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Galactic alignment 2012 - serious discussion only please

 
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1058843
Slovenia
08/30/2010 06:13 PM
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Galactic alignment 2012 - serious discussion only please

IMAGE ( [link to api.ning.com] )


Used to support the claim that
: The end of a 26000 year cycle will see a special galactic alignment that will have disastrous consequences on Earth: "26 000year cycle is coming to an end [...]. galactic alignment that will take place results in the increase of seismic activities and weather anomalies that is already happneing and will continue exponentially.there will be suffering and pain,but far from the end of the world.Its much more a new beginning."
My analysis of the source and its link to the claim:
First of all, the source you cite says nothing about the consequences of the so-called "galactic alignment", so you do not actually back the claim you make about the consequences with anything. Let's see, however, how true the image you link to is, an image which depicts the position of our solar system in regards to the rest of the galaxy before 2012, during December 21st, 2012, and after 2012. Is December 21st, 2012, really the special occurrence this image depicts, and is the image accurate at all?
The answer is no.
What the image seems to suggest is a galactic plane alignment, meaning that the solar system would be on December 21st, 2012, aligned with the galactic plane of the Milky Way. This is completely incorrect. The reality is that our solar system is currently moving away from the galactic plane. Once the solar system crosses the galactic plane (and is then either located above or under it), it crosses it again after moving during 33 million years following a certain curve. We have not yet reached the point where we will be the furthest away from the galactic plane and will start coming back towards it, meaning that it will take millions of year before we next cross it (and, by the way, us crossing it will obviously not be done in one day). Right now, estimates are that we are more or less around 26 +-3 parsecs away from the galactic plane (a parsec is equal to ~3.26 light years). [Source: MAJAESS, D. J., TURNER, D. G., LANE, D. J., "Characteristics of the Galaxy according to Cepheids", Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 398, Issue 1, p. 266 (it's the section "The sun's distance from the galactic plane") - dunno if you have access to this scientific journal, I do through my university, you can check this easily on the internet though].
This picture, that you used as your source, is therefore completely wrong.
Although I've already established your source was wrong, I'd quickly like to address something else that is sometimes called a "galactic alignment": the alignment of the Earth and the Sun with the center of the Milky Way galaxy (in the constellation of Sagittarius). To quote David Morrison from the NASA Astrobiology Institute:

This happens every December, with no bad consequences, and there is no reason to expect 2012 to be different from any other year.

This so-called "galactic alignment" has occurred every year around that time in December since the early 1980s, and will continue to do so until the late 2010s. There is absolutely nothing special about it. If you want to see pictures of what I'm talking about, you can for example check this .pdf by Dr. Mark Van Stone (who studied what the Mayas actually said about 2012), and see the pictures in pages 21-34. He also shows how the exact configuration we'll see on December 21st, 2012 (which isn't anything special compared to the other years anyway) happens repeatedly throughout history. These "galactic alignments" are however not exactly complete, since according to Dr. E.C. Krupp (Director of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles):

It's almost a sidelight that the winter-solstice sun will never actually "eclipse" the galaxy's true center, the pointlike radio source marking the Milky Way's central black hole. Moreover, the winter-solstice sun won’t even pass closest to it on the sky for another 200 years.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 1058843
Slovenia
08/30/2010 06:33 PM
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Re: Galactic alignment 2012 - serious discussion only please
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Anonymous Coward
User ID: 973304
United States
08/30/2010 06:38 PM
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Re: Galactic alignment 2012 - serious discussion only please
Thank you for the information. The whole "galatic plane crossing" thing never rang true to me. The immense size of the galaxy makes it extremely difficult to decide exactly where that central plane would be.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 706857
United States
08/30/2010 06:51 PM
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Re: Galactic alignment 2012 - serious discussion only please
if anything happens in 2012, it will be staged.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 1058843
Slovenia
08/30/2010 07:02 PM
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Re: Galactic alignment 2012 - serious discussion only please
does anyone have any scientific research to counter my claims ?
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1084540
Slovenia
08/30/2010 08:34 PM
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Re: Galactic alignment 2012 - serious discussion only please
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