n. The strong and irrational fear that in the near future the earth will be destroyed by some cosmic event.
Other Forms
There are 19 million 2012-related Google hits, and a vast number of those are concerned with a real world's [sic] and not the Roland Emmerich film that cashes in on rampant fear and on the tastes of those who enjoyed the way he destroyed the world in "Independence Day" and "The Day After Tomorrow."…This latest bit of cosmophobia is based on the Maya or Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, which, set up to run for 5,125 years, appears to terminate on or about Dec. 21, 2012, thus wrecking the key holiday shopping season.
—John Bogert, “Here comes the end of the world — again,” Daily Breeze, October 22, 2009
Cosmophobia is the fear of the cosmos, particularly the terror that the world will end by means of some astronomical occurrence. Think 2012, for it seems the previews for the movie are causing quite a psychic ruckus, much more than a minor tremor in the force.
—Ralfee Finn, “Tame Your Cosmophobia,” East Bay Express, October 21, 2009
2009 (earliest)
But I receive questions every day from people who have just become aware of some astronomical discovery and ask if it is dangerous to them or their families (or will be in 2012)….I call this new series of concerns "cosmophobia" — fear of the cosmos.
—David Morrison, “Doomsday 2012, the Planet Nibiru, and Cosmophobia” (PDF), Astronomy Beat, September 21, 2009
A more general sense of the term cosmophobia — fear of outer space — has been around since at least the 1920s.