No apocalypse now, only a jest... city astronomers, astrologers

People are taking rumours of an apocalypse on December 21 in jest. Anyone taking it seriously can relax.

The world has outlived several cycles of the Mayan calendar, and it will outlive it this time as well.

Scientists and experts have been time and again trashing the end-of-the-world theory, and a NASA video released on December 12 shows no indication, whatsoever, of any extreme phenomenon, terrestrial, cosmological or otherwise which may cause life to end on the earth.

For those who follow astrology, city astrologers have said there is no way the world is going to end on December 21. Astronomers in Pune have joined the chorus and said such doomsday predictions are nothing but rubbish.

The rumours were based on the calendar of the Mayans, an ancient civilisation that thrived in the American continent. The Mayan calendar is cyclic. The latest cycle ends on December 21, 2012, which is the trigger for the rumours.

Yogitta Wani, astrologer, numerologist and Tarot card reader said, "The prediction that the world is going to end is untrue. People should not believe in rumours." Wani said even if a mass destruction had to happen, it would not happen in just a day.

Astrologically and astronomically, December 21 is an important date. According to the Lunar Calendar, 'Uttarayan' starts on December 21 (It's the winter solstice).

"This is the day the sun starts its journey towards the north. But this phenomenon of sun moving towards the north and then the south happens every six months," said Manish Potdar, another astrologer.

"The doomsday stories are baseless, a hype," added Potdar.

Winter solstice, December 21, is the shortest day of the year in northern hemisphere. After this, we will see days gradually lengthening and nights shortening. But there is nothing to be afraid of this particular solstice," said Samir Dhurde, in-charge of Science Popularisation Program, Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics. "This is just the end of the fourth cycle of the Mayan calendar. Three cycles have ended and the world is surviving," said Dhurde.

... contd.

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