we are in more danger from a comet or a meteor than solar flares.

  95. waabinangmeshekiakiak says:

    Ok, when Everyone, except the kids who are taken to a different world by our ancetral alien relatives, are burnt to a crisp, then who will have the last laugh, hahaha! Just saw Knowing. Great article. I am all for advancing our knowledge about the workings of the universe. We are the universe afterall, it is just self-reflection.

  96. Neophyte says:

    Thanks for an informative article. It answered alot of distrubing mis-information. However, am I wrong or does not the potential for prolonged power outages exist? Either that, or the coming of a protracted cooling period?
    So, some kind of trouble could happen? What’s new about that is just where it could come from; That stupid Sun and not the government. Geeze, kinda a let down if you ask me.

    It seems clear that we need to all reconsider some of the accepted notions of our grandparents. Like having a supply of food and a means to protect yourself and your family. They used to call that common sense.
    Today we call it crazy: So your a gun nut, or a
    survivalist, or Mormon, but a kook none the less! Yet again, in government they call that preparation for continuity of government. They don’t want you to not have to pay your taxes just because civilization is having some difficulty.

  97. cozzy says:

    This might have been mentioned already… The mayans mentioned the earth passing through the “dark rift” in 2012. Modern scientists refer to the galactic center as the “dark rift” also and say we will be aligning with the center of the galaxy on 21st dec 2012 just as the mayans knew. What if this alignment has a great effect on the earths magnetic shield for days, weeks or even months, weakens it or even flips it, and then a solar flare hits us.
    Do scientists know what effect the alignment will have on the earth? Could the gravitational pull of the center of our galaxy weaken the shield? Pull it to one side maybe? Or slow down, or speed up the rotation of the earths core resulting in a weaker magnetic shield.
    My main question is what does galactic alignment in 2012 mean for Earth?

  98. John says:

    So what if the conditions are the “perfect storm” for a big flare that shorts out the electrical grid for most/all of the U.S., and/or most of the other countries on Earth. Quebec was down for 9 hours in 1989, but had the other provinces in Canada and the U.S. to offer assistance. What happens if the power goes out to everyone? Who’s left to help turn the lights back on? If everyone is suffering from a prolonged power outage, how long before services start breaking down? Is this likely?

  99. Tom says:

    We have been through 7 predicted mankind ending events and we are still here. Their are several profits that have said this will be the end and several more that said it will not be. All we can do is wait, but in my opinion we have a great future ahead of us.

  100. J says:

    as usual science distorts religious teaching as much as religious teaching distorts science. The bible doesnt say the sun will destroy the earth, Revelation 16:8 “The fourth angel poured his bowl on the sun, which then was allowed to burn people with fire,”

    its only natural that we dont want to believe something so terrible could happen…but science itself has taught that global catastrophes are a reality in earths past….so for scientists to turn right around and then say nothing catastrophic is going to happen during the next peak solar flare is at least inconsistent with what is ‘possible’.

    maybe this is why it is rumored the global ‘elites’ are building such vast underground complexes…..to hide themselves from from what they believe or ‘know’ is going to happen very soon.

    Revelation 6:16 “They said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the lamb.”

    No, theyre not actually asking the rocks to fall on them….but this verse clearly points to the idea that some will seek to hide from serious problems on the surface of the planet by going deep underground….and not until this last century have we had the ability to go deep enough to at least in theory protect ourselves…..not that it will work…but its a fanciful idea that im sure rich and powerful people have eagerly embraced.

  101. Eugen says:

    It`s in our kind to destroy ourselves … worry more about how much we can harm each other these days. full stop.

  102. Ron says:

    Its not over yet. We can still make it even if a disaster comes from a flare. I read of extinctions being a regular thing. Maybe nature is gonna cut the population a bit, who knows. Trust ur instincts, intuition…

  103. Darby says:

    Is there a “swimsuit” issue of the Mayan calendar?

  104. Shermaine says:

    Is this really going to happen? Like 100% sure? Or is it just a prediction?

  105. Koowie says:

    I would imagine we would see great Northern Lights if the big solar flares come.

  106. Cynthia Sciford says:

    Thank you so very much, Dear Mr. Ian O’Neil! This sober, fact based information is just what the doctor ordered. Now I can sooth my grandson’s fears as he and his friends, young teens all, read and see the truth from our professional space experts, like yourself. Don’t these children have enough to worry about these days?

  107. Anonymous says:

    Is anything being done to design something that could capture the energy that will be directed at earth during strong solar events?

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