2012: NASA’s Scientific Reality Check

Published: 11 Nov , 2009

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NASA is now joining in to combat the 2012 nonsense. Don Yeomans, manager of NASA’s Near Earth Object office has produced a video and written an article, providing the scientific realities surrounding the celestial happenings of 2012. Yeomans has done a wonderful job explaining everything that is and isn’t going to happen in 2012, and we’re happy to add his work to our collection of 2012 debunking articles.

Written by Don Yeomans, NASA senior research scientist

The Galileo spacecraft’s view of the Moon and Earth On December 16, 1992, 8 days after its encounter with Earth, the Galileo spacecraft looked back from a distance of about 6.2 million kilometers (3.9 million miles) to capture this remarkable view of the Moon in orbit about Earth. Image credit: NASA/JPL There apparently is a great deal of interest in celestial bodies, and their locations and trajectories at the end of the calendar year 2012. Now, I for one love a good book or movie as much as the next guy. But the stuff flying around through cyberspace, TV and the movies is not based on science. There is even a fake NASA news release out there… So here is the scientific reality on the celestial happenings in the year 2012.

Nibiru, a purported large object headed toward Earth, simply put – does not exist. There is no credible evidence – telescopic or otherwise – for this object’s existence. There is also no evidence of any kind for its gravitational affects upon bodies in our solar system.

I do however like the name Nibiru. If I ever get a pet goldflish (and I just may do that sometime in early 2013), Nibiru will be at the top of my list.

The Mayan calendar does not end in December 2012. Just as the calendar you have on your kitchen wall does not cease to exist after December 31, the Mayan calendar does not cease to exist 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.

There are no credible predictions for worrisome astronomical events in 2012. The activity of the sun is cyclical with a period of roughly 11 years and the time of the next solar maximum is predicted to occur in the period 2010 – 2012. However, the Earth routinely experiences these periods of increased solar activity – for eons – without worrisome effects. The Earth’s magnetic field, which deflects charged particles from the sun, does reverse polarity on time scales of about 400,000 years but there is no evidence that a reversal, which takes thousands of years to occur, will begin in 2012. Even if this several thousand year-long magnetic field reversal were to begin, that would not affect the Earth’s rotation nor would it affect the direction of the Earth’s rotation axis… only Superman can do that.

The only important gravitational tugs experienced by the Earth are due to the moon and sun. There are no planetary alignments in the next few decades, Earth will not cross the galactic plane in 2012, and even if these alignments were to occur, their effects on the Earth would be negligible. Each December the Earth and Sun align with the approximate center of the Milky Way Galaxy but that is an annual event of no consequence.

The predictions of doomsday or dramatic changes on December 21, 2012 are all false. Incorrect doomsday predictions have taken place several times in each of the past several centuries. Readers should bear in mind what Carl Sagan noted several years ago; “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

For any claims of disaster or dramatic changes in 2012, the burden of proof is on the people making these claims. Where is the science? Where is the evidence? There is none, and all the passionate, persistent and profitable assertions, whether they are made in books, movies, documentaries or over the Internet, cannot change that simple fact. There is no credible evidence for any of the assertions made in support of unusual events taking place in December 2012.

For more information on the silliness surrounding December 2012, see:

* Bad Astronomy, Planet X
* Wikipedia: look under “Nibiru collision.”
* NASA’s 2012 FAQ’s

Source: NASA



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J. Major
Member
November 11, 2009 10:59 PM

This is great. I’m sharing this with all my easily-alarmed friends so I don’t have to repeat myself. Repeat myself. Repeat myself.

