Q: The new Griffith Observatory show, Time’s Up, coincides with the 2012 “doomsday” date on the Mayan calendar. As director of the observatory, can you explain how an ancient civilization inspired an apocalyptic prediction?
A: Doomsday scenarios aren’t new, but this one started in the 1970s, when a book was published with a series of arithmetical mistakes, fuzzy astronomy, and pseudoscience. But visitors still ask about the 2012 prediction, so we debunk it as a way to explore the existence of real time.
Illustration by Andy Friedman