Contrary to what the latest Hollywood blockbuster movie would suggest, the world will NOT end on Dec. 21, 2012, according to Ann Martin, a doctoral candidate in Cornell University's department of astronomy. Her research focuses on the hydrogen content of galaxies in the nearby universe.
The Mayan calendar was designed to be cyclical, so the fact that the long count comes to an end in December 2012 is really of no consequence, according to Martin. Simply, it is the end of great calendar cycle in Mayan society, much like our modern society celebrated the new Millennium. It does not mean that the "world will end." In fact, the Mayan calendar does not end then and there is no evidence to suggest that the Mayans -- or anyone for that matter -- has knowledge for the world's demise.
For the past three years, Martin has been a volunteer with Cornell's "Curious? Ask an Astronomer" service, a Web site founded by astronomy graduate students in 1997.
"Curious? Ask an Astronomer" features the answers to over 750 frequently asked astronomy questions, and readers who can't find their answers there can submit a new question and receive a personal answer from a graduate student volunteer.
For further information see: http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/question.php?number=686
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