The Vatican's top astronomer has some assurances to offer: The world won't end in about two weeks, despite predictions to the contrary.
The Rev. Jose Funes, director of the Vatican Observatory, wrote in Wednesday's Vatican newspaper that ``it's not even worth discussing'' doomsday scenarios based on the Mayan calendar.
Yes, Funes wrote, the universe is expanding and if some models are correct, will at one point "break away," but not for billions of years.
The Mayan Long Count calendar begins in 3,114 B.C., marking time in periods known as Baktuns.
The Mayans wrote that the significant 13th Baktun ends Dec. 21.