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Galactic Alignment 2012?
Posted: 04 January 2009 08:43 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Help!  I’m having trouble figuring out the geometry on this “galactic alignment” thing predicted for December 21, 2012.  This while watching the History Channel on a Nostrodamus.  Last I heard, we were near the end of a spiral arm of the Milky Way galaxy, but there’s all these people telling us that the Earth is (every 26 thousand years or so) going to “line up with the black hole at the center of the galaxy” with dire results predicted. 

My problem is picturing how we can “ALIGN” with this center, apparently being exposed to the emissons of the black hole, unless we can somehow take a major change of position to get on top of the galaxy’s disk as opposed to being shielded from any exposure to the center by the millions of stars which also revolve around the center only closer than we are.  Is there a big “gap” which will suddenly appear to “expose” us?

Obviously there is much I do not understand about this thing.

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Posted: 04 January 2009 09:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Sounds like nonsense to me.

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Doug

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El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

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Posted: 04 January 2009 11:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I agree, but it seems to be some very popular nonsense particularly when I’m having the aforementioned problem even seeing how the so called “alignment” could physically work.

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Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful. - Seneca (ca. 4 BC –AD 65)

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Posted: 05 January 2009 01:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I know very little about astronomy, but like Doug, I think it’s nonsense.  I figure that the reason it’s a popular fear is the same reason that a few centuries ago people were terrified when a solar eclipse was predicted and occurred.  If you research it, you’ll find that astronomical catastrophies have been predicted when various things lined up about every ten or fifteen years (as long as I can remember).  Then when nothing happens, it’s forgotten and people find something else to worry about.  Nine years ago it was the terrible consequences our technological civilization would suffer when the millenium bug destroyed all computer programs. 

Occam

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Posted: 05 January 2009 05:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Right, but in this case it sounds like there’s no “there” there at all. What the heck could “galactic alignment” even mean? Whoever is peddling this nonsense must have a very low opinion of the astronomical knowledge of the general public. But then, nobody ever went broke that way ...

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Doug

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Posted: 05 January 2009 09:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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What exactly do they mean by ‘align’? If we had come close to a black hole 26,000 years ago, the earth would not even exist anymore to have this imaginary alignment again!

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Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

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Posted: 05 January 2009 09:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Hey, two points define a line, and if the earth is one point, then at every point in time, the earth is aligned with every other object in the Universe! So there are gazillions of alignments to work with—all you need to do is pick up something that won’t happen for a few years, and voila! you’ve got a Nostradamic alignment!

Somewhat more interesting are three-object alignments, but with so many gazillions of two-object alignments, three-object alignments aren’t that special. A four-object alignment is just slightly interesting. When we get up to six-object alignments, the probability is low enough as to make them definitely interesting.

Oh, and the galaxy takes a lot longer to rotate than 26,000 years, which is instead the length of time required for the complete precession of the earth’s axis.

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Posted: 05 January 2009 10:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Chris Crawford - 05 January 2009 09:56 AM

Hey, two points define a line, and if the earth is one point, then at every point in time, the earth is aligned with every other object in the Universe! So there are gazillions of alignments to work with—all you need to do is pick up something that won’t happen for a few years, and voila! you’ve got a Nostradamic alignment!

Somewhat more interesting are three-object alignments, but with so many gazillions of two-object alignments, three-object alignments aren’t that special. A four-object alignment is just slightly interesting. When we get up to six-object alignments, the probability is low enough as to make them definitely interesting.

Oh, and the galaxy takes a lot longer to rotate than 26,000 years, which is instead the length of time required for the complete precession of the earth’s axis.

Thanks for the clarification (whew!!), now I feel a LOT safer!! LOL

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Posted: 05 January 2009 11:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Ok, after having watched at least parts of the show while explaining to my 10 year old son that he may ignore the doom and gloom stuff as bunk, I saw where the “alignment” they were talking about seems to mean the axis of the earth to the axis of the galaxy.  How a black hole which remains hidden in the middle of the galaxy figures into this I still don’t know, but it is apparent that this thing is more a matter of astrology (“what’s your sign”) as opposed to us actually moving into a dangerous area of our galaxy as might be determined from astronomy.

