What do you know about 2012? [Quiz]


May 10, 2011
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To celebrate our new Planetarium Show 2012: Mayan Prophecies, we are testing your knowledge of the significant Maya date of December 21, 2012. How much do you know about this important day?

Are these statements TRUE or FALSE?

1. Dec. 21, 2012 marks the end of the longest Mayan time cycle.

2. The Aztecs knew about 2012.

3. In 2012, solar storms will burn the surface of the Earth.

4. Dec 21, 2012 is a significant celestial date.

5. The Maya used the 26,000-year precession cycle to predict events in 2012.

6. There will be a cataclysmic event in 2012.

7. An impending pole shift will tear the Earth apart in 2012.

8. There is a special alignment of the sun in front of the Milky Way galaxy on Dec. 21, 2012.

9. A rogue planet, such as Nibiru or Eris or Planet X, is going to destroy the Earth in 2012.

10. A geomagnetic reversal in 2012 will devastate the planet.

11. A “global awakening” is coming in 2012, leading to a societal transformation.

12. The Earth will pass through the Galactic plane.

2012: Mayan Prophecies
A scene from 2012: Mayan Prophecies, Now Showing in the HMNS Planetarium!

ANSWERS:

1. Dec. 21, 2012 marks the end of the longest Mayan time cycle.
TRUE: Dec. 21, 2012 is the beginning of the 13th Baktun in the Maya Long Count. This is a day of celebration, much like Jan. 1, 2000 was for us.

2. The Aztecs knew about 2012.
FALSE: There is no archeological evidence that 2012 was significant to any other MesoAmerican civilization.

3. In 2012, solar storms will burn the surface of the Earth.
FALSE: A massive solar storm could take out a satellite, but cannot reach Earth’s surface. Also sunspot maximum will occur in 2013.

4. Dec 21, 2012 is a significant celestial date.
TRUE: Every year, December 21 is the winter solstice when the sun makes its lowest trip across the sky in the Northern Hemisphere.

5. The Maya used the 26,000-year precession cycle to predict events in 2012.
FALSE: The Maya may have observed slow changes in the sky due to precession, but this cycle was never recorded.

6. There will be a cataclysmic event in 2012.
TRUE: There will be volcanic eruptions, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, and hurricanes in 2012 – just like every year on our dynamic planet.

7. An impending pole shift will tear the Earth apart in 2012.
FALSE: The poles wander at a speed of about 1 degree per million years.

8. There is a special alignment of the sun in front of the Milky Way galaxy on Dec. 21, 2012.
TRUE: On the winter solstice, the sun is now in front of a dark rift in the Milky Way band, close to the direction of the Galaxy’s center as it has been for several years.

9. A rogue planet, such as Nibiru or Eris or Planet X, is going to destroy the Earth in 2012.
FALSE: Eris is now beyond Pluto. There is no Planet X. The Babylonian Nibiru was probably Jupiter. The Maya only knew Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.

10. A geomagnetic reversal in 2012 will devastate the planet in 2012.
FALSE: Geomagnetic reversals do happen and we may be overdue for one. These take thousands of years to occur and are not destructive.

11. A “global awakening” is coming in 2012, leading to a societal transformation.
TRUE: Well, 2012 is a presidential election year for the United States and for Mexico and the diamond jubilee of the Queen.

12. The Earth will pass through the Galactic plane.
TRUE: The Earth will cross the Galactic Equator, but in about 27 million years.

Come learn more about Maya culture and their calendar in our new Planetarium show, 2012: Mayan Prophecies, open now.

Steven
Authored By Steven Cowan

Steven never dreamed his first job out of college would be in public relations, and on top of that working for one of the top museums in the country. After all, he majored in History at Vassar College. Within three months of graduation, he landed a spot in the PR department and has not looked back since. He is fast becoming a communications fanatic, spending a tremendous amount of his time promoting the museum and all it has to offer.

6 responses to “What do you know about 2012? [Quiz]”

  1. Steve Denoms says:

    Well done. I got 9 out of 12 correct and almost flubbed on 12. I had my mind stuck on “2012” until I realized the statement was not framed around 2012. The Maya have fascinated me for more than 45 of my 64 years. And after more than 20 visits to various sites throughout the Yucatan and Central America, I still get excited by any opportunity to see or learn more from any perspective.

  2. Erin F says:

    That’s awesome! Glad you enjoyed the quiz 🙂

  3. Marta Campos-Mace says:

    I have 11/12, I didn’t know about that jubilee of the Quenn.
    Congratulations! I’m so happy for this proyect hopefully less people will be talking about 2012 as a bad men. It will be just like 12/31/1999, just a concept of time, a clock, a calendar, nothing else.
    Marta Campos-Mace from Honduras.

  4. Brent says:

    HMNS is wrong on the 2. question. The Mayans even had a game they played that you can still see if you visit the pyaminds where they had two teams that tried to kick a ball aka the “Earth” into dark rift in the Milky Way band. The caption of the team that lost had his head cut off! Of course HMNS is going to down play the event and what a great film to make big money on.

  5. Steven Spencer says:

    Re question no. 1: Actually, I believe that we are IN the 13th baktun; and it is this baktun, the 13th of this cycle of time, that will end on 21 December (or 23 December, depending on the calibration that one uses). It has the number 12 in the Long Count system because the first baktun of this cycle had the number 0 (well, actually the Maya numbered it 13 rather than 0, but it might as well have been 0; for the 2nd baktun took the number 1.) It’s rather like our centuries, which are numbered a digit ahead of the actual year numbers; e.g., the 19th century refers to the 1800s, not the 1900s.

  6. Ace says:

    Hey Brent, did the Mayas write a letter telling you that the ball they were playing specifically meant the Earth? I guess it is just guesswork.

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