Monday, March 17, 2008

How long will it take for our Sun to cross the Galactic Equator?

Well, you might think of pin-pointing this galactic crossing down to a particular date, an hour, or a minute, maybe. Our Mayan cosmologists and Mesoamerican enthusiasts will readily quote December 21, 2012. That was a date fixed by them as representing the end of the Long Count Calendar. Sort of like December 31st, when the ball drops at Times Square, and then the very next second the New Year begins all over again. Only their calender was 5,125 years long. That's a whole other subject.

For the record, but without going into complex equational and scientific calculus, it is a matter of some common sense that an object as small as our sun takes time to traverse the Galactic Equatorial zone. Our Galaxy ( what we call the Milky Way ) is incredibly big. More on that later.

It is thought that our Sun will take approximately 900 years to cross the Galaxy's visible central region. We may have started crossing the eastern edge about 450 years ago. More precisely, crossing the Galactic ecliptic will take the Sun, measuring half a degree, about 18 years. Some belief exists that we have in fact already crossed the Galaxy's ecliptic. But then it gets interesting. We are going to continue to get closer to the Galactic center for the next 232 years. In 2012 we will be 3 degrees from the Milky Way's center. In 2240AD our Sun will make it's closest approach to the Milky Way's center at 2.45 degrees distance, or a mere five sun diameters.

The alignment date that is mainly referred to is 21 December 2012, the Winter Soltice in that year, and coincidentally and maybe importantly, the end of the 13th Baktun in the 5125 year cycle of the Long Count Calendar. That date is written 13.0.0.0.0

Not that those Mayans and other Mesoamericans weren't astute, - they had crystal clear skies and nothing much on TV, so they paid attention to those roaming twinkles in the sky. To their credit, they figured out a lot of stuff, not the least of which might have been the Precession of the Equinoxes. Now that's pretty good going.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Paul

Hello to all you wonderful people, astronomy buffs, life enthusiasts, scientists, and soul searchers -
Welcome to my blog "Galactic Crossing".

There is an awful lot of information available for anyone who wants to learn more about what is happening to our solar system, particularly in 2012, when we are going to be crossing the plane of the galactic equator. As luck would have it, there is a lot of conflicting information out there. It's going to require an open mind, and a good amount of common sense to sift through it all.

With such abundant and diverse information, who is actually right? Does anybody really know what this will mean? Did the Mayans know something? Is the Mayan Long Count calendar just a huge coincidence and a lot of hype? Or is there something to that? A myriad of questions, and what are good answers to some of these questions.

My blog "Galactic Crossing" will attempt to provide sources of information for you to make up your own mind, informatively, about whether it's nothing, or whether it's really something - - - big.

I would love to hear from all persons, and particularly our scientific gurus, with facts, figures, or perhaps just good old fashioned gut wrenching logic.

I'll be placing a series of informative links and articles for your perusal. Enjoy the quest for galactic truth.