The Truth About 2012: Solar Storms VIDEO & The End of the World in science fiction

The 2012 phenomenon comprises a range of eschatological beliefs that cataclysmic or transformative events will occur on December 21, 2012. This date is regarded as the end-date of a 5,125-year-long cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar. Various astronomical alignments and numerological formulae related to this date have been proposed. A New Age interpretation of this transition postulates that this date marks the start of time in which Earth and its inhabitants may undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation, and that 2012 may mark the beginning of a new era. Others suggest that the 2012 date marks the end of the world or a similar catastrophe. Scenarios suggested for the end of the world include the arrival of the next solar maximum, or Earth’s collision with a black hole, passing asteroid or a planet called “Nibiru”. Scholars from various disciplines have dismissed the idea of such cataclysmic events occurring in 2012. Professional Mayanist scholars state that predictions of impending doom are not found in any of the extant classic Maya accounts, and that the idea that the Long Count calendar

“ends” in 2012 misrepresents Maya history and culture.Astronomers and other scientists have rejected the proposed events as pseudoscience, stating that they are contradicted by simple astronomical observations. Ultimate fate of the universe in science fiction; Scientific speculation about the ultimate fate of life in the universe merges almost seamlessly into science fiction. Many works describe the end of the universe—occasionally purely educational exercises describing theories of the day, more often exploiting its potential as the ultimate sense of wonder plot device, or satirising the pretensions of humanity in general and cosmologists in particular. Science fiction can try to suggest a scientific eschatology that searches for meaning in the face of the new knowledge. Countless sci-fi and fantasy works use the threatened destruction of the universe as their plot device, usually with an evil supervillain and/or the incompetence of humanity as the cause, and usually with human ingenuity saving the day. The topic of heat death was explored in science fiction as early as 1895 in H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine, which includes an evocation of the heat death of the universe as imagined by scientists like Lord Kelvin at that time, consisting of the fading out of the Sun to an exhausted red ember and a vision of Earth as a cold and bland eroded desert, to as recently as 2007 in the Doctor Who episode Utopia, with the last remnants of society struggling to survive in a universe without stars and few planets still capable of supporting life.Religion is not wholly excluded from science fiction’s explorations of the end of our universe. Olaf Stapledon’s 1937 science fiction novel Star Maker describes intelligent life in the far future in each galaxy merging into hive mind-like Galactic Minds which themselves finally merge into a Cosmic Mind which, ascending into hyperspace, encounters God (the Star Maker). The “Star Maker” reveals to

the “Cosmic Mind” a vision of the simpler Cosmoses He created in the past and of those more complex Cosmoses He will create in the future. Arthur C. Clarke’s 1953 short story “The Nine Billion Names of God” treats non-scientific eschatology seriously. Its famous last line ominously chronicles the end of the universe as observed by mankind: Overhead, without any fuss, the stars were going out.. James Blish’s Cities in Flight series of books (1955 and 1962) ends with the disruption of the Universe in accordance with the hypercollision theory. The protagonists are able to ‘seed’ the resultant new universes with their own bodies (dying in the process) by using technology which isolates them from local space-time at the instant of the collision.Isaac Asimov’s short story, “The Last Question” was published in 1956. The story is broken up into several segments, with each segment revolving around an artificial, evolving supercomputer. In each segment, humans pose the question “Can entropy be reversed?” to the computer, to which the computer responds, “There is Insufficient Data for a Meaningful Answer.” At the end of the story, humankind has long since succumbed to heat death (the only cosmological end-scenario articulated at the time). The evolving super-computer, now having evolved to the point where it existed without physical form in hyperspace, finally discovers how to reverse the process and with the proclamation “‘LET THERE BE LIGHT!’ And there was light—” the story ends. Piers Anthony’s soft science fiction novel Ghost, deals with the topic of an energy-poor future humanity struggling to find every energy resource possible, and deals with the eventual dying of a universe. In the novel, near limitless energy is able to be found by effectively cannibalizing dead galaxies from other dead universes. Even though the novel does not necessarily give a plausible scientific

answer, it does bring up the question of what happens when a galaxy’s central black hole becomes so massive that not even gravity can escape it, and what happens when a black hole’s event horizon is so far from the central point that it does not have significant gravitational effects. The title of the book, “Ghost” refers to the remains of such a devoured galaxy.The Big Crunch as the fate of the Universe was also explored in Poul Anderson’s 1970 novel Tau Zero which posits a cyclic universe where the big crunch will be surrounded by a cloud of hydrogen, and that a starship could navigate a course to avoid the singularity and emerge into the new universe after the subsequent big bang. The plot of Spider Robinson’s Callahan’s Key focuses on the efforts of the group to prevent a vacuum metastability event caused by a high-energy point created through a combination of random factors.The end of the universe has been used for satirical and comedic effect. In Douglas Adams’s science-fiction series The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the “Restaurant at the End of the Universe” and its patrons are projected through time to the end of the universe, for guests to watch the event as dinner entertainment. Zaphod Beeblebrox, the three-armed, two-headed former President of the Galaxy, scorned the main event, describing it as nothing but a “gnaB giB”, or the Big Bang in reverse. The astronomical cost of this exercise is paid for by depositing a small sum in the restaurant’s account when the booking is made—by the end of the universe this has become a huge fortune due to the operation of compound interest. The concept of an end to the universe has inspired some authors to explore the more human-centric topics of fate and free will. In Kurt Vonnegut’s classic novel Slaughterhouse Five, the primary character is a war

veteran who is contacted by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore who claim that one of their scientists will accidentally destroy the universe while testing a new type of spaceship fuel. Tralfamadorians are aware of this event because they perceive all of time instantaneously, in a similar way to how someone would observe an entire range of mountains in one instant.Though intended for comedic purposes, the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Chrysalis” features a trio of genetically-enhanced humans contemplating the end of the universe. They come to agree that the universe is far too massive, and that it will inevitably collapse in on itself; essentially, a Big Crunch. The quandary is depicted in the episode as evidence of the characters’ eccentricities.Bungie’s video game, Marathon, has an AI who tries to escape the end of the universe. The end of Marathon Infinity takes place at the universe’s final moments.In the Futurama episode The Late Philip J. Fry, a time machine is invented that can only travel into the future. An accident during the initial test hurdles Fry, Bender and Professor Farnsworth 10,000 years in the future. With no hope of getting back to their own time, the trio decide to kick back and watch the end of the universe together. Eventual Heat Death occurs, which leads to another Big Bang after which all time simply repeats itself indefinitely allowing the main characters to travel forward to their familiar location in the continuum and resume their lives unaffected. Even after making the same mistake again, Professor Farnsworth simply suggest that they “bring her around again”. This 3rd universe is 10 feet lower than the old one however. The setting for Greg Bear’s City at the End of Time is one hundred trillion years in the future and explores the cold death of the universe. In Stephen Baxter’s short story “Last Contact” describes a Big Rip. Waiting 2012… Kalogeros Steel

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