Nexus
Member
November 12, 2009 1:03 AM

Nice demolition of all that silly 2012 woo.

senmut
Member
November 12, 2009 1:44 AM
Dear Don,..please, let us know your scientific explanations for why are my astronomical proof for Nibiru’s existence not correct: Astronomical proofs 1. End of ? of Precession cycle 25000-26000 years long. There was first catastrophic end of Atlantis, dramatic temperature change 13000years ago, half of precession cycle ago. 2. 2012-transit of Venus, Jupiter’s aphelia, maximum of Solar cycle. 3. All planetoids behind Pluto, Pluto, Neptune are close to perihelia or aphelia on their orbits. Why? Opposite motion of Sun with inner planets toward arriving Nibiru causes projection, appearant changes, such shapes of that outdoor planets,’ planetoids’ orbits. 4. North magnetic pole accelerated motion in last decades,..toward North, toward plane in direction of Orion, of coming Nibiru.. Magnetic field… Read more »
SteveZodiac
Member
SteveZodiac
November 12, 2009 1:53 AM

Here’s an opoportunity to improve the human race. Just ask everybody who believes in this 2012 80110cks to get into a star ark and send them all off to Andromeda.

Paul Eaton-Jones
Member
November 12, 2009 1:57 AM

I thought I might get in before the 2012 lunatics and say that no matter how hard we try to present scientific proof refuting the apocalyptic claims they will always say that NASA/science is lying or covering up the ‘truth’
and come up with their own false evidence. However, I see senmut was awake and threw us a load of garbage.
I’d be interested to know why the sea level only rose in the northern hemisphere[item 7]. will he also explain why there are no gravitational perturbations in the solar system if a body as large as Nibiru is almost upon us? Jeezizzz.

senmut
Member
November 12, 2009 2:12 AM
Paul, look at Jupiter,..what are perturbations of planets due to Jupiter’s presence? Jupiter is on circular orbit around Sun and is close to us billions years? Nibiru should be among planets less than 20+20 years, because rest from circa 1500 years orbit is far away. Nibiru is probably 2x more distant from us than Jupiter now, so its grav. force is 4x smaller than from Jupiter on Earth at the same mass, but if Nibiru is 5-25 mass of Jupiter, so gravity from Nibiru is 1-5x bigger than that from Jupiter, tidal is force even bigger. But how big is effect of Jupiter on tides on oceans, seas. It is some centimetres till now. Maybe end of this… Read more »
senmut
Member
November 12, 2009 2:22 AM

There is stronger effect on northern hemisphere, because Earth’s axis is inclin. 23,5 degress from rigth angle toward Ecliptic plane,…that axis and its plane is pointing circa toward Orion,..direction of arriving Nibiru,…

senmut
Member
November 12, 2009 2:43 AM

Tidal forces from bodies what are circling one around another like Earth around Sun,…Moon around Earth are making bulges on Earth,.. on both sides of Earth.
But direct gravity from Nibiru, due to extrem. elliptical orbit is making bulge only on closer side of Earth and that side is North hemisphere,…

slobodan
Member
slobodan
November 12, 2009 4:47 AM

21. december 2012? NASA is behind time smile Proponents of 2102 have already a new, more flexible date. Qoute from an India Daily article:

“India Daily Technology Team
NASA says all clear! World is not ending on December 21, 2012. The Space Agency of America made one simple mistake. The world will not end on Dec 21, but any time between Dec 23, 2012 and Dec 23, 2029”

The show must go on smile)

Paul Eaton-Jones
Member
November 12, 2009 4:53 AM
To senmut. If Nibiru is twice as far from us as Jupiter that puts it in the general orbit of Saturn. As far as I’m aware [an I’m an amateur astronomer] nothing has turned up in that region. No matter what mass this hypothetical planet has [unless asteroid-sized] it will have perturbed no end of minor an dnot so mionor bodies on its way into the inner system. Tell me, where is it and why hasn’t it shown up in any survey? Don’t say the authorities are hiding the evidence becasue there are myriad amateurs out there who would alert the rest of the world had they seen it. This really is a case of ‘absence of evidence… Read more »
Paul Eaton-Jones
Member
November 12, 2009 4:56 AM

To senmut. Re: the sea level higher in the north. Presumably the levels rise in the south when earth is on the other side of the orbit six months later.

