A report circulating this weekend claims that NASA has confirmed that the earth will experience 6 days of “almost complete darkness” from December 16 through December 22, 2014. The story is fake.
The false story comes from “satire” website Huzlers, which posts fake news with outlandish headlines and no basis in reality. The current story claiming the imminent six days of darkness appears to be borrowed from a similar viral hoax which has been circulating in recent days about a solar storm which will hit in December 2014. That story is the resurgence of an end of the world “3 days of darkness” rumor which was tied to the end of the Mayan calendar.
Neither version is true.
The fake Huzlers story claims that a massive solar storm will “not cause major damage to anything.” This, of course, would not be true of a solar storm, which could potentially bring down the entire power grid.
Huzlers includes a disclaimer that it publishes “satirical entertainment.”
Predicting Solar Storms
Both versions of the hoax claims that NASA pinpoints specific dates in which a solar storm is expected to hit the earth. This type of storm prediction does not exist. Scientists can predict an increase in solar activity, but cannot predict a specific storm which will occur on a certain date months in advance. In addition, the effect of a massive solar storm hitting the earth would primarily be damage to electronic devices.
Currently, scientists have about 18 hours from the time of a solar ejection until it reaches the earth.
NASA has not confirmed that the earth will plunge into darkness for three or six days in December 2014. The version which states it will happen for three days is a regurgitated hoax from 2012, while the six-day variant is a copy-cat satire version of the earlier hoax.
NASA cannot predict a specific solar storm months in advance.