End of the world predicted to strike days before Christmas as rare space event ...

THE END OF THE WORLD has been predicted to strike just days before Christmas as a rare astronomical event fuels a wild conspiracy theory online.

PUBLISHED: 15:44, Thu, Nov 26, 2020 | UPDATED: 15:44, Thu, Nov 26, 2020

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Doomsday predictions centred around the Mayan calendar have falsely pinned the end of the world on numerous occasions, beginning with the 2012 phenomenon. December 21, 2012, was regarded as the end-date of a 5,126-year-long cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, and festivities took place to commemorate the event in the countries that were part of the Maya civilisation. But some suggested that the date marked the apocalypse with various theories ranging from the arrival of the next solar maximum, an interaction between Earth and the supermassive black hole, or a collision with a mythical planet called Nibiru.

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Scholars from numerous disciplines quickly dismissed predictions of cataclysmic events as they arose, but that did not stop the sensational theories.

Now though, they have returned, thanks to a once-in-20-years conjunction on December 21, 2020.

At their closest, the event will see Jupiter and Saturn just 0.1 degrees apart – a fifth of a full Moon's diameter.

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That date is, coincidentally, the beginning of the winter solstice and famed doomsday predictor Pastor Paul Begley believes it is all a recipe for disaster for life on Earth.

The space event has sparked fears onlineThe space event has sparked fears online (Image: GETTY)

The Mayan calendar has been at the centre of doomsday predictions for yearsThe Mayan calendar has been at the centre of doomsday predictions for years (Image: GETTY)

He previously claimed: "It will be the closest Jupiter and Saturn have been since 1623 and it won't even come that close again for another 500 years.

"So this

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