2012: Why ask NASA??

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by BigDallasDick8x6, Nov 14, 2009.

  1. BigDallasDick8x6

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    Ok, by now everyone has heard of the Aztec calendar that "ends" in December 2012 and which may or may not mean the end of the world, depending on your interpretation.

    And there is the film 2012 which is the latest in a long series of natural disaster movies, based on this prediction.

    Now CNN is running a piece where they ask NASA if it's true the world is ending in 2012 and NASA of course says no. WFT?? How would NASA know? I mean they would know if there is an asteroid on collision course, but other than that what makes them the experts. They wouldn't know any more than anyone else if there will be an all out nuclear war, a virulent new superbug etc.

    Is it just me, or does the concept of asking NASA about the end of the world seem bizarre. Maybe they are focusing more on the movie and the movie is about an asteroid collision?? I admit I don't know that much about the movie but I'll probably go see it. I have the greatest respect for NASA, but I don't think I'd go to them on a question like this.

    This is not a debate on the Aztec calendar or the movie. Believe what you want - I don't care. The question is -- Given that popular culture is now obsessed with Dec. 2012, would the authority to go be NASA?? I'm just not getting it.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Industrialsize

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    Because they happen to be Space SCIENTISTS and not part of the tin foil hat brigade.
     
  3. D_Andreas Sukov

    D_Andreas Sukov Account Disabled

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    CNN has seen too many hollywood disaster films
     
  4. B_Nick8

    B_Nick8 New Member

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    I just saw that piece, too. I was surprised NASA would be the go-to place for reassurance but I suppose if you're worried about planetary collisions that's who you'd ask first.
     
  5. Hanes2008

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    Yes they would seeing as they have some of the world's leading space scientists working for them and are the most well funded space organisation.
     
  6. BigDallasDick8x6

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    Is that what the movie is about -- planetary collision?
     
  7. BigDallasDick8x6

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    That was very helpful and really addressed my question. Thank you. :rolleyes:
     
  8. B_mitchymo

    B_mitchymo New Member

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    I guess people are taking it too literally assuming that there is a specific date and so only a massive asteroid impact could wipe out the human civilization in a single day.

    I saw a british space scientist on the news this morning actually talking about a mission to land a probe on a comet by using gravitational pull of planets to sling shot the probe so as not to use too much energy and she was saying how the objects in space are well mapped and observed and there is no impending threat foreseeable. Still a couple years of time to pass yet tho...

    It is much more likely that an internal event will be our doom. I bet £0.00pence that it will be a super volcano following an earthquake combined with a flu and a hostile alien invasion from the little people that live under our stairs!
     
  9. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    Much of the doom is all about asteroids, planetary collisions, the moon breaking away, massive solar eruptions, the flipping of the poles, and a galactic alignment: all of which are doomsday scenarios NASA is well-equipped to answer.

    NASA cannot answer for what your channeler, crystal ball, tarot cards, church, temple or village idiot trying to sell you a book have to say on the matter.
     
  10. BigDallasDick8x6

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    I guess my point is there are many more threats to the human race than asteroids. In fact, I would bet asteroids are the least of our problems??
     
    #10 BigDallasDick8x6, Nov 14, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2009
  11. BigDallasDick8x6

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    I agree. Although most objects in our solar system are well mapped including asteroids, comets are much less so, however. "New" ones do get discovered in our lifetime. For example Kahoutek (sp?) which swings by every 75,000 years or so. If the Oort Cloud exists as hypothesized, there are a great many such objects that are not mapped.
     
  12. B_mitchymo

    B_mitchymo New Member

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    Never heard of the Oort Cloud hypothesis before, what is it?
     
  13. BigDallasDick8x6

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    ....a hypothesized spherical cloud of comets which may lie roughly 50,000 AU, or nearly a light-year, from the Sun.

    Although no confirmed direct observations of the Oort Cloud have been made, astronomers believe that it is the source of all long-period and Halley-type comets entering the inner Solar System and many of the Centaurs and Jupiter-family comets as well.

    Oort cloud - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  14. B_mitchymo

    B_mitchymo New Member

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    Never heard of the Oort Cloud hypothesis, what is that?

    EDIT:- Read your wiki link now lol
     
  15. novice_btm

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    I don't really get the confusion. I mean, if the question is about planetary issues, aren't your main choices for space-related experts either NASA or JPL? :confused:
     
  16. Zeuhl34

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    Firstly, it's the Mayan calendar that runs out in 2012, not the Aztecs'. If you're going to be crazy, at least get what few facts you have straight.

    Secondly: Aw, not this shit again.
     
  17. jason_els

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    You left out Weekly World News.
     
  18. lucky8

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    First off, it's the Mayans, not the Aztecs. Second, NASA would be a viable resource since the Mayan calendar was based on the movement of Earth throughout the galaxy and universe, whereas ours is based upon Earth's movements throughout our solar system. The debate isn't about how would NASA know, the debate is about the Earth crossing a plane in line with the direct center of the galaxy or universe (can't remember which), which is why NASA would be a reliable resource as to determine whether or not this event will actually take place on the specified date. In actuality, the event already happend a couple decades ago, but most still hold on to the 2012 date as their is so much folk-lore about it.

    The date doesn't mark the end of the world, it marks the end (and beginning) of a time period. Just as the Earth makes a path around the sun every 365 days, it also makes a path around the center of the galaxy (I think this is how it works, it's been awhile since I've researched this) So for the Mayans, and everyone else I guess, Dec. 21 2012 marks the end of one cycle (or "orbit" if you want to think of it like that), much like Jan. 1 2010 will mark the end and beginning of a new Earth year. Same principal but on a much larger scale.

    Oh ya, and it's CNN...come on...hardly a reputable news source
     
    #18 lucky8, Nov 14, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2009
  19. BigDallasDick8x6

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    All the Mayan calendar gives is an ending date. It doesn't say anything about planetary collisions etc.

    Yes if you're going to ask if an asteroid is on target to hit Earth, of course the authority would be NASA. If you ask --"When will the world end?", I'm not so sure they'd be on top of the list.
     
  20. novice_btm

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    Really? You'd equate the legitimacy of NASA and JPL to the WWN, in matters science related to space?
     
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