Cosmic Queries: Mayan Apocalypse and Other Disasters

Artist's concept of a catastrophic asteroid impact with Earth. An impact with a 500-km-diameter asteroid would effectively sterilize the planet. Image Credit: NASA (Artist: Don Davis)
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About This Episode

What are the facts surrounding some of the most common doomsday predictions dominating popular culture today? Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice examine Cosmic Queries from our fans through the rational lens of science and history. For instance, what does the end of the Mayan Long Count Calendar really predict, and more importantly, is there any justifiable scientific concern about its implications? Could a solar flare cause the end of the world? What is the likelihood of an extinction-level asteroid impact? They’ll also touch upon UFOs, black holes and white holes, surviving a new ice age, and subterranean dinosaurs. Plus, you’ll find out the real reason Pope Gregory replaced the Julian calendar with the Gregorian one. (Hint: it has to do with a Jewish holiday!)

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