No apocalypse now, only a jest... city astronomers, astrologers
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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.
"People are playing it up social networking sites. People are posting pranks, but even then I think there is a better awareness this time around. Everybody is reading and talking about it but it is just for fun, nothing else. The only message to be taken from this is that life on earth is temporary. Hence let us not procrastinate on whatever good we want to do with our life."
The rumour trigger
Mayan civilization is believed to have flourished from 2000 BC in central parts of the Americas and reached a peak from 300 to 900 AD. Mayans are believed to have made great progress in language, art, mathematics, architecture and astronomy. They are believed to have made calendars predicting astronomically important events. The last date of the fourth cycle in the long-count Mayan calendar coincides with December 21. This had led to rumours that the world will end that day. There are rumours of disasters like tsunami, earthquake striking on December 21. A recent NASA video rubbishes the entire apocalypse theory.
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