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Dec. 21: It's (not) the end of the world as we know it, NASA says

December 19, 2012 |  7:45 am

Even NASA has jokes about Friday.

"Dec. 21, 2012, won't be the end of the world as we know," the space agency said on its website, "however, it will be another winter solstice."

NASA has devoted a page on its website to debunking the doomsday myth that, in accordance with the Mayan calendar, the world will end on Dec. 21. The site addresses several scenarios — the possibility of planetary alignments, total blackouts, polar shifts and "a planet or brown dwarf called Nibiru or Planet X or Eris that is approaching the Earth and threatening our planet with widespread destruction" — but comes to the same conclusion.

"For any claims of disaster or dramatic changes in 2012, where is the science? Where is the evidence?" the website said. "There is none, and for all the fictional assertions, whether they are made in books, movies, documentaries or over the Internet, we cannot change that simple fact."

In short, NASA says, "the world will not end in 2012."

"Our planet has been getting along just fine for more than 4 billion years, and credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012," the website said.

But just in case you don't believe it until you (don't) see it, Angelenos are in luck. Griffith Observatory will stay open last Friday evening — until one minute past midnight — to "demonstrate that claims regarding the Maya calendar, planetary alignments, rogue planets, galactic beams, and other related phenomena have no basis in fact,” it announced.

The observatory — which has a "NOT-the-end-of-the-world countdown" on its websiteis also hosting a series of events leading up to midnight Friday.

And if you're planning on watching the world not end elsewhere, don't fret — the Observatory will begin streaming the festivities online at 11 p.m. 

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— Kate Mather

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