reply to post by earthbear13
The Galactic Alignment is the alignment of the December solstice sun with the Galactic equator. This alignment occurs as a result of the precession of
Precession is caused by the earth wobbling very slowly on its axis and shifts the position of the equinoxes and solstices one degree every 71.5 years.
Because the sun is one-half of a degree wide, it will take the December solstice sun 36 years to precess through the Galactic equator (see diagram
The precise alignment of the solstice point (the precise center-point of the body of the sun as viewed from earth) with the Galactic equator was
calculated to occur in 1998 (Jean Meeus, Mathematical Astronomy Morsels, 1997).
Thus, the Galactic Alignment "zone" is 1998 +/- 18 years = 1980 - 2016. This is "era-2012."
This Galactic Alignment occurs only once every 26,000 years, and was what the ancient Maya were pointing to with the 2012 end-date of their Long Count
These are the astronomical facts of the matter. From a larger perspective, we can visualize the 2012 Galactic Alignment in the following way:
Position A is where the December solstice sun was in relation to the Milky Way some 3,000 years ago
Position B is 1,500 years ago
Position C is "era-2012", when the December solstice sun has converged, as a result of the precession of the equinoxes, with the exact center-line
of the Milky Way (the Galactic equator)
Notice that the place of alignment is where the 'nuclear bulge' of the Galactic Center is located. It is my hope that the these definitions will
help to standardize the terminology so we can clearly discuss the rare precessional alignment that culminates in era-2012.
The ecliptic: The path followed by the sun, moon, and planets. It is the plane of our solar system. The ecliptic encircles the earth and is divided
into twelve constellations, or zodiac signs.
The Milky Way: The bright band of star that our solar system belongs to. It encircles the earth and is wider in the region of Sagittarius because that
is where the 'nuclear bulge" of the Milky Way's center is located (our Milky Way is saucer shaped).
The Galactic equator: The precise mid-line running down the Milky Way. Analogous to the earth's equator, it divides the galaxy into two hemispheres,
The Dark Rift in the Milky Way: A feature caused by interstellar dust that runs along the Milky Way from the Galactic Center northward past the
constellation of Aquila.
The December solstice sun: The sun, on the December solstice. It is one-half of a degree wide.
The December solstice point: The precise midpoint of the sun, on the December solstice.
The Precession of the equinoxes: The earth wobbles very slowly on its axis and this causes the position of the equinox to shift backwards, or precess,
through the signs of the ecliptic at the rate of one degree every 71.5 years. The full precessional wobble is complete in roughly 25,800 years.
The vernal equinox point is defined by the intersection of the ecliptic and the celestial equator.
The Celestial Equator: The earth's equator projected into the stars. It is the plane of the earth's rotation