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2012: Myths and Facts

-2012 - The Sun's Magnetic Field
-2012 - Planetary Conjunction
-2012 - Galactic Equator
-2012 - The Maya Calendar
-2012 - Planet X and Nibiru

  2012 - Galactic Equator

CLAIM: The Sun will align with the galactic center or equator and/or the Sun will cross the galactic plane -- this will bear disaster for Earth!


FACTS: In order to address this claim, it is important to discuss what we know about celestial bodies reportedly involved. The Galactic Plane is a plane precisely defined by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in 1959, containing the center of and most of the mass in the galaxy. The Solar System last crossed it 3 million years ago and won’t do so again for another 30 million years because we are moving away from the plane!

Even though some people claim mass extinctions or other type of disasters occur on Earth every time it crosses the galactic plane, there is no verifiable evidence of any such relationship.

The galactic equator was defined by the International Astronomical Union in 1960, based on certain physical characteristics of the Milky Way Galaxy. The galactic equator by definition is a plane that contains both the Sun and the galactic center (almost) and it is tilted with respect to the galactic plane; in other words, the Sun can never cross the galactic equator because by definition the Sun is always on the galactic equator; wherever the Sun moves, the Galactic Equator moves with it.

The ecliptic is an imaginary line that follows the path of the Sun as seen from Earth; it can also be thought of as the plane that contains Earth and the Sun. The ecliptic and the galactic equator intersect at two points twice every year, once in June and once in December and by coincidence the December crossing is on or near December 21. It has done so for millions of years! Millions of times in the past the Sun and Earth have been approximately in line with the center of our galaxy and nothing happened.

The Ecliptic and the Galactic Equator are not aligned, so Earth, the Sun and the Galactic Center can never be on the same line! The closest alignment was calculated to be between 1986 and 2011.


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