Are you preparing for a certain fictional apocalypse this month?
The idea that the world is ending on December 21, 2012, comes from a misinterpretation of the Mayan calendar. Because their calendar ends on the 21st, some believe the world must be ending, as well.
This idea has become so widespread in popular culture that NASA Science has made repeated efforts to debunk it. They've now even gone so far as to produce a video for the 22nd of December, explaining (again) why the world didn't end:
The video should ease any fears you might have that all of humanity is headed for its demise this month.
Other doomsday theories for the 21st include the idea that a planet called Nibiru is on a collision course with Earth, a total blackout for the planet due to the "alignment of the universe," solar storms and meteor strikes. NASA says none of these events is actually a possibility and does a case-by-case debunking.
Light Years strives to tell the stories of science research, discovery, space and education. This is your go-to place on CNN.com for today’s stories, but also for a scientific perspective on the news and everyday wonders. Come indulge your curiosity in all things space and science related, brought to you by the entire CNN family.
July 19thAtlas V launch of US DOD MUOS-2 satellite, notable for large "551" config of Atlas
Aug 3rdJapanese HTV-4 flight to ISS on cargo supply mission
Aug 14thSpaceX launch of Canadian satellite in the first launch from their new Vandenberg facility, and first launch of upgraded Falcon 9 v1.1 launch vehicle
Aug 28thDelta IV Heavy launch of NROL-65 spy satellite
SeptemberSoyuz TMA-08M flight returning Expedition 36 crew from ISS to Earth (Kazakhstan)
Sept 12thOrbital Sciences maiden flight of Cygnus cargo vehicle on Antares rocket to ISS
Sept 25thSoyuz TMA-10M flight launching Expedition 38 crew to ISS
Dec 9thSpaceX Dragon launch by Falcon 9 v1.1 on CRS-3 cargo supply mission to ISS
recurringfirst powered test flights of Scaled Composites' SpaceShipTwo commercial vehicle, to be used by Virgin Galactic for sub-orbital tourism