Apocalypse now? Er... no

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IT’S the end of the world as we know it.

If you’re reading this, it’s not really, and the soothsayers who thought the world would end on December 21 were wrong.

"Lightweight"

"Lightweight"

And what better way to celebrate us all still being here than with a party?

The Sunderland Astronomical Society (SAS) will be holding a free “It’s NOT the end of the world” party tonight, from 7pm at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, in Washington.

It is being held to mark the fact that the world will not be ending as prophesied by so many people (at time of going to print the world had not ended), due to the fact that the Mayan civilisation had a calendar that stopped on December 21, 2012.

The SAS’s observatory at the wetland park, which holds its 14-inch Meade telescope, will be open to the public.

Amateur astronomer Richard Darn from Sunderland Astronomical Society gets ready for the Kielder Nightwatch. Richard Darn piece on astronomy.

Amateur astronomer Richard Darn from Sunderland Astronomical Society gets ready for the Kielder Nightwatch. Richard Darn piece on astronomy.

Society members will also be bringing along their telescopes so that people can view the winter skies.

It will also be hosting talks, including one entitled Death From Above, about how the Mayans used astronomy and how well they read the skies.

Paul Meade, from SAS, said: “We are holding this event to celebrate the fact that the world isn’t going to end for at least another five billion years’ time, when our sun will expand and engulf all of the planets up to Jupiter.

“So, in the meantime, none of us have anything to worry about.”

He added: “In all seriousness, members of the public can come down and see what’s above them, from massive nebulas in which stars are being born to super nova fragments which are the end result of when a star dies.

“Jupiter will also be well placed so views of our solar system’s biggest planet and also its moons will be a pleasure to see.”

There will be tea, coffee, biscuits and festive mince pies available.

•Visit www.sunderlandastro.com for further details and directions.

One world is set to disappear soon

THOUGH we may have survived the last day of the Mayan calendar – the end of the world is nigh at Mowbray Park.

Tomorrow its LightWeight Christmas attraction comes to a close.

The giant globe, which flashes with visual effects and animations, will operate for the final time this Christmas between 5pm and 8pm.

Catch it while you can.