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The Non-consequential Galactic Alignment of December 2012

Every year, as the Earth goes around the Sun, the Earth and Sun inevitably line up with the galactic plane twice a year. These yearly alignments haven't created a doomsday as of yet, and the alignment closely coinciding with the December 2012 solstice won't destroy the world either. Be prepared to celebrate New Year's 2013.

Stand off to one side of a highway (but not on the highway!) and hold out two fingers so that they align with the blacktop. Just because your two fingers align with the blacktop, you're not actually standing on the highway. All the speeding vehicles won't run you over.

Image credit on right: oskaree

In like vein, when the Earth and Sun align with the galactic plane twice a year, neither the Earth nor Sun physically pass through the plane of the Milky Way galaxy. Astronomers estimate that we're several dozen light-years north of the galactic plane, and that we're continuing to travel north of the galactic plane at the rate of 7 kilometers per second.

Let all your friends know that the solar system last passed through the plane of the Milky Way galaxy about 3 million years ago and won't do so again for another 30 million years. No galactic crossing is in store for 2012!

See these two easy-to-understand yet extremely informative videos on the hyped-up galactic alignment of December 21, 2012!

2012: Shadow of the Dark Rift

Will Earth cross the galactic plane in 2012?

copyright 2012 by Bruce McClure

November 2012 Feature * January 2013 Feature