senmut
Member
November 12, 2009 5:57 AM

Paul,..Earth’s South pole is more distant from Orion,..Nibiru,..doesn’t mind if Winter or Summer,…time due to orientation of Earth’s axis,..
Maybe NASA,…are hiding nothing. They simply see nothing till now. Only Milagro see some spots, but Their staff are not able to explain those spots correctly.
There are quite many changes on Saturn,..on it’s satellites during last years. Magnet. pole of Saturn changed it’s position circa 30 degrees, there are very significant changes in atmosphere of Titan,..much more clouds in northern and southern latitudes, super gesir on Enceladus sprinking water to enormous heights, newly discovered super wide ring around Saturn,…

SteveZodiac
Member
SteveZodiac
November 12, 2009 7:05 AM

Hey I’ve just been reading some ancient Mayan scripts not previously translated and it seems Nibiru can be stopped, apparently all you have to do is BOIL YOUR HEAD and if enough believers do this then it will perturb the orbit to avoid earth. This is why Mayan paintings depict extreme tortures it was their way of deflecting Nibiru. Soon I will post a 127 point justification for this.

Astrofiend
Member
Astrofiend
November 12, 2009 7:08 AM
senmut – Presumably you are not joking, so here – every single thing you’ve listed is simply a phenomenon that requires nothing like Nibiru for their explanation. There is nothing odd or weird or out of place about anything you’ve listed. Since you’ve listed about a zillion things, I’ll cherry pick a few examples: First of all, there is no evidence that Atlantis ever existed. And yes, there have been dramatic temperature changes through history, but if a body in orbit around the sun were responsible, then these would occur at absolutely regular intervals. There is no evidence for this. Then, what has the 2012-transit of Venus, Jupiter’s aphelia and the maximum of Solar cycle got to do… Read more »
sail4evr
Member
sail4evr
November 12, 2009 7:36 AM

re :
“Here’s an opoportunity to improve the human race. Just ask everybody who believes in this 2012 80110cks to get into a star ark and send them all off to Andromeda”

This would be wasted on those people. send the lawyers and politicians instead.

sail4evr
Member
sail4evr
November 12, 2009 7:38 AM

BTW, I believe the “documentary” 2012 opens tonight/tomorrow at a theater near you.

jerryob
Member
jerryob
November 12, 2009 7:41 AM

Concerning this lunacy thinking, don’t the Niburu adherents also claim that Earth civilizations are the result of Niburu beings visiting Earth, and that Earth and Niburu collided in the distant past? If so, why aren’t Earth and Niburu molten, and how can a Niburu civilization then exist? How does the Niburu civ, if it survived the collision, continue to survive in the deep cold of the far-outer solar system? How did such a civ arise in the first place?
Thinking minds want to know!

Paul Eaton-Jones
Member
November 12, 2009 7:53 AM

To senmut. To all intents the distance from the poles to Orion is the same. And by the way, Orion as an actual entity doesn’t exist, it’s merely a chance alignment of stars. In a few thousand years the constellation will have assumed a different shape as the constituent stars move in their orbits around the galaxy.

Excalibur
Member
Excalibur
November 12, 2009 9:09 AM
Senmut: 15 years ago the same or very similar arguments was placed by people who wanted Nibiru to be real and to be an immediate threat to our civilization. It didnt show up then, and havent showed up any of the other times it have been ‘predicted’, ans it will not show this time either… And the reason is – it is not there The people that wants you to believe Nibiru is real are making money of your ignorance on the subject, they are making lots of money… and they will laugh all the way to the bank in the begginning of 2013 because of all the money they made in the time just before it. And… Read more »
Excalibur
Member
Excalibur
November 12, 2009 9:14 AM
Forgot to mention – 12 years ago huge sums of money was made by Zetatalk lead by Nancy Lieder, who promoted the idea Niburian’s was communicating telepathically with her and telling her universal truths. I think Zetatalk still exists, its still a non-profit orgainsation that accepts donation and sells pamphlets and books, and they do not have to show their finances to anyone because – they are a non-profit organisation. The money they make are never registered anywhere so noone knows exactly how much they make – and trust me, it was alot. I bet Nancy was laughing all the way to the bank back then, even though Niburu never showed up on any of the times she… Read more »
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