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sleuth9216's avatar

When will the world end? How will it happen? What are your thoughts...

Asked by sleuth9216 (231points) April 26th, 2008

In ancient times, all of the civilizations came up with that the world will end in 2012, thats not too far away… and thats one year before I graduate.

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25 Answers

richardhenry's avatar

The world will come to an end (read: cease to exist as we know it) when the sun finally expands into the red giant stage billions of years from now. The temperature will increase dramatically as the surface of the sun approaches the surface of Earth, and then finally the planet will be drawn into the sun by gravity and the increased radius of our neighborhood star.

Red giants are stars with radii hundreds of times larger than that of the sun which have exhausted the supply of hydrogen in their cores and switched to fusing hydrogen in a shell outside the core.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Its the end of the world as we know it, and i feel fine.

LunaFemme's avatar

off topic – did I miss something in my history classes? This is the first time that I have ever heard that ALL ancient civilizations had picked an end date.

richardhenry's avatar

Out of interest, which civilisations prophecised the end of the world in 2012?

LunaFemme beat me to it by a second :)

LunaFemme's avatar

@Richard: At least I don’t feel like such a dork for asking.

richardhenry's avatar

@LunaFemme: Dork? Check my first answer. Haha.

xxporkxsodaxx's avatar

Well its hard to say because they just said that it would end. It could be a number of things being a nuclear holocaust, a rouge black hole, the sun imploding, a comet hitting us, or in an extremely unlike event of intergalactical war, or invasion. Because they generalized the event, it could be a wide range of events or even misconceptions that we have made. Also as I recall someone already predicted it as 6/6/06 and we’re all fine now so just don’t worry about it.

@richardhenry, The Mayans are one of the best known, along with the Hopi, Nostradamus, the Chinese “I Ching”, The prophecies at St. Malachy predicted one more Pope after John Paul II, Edgar Cayce predicted the return of Atlantis(Even though that seems to be irrelevant), Albert Einstein warned us of Polar Shift, NASA confirms that intense solar storms are coming, The Earth will complete its 26,000 year wobble, our sun will align with the plane of the Milky Way. Those are some of the most widely known.

gailcalled's avatar

@richardhenry; your astronomical data is the best available for now. Don’t go insulting my favorite hobby :-(. I was impressed at the accuracy of your answer.

@xx: (have pity on us and please shorten that user name.) You are giving us an awful jumble of myths, scientific inaccuracy (what is a rouge black hole, BTW) and astronomical research that has nothing to do with Nostradamus or the I Ching. The Earth does precess on its axis every 26,000 years but its effects are neglible except to change the Polar north – it will no longer be near the star Polaris.

Intense solar storms have come and gone for as long as we have had measurable astronomy.

And who is the mysterious “they”?

soundedfury's avatar

The Mayans didn’t predict the end of the world in 2012 – the Long Count simply stops there. They obviously didn’t believe the world would end, however, since they had several monuments that referenced dates past the Long Count.

Polar Shift has happened hundreds of times in the life of our planet and won’t cause extinction.

The intense solar storms we’re going to see in 4 years aren’t going to hurt us, just our technology.

Our sun is already aligned with the plane of the Milky Way. It has been for a few years now, and that’s really a question of perspective.

soundedfury's avatar

@richardhenry – the Milky Way is going to merge with Andromeda around the same time our sun finally dies. So, there’s always a chance we get smacked with another solar system.

gailcalled's avatar

@sound. what’s 2.5 billion yrs between among friendly galaxies?

boffin's avatar

I think Al Gore is going to make a documentary about the subject….
Should explain how, where and when….

sleuth9216's avatar

He already did about global warming if that’s what you mean

Allie's avatar

Look here too.

My answer is the same. The day before my 23rd birthday? Happy Birthday to me. =\

sndfreQ's avatar

@├╝ber…that was just playing on my iPhone…rad!

soundedfury's avatar

@gail – I’m not off on my math again am I? That’s why I ended up changing majors away from physics. Last I heard it was about 4.5 billion years until the sun goes nova, and about 4–5 until we kiss Andromeda.

@sleuth – Unlikely we’ll be hit physically, but there will be intense gravitational effects throughout both systems as we find equilibrium (or Andromeda rips the Milky Way apart).

sleuth9216's avatar

oh you guys must be smart with all of the big words you’re using

sleuth9216's avatar

by the way that wasn’t sarcasm

gailcalled's avatar

@Sound: a couple of billion years, give or take? I’ll recheck my astro sites, however. There are contradictions. Some sites say 7+ billion before the sun starts to expand; then it gets complicated, as you know. Expansion, contraction, expansion, boom, white dwarf. Earth becomes crispy early on.

I, too, decided not to go on in Astronomy past an undergrad. degree. The math and physics weren’t nearly as much fun as looking up on a dark night.

xxporkxsodaxx's avatar

@gailcalled, I was just answering Richardhenry’s question on who predicted that the world would end(look above my previous answer). A rouge black hole is exactly what it sounds like, it is a black hole that is moving instead of one staying in its original position. “They” are the people who predicted that the world would end. And as to be more in depth with the predictions I’ve given, it’s not like I was connecting them into a scientific theory. Those are just some widely known predictions of the apocalypse, and significant events that will be happening on December 21st 2012.

@soundedfury, no our sun is not aligned with the Milky Way plane, go here and read And Polar Shift is a dangerous event and can cause massive extinction, now go there and read. And as far as the Mayans go, their shamans supposedly made crystal skulls and they said that they have “magical” powers and when Armageddon comes, they said that when they are brought together and they would save our world. Now even though I don’t believe this, it still contradicts your statement that they didn’t think that the world would end.

soundedfury's avatar

I prefer scientific theories to new age mumbo-jumbo.

- All black holes move. Let me repeat, ALL black holes move. However, they don’t move fast enough to surprise us.

- The plane of the Milky Way is significantly large enough and our technology significantly imprecise enough that most astrophysicists acknowledge that we are at the very least within .1 degree of it now. Even the article you linked says “Thus, the Galactic Alignment “zone” is 1998 +/- 18 years = 1980 – 2016 (although most of it is just terrible science.)

- If you were to actually look at the wikipedia article, you’d notice it says ”[f]or a description of the modern scientific understanding, see true polar wander.” That article clearly, and correctly, states that we’ve had the poles shift before and that they don’t correlate with extinction patterns.

- The Mayan calendar is cyclic and has no end. The Long Count is used for monuments only, to denote dates that cannot be denoted with a combination of the Haab’ and Tzolk’in dates (solar and ceremonial calendars, respectively). There are inscriptions, most notably the Tablet of Inscriptions from Palenque that predict dates far beyond the end of the Long Count – the tablets make mention of celebrations for King Pacal to be had on October 4772 – some 2760 years after the end of the Long Count.

However, I should have been clearer when I meant they obviously didn’t think the world would end in 2012.

richardhenry's avatar

@xx: Myths are fun, but the simple fact is that you will find a precise date of death which happens to be very soon or a correlation of events which happen to match up with any vague half-prophecy. We are not going to become extinct in 2012. Black holes are not an immediate and new threat. We do not have the technology required to accurately measure our plane alignment with the milky way.

@gailcalled: I love it really!

jenni's avatar

I really have no idea ! But i heard that the sun will expand at the end of its life beacuse it runs out of fuel ! then it will engulf the earth ! Weird ! I know but i don’t think it will happen anytime soon .. =0

gatablanca's avatar

revelations: 8:9–21

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