The agency is so sure, it pre-released the article on Monday. Cynics and apocalypse theorists might claim that NASA released the article early just in case they were wrong; in that way, at least folks will read it before the end of the world.
Here is the first part of the extensive press release, which is obviously somewhat snarky in nature:
Dec. 22, 2012: If you're reading this story, it means one thing: The World Didn't End Yesterday.NASA also released a four-minute-plus video that explores what the Maya really thought about Dec. 21, 2012.
According to media reports of an ancient Maya prophecy, the world was supposed to be destroyed on Dec. 21, 2012.
"The whole thing was a misconception from the very beginning," says Dr. John Carlson, director of the Center for Archaeoastronomy. "The Maya calendar did not end on Dec. 21, 2012, and there were no Maya prophecies foretelling the end of the world on that date."
The truth, says Carlson, is more interesting than fiction.
"2012," starring John Cusack, that fictionalized the possible event.
Where does the believe over the end of the world on Dec. 21, 2012 come from? According to Wikipedia, it's due to a misinterpretation of the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar.
A misinterpretation of the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar misinterpretation of the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar is the basis for a popular belief that a cataclysm will take place on December 21, 2012. December 21, 2012 is simply the day that the calendar will go to the next b'ak'tun, at Long Count 126.96.36.199.0. The date on which the calendar will go to the next piktun (a complete series of 20 b'ak'tuns), at Long Count 188.8.131.52.0.0, will be on October 13, 4772.If nothing else, the end of the world rumor produced the aforementioned "2012" movie, which took in $769,679,473 globally. At the very least, the film fattened the coffers of Columbia Pictures.