As the clock ticks down to 21 December, the supposed end of world according to the Mayan calendar, NASA has released a video it hopes will clear up any confusion.
The four-minute film is pitched at anyone who might be viewing it on 22 December, the day after the world is supposed to have ended.
“If you are watching this video it means one thing, the world didn’t end yesterday,” the opening narration teases.
Michael Brody, the man who produced the video, said they released the film early to generate interest around the subject.
“We wanted to show people that NASA’s confident that the world will not be ending on December 22nd,” said Brody.
“There is a lot of science and archaeological research that has been done on the subject and we wanted to be able to convey that it in a way that was easily digested by the general public, that people would really be able to understand,” he continued.
The video, produced as part of NASA’s ScienceCast series, also discounts the role that the Sun might play in any doomsday event.
“So suppose there was an active region brewing from the far side of the sun. It takes about 27 days for such a region to come to the front. And its only storms that are happening on the front will have impact on earth,” said Dr. Guhathakurta, a NASA scientist.
“But we will know that, kind of right away. And we can begin to warn people and take mitigating steps. This has gone on for billions of years, and our civilisation hasn’t been destroyed once.”
The Mayans measured time using their knowledge of mathematics and astronomy.
They had two calendars, one for astronomy that lasted 365 days.
The other calendar is for agriculture, called Tzolkin, with 260 days.
To read a date, the Mayans used a complex system where both calendars were combined to reach a final result.