NASA officials took time off from hyping the Mars Curiosity rover this week to assuage fears about the Mayan apocalypse—by conducting a super-official Google+ hangout.
A panel of scientists guaranteed the paranoid participants that the supposed Dec. 21 doomsday will not come to pass. There are no “rogue planets” anywhere nearby—they’d be easily recognizable in the night sky—and there will be no cataclysmic solar storms. The most prominent near-Earth object in our future will be an asteroid cruising by at a distance of almost 18,000 miles from Earth in February 2013.
Depressingly, the scientists assured attendees that “the greatest threat to the human race in 2012 … is just from the human race itself.”