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Nasa: 'The World Will Probably Not End On 21 December 2012'

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Nasa has publicly insisted that the supposed apocalypse, theorised to occur on 21 December 2012, will not take place.

Conspiracy theorists, internet trolls and the very anxious have been convinced for years that the end of the Mayan calendar will also result in the end of the world.

But while it is true that on 21 December a calendar cycle called the 13th b'ak'tun will end, that doesn't necessarily mean all life on Earth will die, sceptics have insisted.

Funnily enough Nasa agrees.

In a Google+ Hangout held on Wednesday, David Morrison, an astrobiologist at Nasa Ames Research Centre, said there was no reason to worry.

"There is no true issue here," he said. "This is just a manufactured fantasy."

However Morrison admitted that many people were genuinely concerned - and said he constantly receives emails and calls about the date.

"While this is a joke to some people and a mystery to others, there is a core of people who are truly concerned," he said.

"I think it's evil for people to propagate rumours on the Internet to frighten children."

Nasa has long maintained a page explaining why the world is probably not going to be destroyed for several billion years.

Getting specific on various end-of-the-world scenarios, Nasa said there are no nearby asteroids or other objects that could hit the Earth on 21 December.

Neither is there any chance of a dramatic solar flare attack, even though the Sun is currently in a period of high activity.

Other rumours that the Earth will suffer a blackout between 23-25 December took even Nasa by surprise, and Space.com said it recieved a collected "What?" from the researchers in attendance.

But that doesn't mean we're completely safe. Mitzi Adams, a heliophysicist at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Centre, said that at least one major threat to life on Earth does exist - us.

"The greatest threat to Earth in 2012, at the end of this year and in the future, is just from the human race itself," Adams said.