ANSWERS: 5
  • 1) "The Cardiff team found that we pass through the galactic plane every 35 to 40 million years, increasing the chances of a comet collision tenfold. Evidence from craters on Earth also suggests we suffer more collisions approximately 36 million years. Professor William Napier, of the Cardiff Centre for Astrobiology, said: “It’s a beautiful match between what we see on the ground and what is expected from the galactic record.” The periods of comet bombardment also coincide with mass extinctions, such as that of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Our present position in the galaxy suggests we are now very close to another such period." Source and further information: http://www.physorg.com/news128945361.html 2) "No, the Earth and solar system will not pass through the galactic plane on December 21, 2012! Astronomers believe the Earth and solar system reside north of the plane of our Milky Way galaxy. It is not known with precision how far north we are of the galactic plane, but estimates place us at a few to several dozen light-years. What's more, the solar system is going northward of the galactic plane as we speak at the rate of 1.5 astronomical units per year. In about 15 million years, we're expected to be farthest north of the galactic plane, perhaps to reach a peak of 230 million [years]. After that, we'll start to plunge southward toward the galactic plane. In short, we won't be crossing the galactic plane in 2012 or anytime soon! As the solar system revolves around the center of the Milky Way galaxy in a period of roughly 230 million years, it does bob up and down through the galactic plane in periods of roughly 35 million years. But none of this has any bearing on what is to happen on December 21, 2012." Source and further information: http://www.idialstars.com/egp.htm 3) Question: "What is happening is that the solar system is right now moving through the galactic plane. The solar system was on the so-called north side of the Milky Way (our home galaxy) galactic plane (i.e. the galaxy's "equator") and in a decade of two it will be on the "south" side of the plane. What happens on the winter solstice (21st) of 2012 is that the noonday sun will exactly conjunct with the crossing point of the sun's ecliptic with the galactic plane, while also very nearly conjuncting with the exact center point of the Milky Way galaxy (located in Saggitarius A). Of course this is because the solar system's plane is not parallel to the galactic plane, but is at an angle (which is why the Milky Way appears "sideways" in our sky, instead of hovering over the equator, which is what it would do if the solar and galactic planes where not only parallel, but if the solar system orbited the galaxy in the galactic plane, which most stars do). Some scientists think our solar system was once part of a smaller galaxy that was swallowed by the larger Milky Way" Answer: "There seems to be several pieces of misunderstanding and misinformation that you have picked up from various woo sources. Some writers and lecturers will do anything for a buck, and gladly take advantage of eager believers. Interpretation of the Mayan calendar has spawned a bunch of false prophets. Here is a link to a debunking: http://www.giagia.co.uk/?p=249 The first misunderstanding is related to the difference between the central galactic plane and planes parallel to it such as the galactic equator of our sky. The galactic equator intersects the ecliptic (Earth’s orbital plane) close to celestial longitudes 90° and 270° and did so precisely nearly ten years ago. In our era the Sun crosses the galactic equator close to longitude 270° every year near the time of the winter solstice, not just in 2012. The galactic center will reach longitude 270° in about 800 years. Regarding an actual central galactic plane, there are several candidates of various stellar densities. It will be 120 million years before we again pass through the densest zone. It will be 7 million years before we pass through one of the less dense candidates, although we’re on the fringe right now. Here's a link to more on that: http://www.wmnh.com/wmgsche.htm The notion that the solar system originated in a smaller galaxy is due to an internet source that presented a mangled interpretation of scientific research. Below is a link to a debunking of that misinformation by astronomer Phil Platt who hosts badastronomy.com: http://www.badastronomy.com/bablog/2007/06/27/is-the-sun-from-another-galaxy/ " Source and further information: http://cs.astronomy.com/asycs/forums/t/31188.aspx
  • I have seen estimates ranging from 23 to 30 million years. It is agreed however that we are still moving away from it.
  • Hopefully it'll get there before the Plane takes off. :p It's my understanding that our solar system is already traveling through space, so why does it have to bother catching a plane?
  • Been there, done that.
  • ...not dec 21 2012

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