If you are planning on the Earth ending on December 21, NASA has some advice for you: Don’t.
The U.S. space agency took to the internet late last week in an attempt to dispel rumors surrounding a potentially catastrophic collision with Nibiru, also known as Planet X. Speaking in an online forum hosted by Google+, the space agency said rumors of an impending disaster were little more than unfounded conspiracy theories.
NASA scientists presented the “Beyond 2012” during the last week of November. The rumors stem from what some believe is the end of the Mayan calendar that occurs on December 21. The feature focused on a number of mythical scenarios, including a collision between Earth and Nibiru.
According to NASA, the dwarf planet — which does not exist — would be on display to the entire world.
“By now it would be the brightest object in the sky, after the sun and moon, and anybody could go out and see it,” said David Morrison of NASA’s Ames Research Center, referencing how the mythical planet would appear if it was on course to collide with Earth.
“Nibiru is ridiculous because it doesn’t exist — it never existed as anything other than a figment of the imagination by pseudo-scientists who don’t seem bothered by a complete lack of evidence,” astronomer Don Yeomans, manager of NASA’s Near-Earth Object program office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, told SPACE.com.
The latest attempt by NASA to dispel rumors related to the mythical planet comes just weeks after the space agency posted answers to a number of questions submitted by readers. The complete collection focused on the theory of impending collisions with Earth, including those involving Nibiru.
“Nibiru and other stories about wayward planets are an Internet hoax. There is no factual basis for these claims,” NASA said. “If Nibiru or Planet X were real and headed for an encounter with the Earth in 2012, astronomers would have been tracking it for at least the past decade, and it would be visible by now to the naked eye. Obviously, it does not exist. Eris is real, but it is a dwarf planet similar to Pluto that will remain in the outer solar system; the closest it can come to Earth is about 4 billion miles.”
“The Earth has always been subject to impacts by comets and asteroids, although big hits are very rare. The last big impact was 65 million years ago, and that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs,” the space agency added. “Today NASA astronomers are carrying out a survey called the Spaceguard Survey to find any large near-Earth asteroids long before they hit.”
The latest attempt by NASA is likely not to be the last. The agency has yet to announce any additional plans for dispelling rumors ahead of the December date, although one thing is for certain: we will get our answer later this month.