I guess someone feels that our geomagnetic field, ethereal vibes or whatever will align with that of the galaxy and become “in tune” with something new.  Also cited is the Mayan calendar which ends 12/21/2012, and aside from probably being prone to human sacrifice and cannibalism, much was made about how advanced they were regarding astronomy.  I wonder why they never invented a wheel when they already had a good model for it in their calendar?

Nevertheless, watch for this subject to “turn and burn” within the general populace as the “end of time” deadline gets closer.

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Posted: 05 January 2009 12:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Wait a minute: for the axis of the earth to align the axis of the galaxy, the earth’s north celestial pole would have to coincide the the galaxy’s north celestial pole. That instantly excites my suspicions. Let me check…  yep, I just checked, and the north galactic pole is at a declination of 24º. The precession of the earth’s axis never takes the NCP anywhere near that low. Forget it, these people don’t even have their basic facts right.

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Posted: 05 January 2009 01:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Perhaps we still don’t understand what it is that they are “aligning”.  It may just be their pockets.  I’m sure that a “true believer” could explain. 
BTW, come to find out, the “Time Wave Zero” date was actually adjusted to coincide with the 12-21-2012 Mayan calendar date somewhat after it was apparently decided such would make a bigger impact, attract more followers and sell more books, etc.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novelty_theory

This too still enjoys a huge following.

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Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful. - Seneca (ca. 4 BC –AD 65)

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Posted: 05 January 2009 04:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Chris Crawford - 05 January 2009 12:50 PM

Wait a minute: for the axis of the earth to align the axis of the galaxy, the earth’s north celestial pole would have to coincide the the galaxy’s north celestial pole. That instantly excites my suspicions. Let me check…  yep, I just checked, and the north galactic pole is at a declination of 24º. The precession of the earth’s axis never takes the NCP anywhere near that low. Forget it, these people don’t even have their basic facts right.

It must be the binary implications of all of those 0-1-2s in that date. Some idiots never figured out that dates are arbitrary, and there is nothing magical about any particular date over another, these are the same people who haven’t figured out that ‘Sunday’ is also a completely arbitrary day named for a pagan god that has nothing to do with their ‘Jesus’.

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Posted: 05 January 2009 04:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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these are the same people who haven’t figured out that ‘Sunday’ is also a completely arbitrary day named for a pagan god that has nothing to do with their ‘Jesus’.

Which reminds me: does anybody have any good sources on the origin of the week? It shows up in lots of cultures, and its relationship to the month is pretty clear, but the association of certain activities with certain days of the week seems like an arbitrary assignment that is suspiciously common. What do we know, for example, about any such calendric structure in native American cultures?

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Posted: 05 January 2009 04:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Chris Crawford - 05 January 2009 04:25 PM

these are the same people who haven’t figured out that ‘Sunday’ is also a completely arbitrary day named for a pagan god that has nothing to do with their ‘Jesus’.

Which reminds me: does anybody have any good sources on the origin of the week? It shows up in lots of cultures, and its relationship to the month is pretty clear, but the association of certain activities with certain days of the week seems like an arbitrary assignment that is suspiciously common. What do we know, for example, about any such calendric structure in native American cultures?

I found this site (google is our friend!) about the week, it is interesting and matches up pretty well with what I knew, I don’t see anything wrong with what they are saying (others more knowledgeable might spot a mistake or two). In their words—no, they don’t know the origin of the week, but they have guesses.
http://www.webexhibits.org/calendars/week.html

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Posted: 05 January 2009 04:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Thanks, asanta!

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Posted: 05 January 2009 08:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Sounds like a Mayan end of a(n) era/time story to me.

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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