- uploaded: Nov 15, 2011
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The Mayans' "long-count" calendar is set to expire on Dec. 21, 2012, marking the end of a 5126-year epoch. This factoid has inspired some folks to start girding up for the coming apocalypse and to start predicting what may bring it about. One popular theory is that a huge solar flare could do the Earth in. Some fearmongers have pointed out that the sun's activity is ramping up, implying that a killer outburst could be coming next year. The sun is indeed building up toward the peak of its 11-year activity cycle. But that peak is expected to come in 2013 or 2014, not 2012, researchers said. Also, countless solar maxima have come and gone over the years, and we and the Earth are still here. But that reasoning is all secondary to the main point, which is that a flare's sizzling heat cannot make it all the way to our planet, researchers said. The candidates to bring about the end times next year keep dwindling. Comet Elenin, which some observers speculated would align with other heavenly bodies and spur massive earthquakes and tsunamis, broke up recently after zipping close to the sun. The supposed planet Nibiru has also been heralded as an agent of apocalypse. The rogue body, which is thought to be four times the size of Earth, will smash into our planet next year and kill us all, some predict. The problem with that theory is that Nibiru, also known as Planet X, doesn't exist, experts say. "There's no evidence whatsoever for Nibiru," Don Yeomans, manager of the Near ...