2012 End Of The World

December 21, 2011 by staff 

2012 End Of The World2012 End Of The World, The predictions of doom and gloom have been coming quickly for some time. Hollywood blockbusters, History Channel documentaries, and a plethora of websites and books of all tell us of dire things that might happen on December 21, 2012.

The day is considered astrologically significant for two reasons. First, it is the winter solstice when the sun appears at its lowest point in the southern sky. The solar nadir is it expected to align the Earth and Sun with the center of the Milky Way galaxy. It also roughly coincides with the solar maximum — a period of peak activity on the sun.

Second, it is the most popular and accepted date for the end of the Mayan Long Count calendar. Many people involved in astrology, numerology, and other such practices believe that the Maya were possessed of a secret knowledge that foretold when the end times would be.

Of course, astronomers explain that all this is nonsense.

First, there is no secret cosmic energy which radiates any differently between the center of the galaxy, the Sun and Earth, when they appear to be in some sort of alignment. In fact, the very alignment itself is an optical illusion caused by the orientation of the planet, (axial tilt) and the ultra-slow wobble of the Earth on its axis, a phenomenon known as “procession.”

As for the solar maximum, the Sun appears to have a natural 11 year cycle of activity during which sunspots and solar flares become common, then virtually nonexistent.

Interestingly, the Sun’s average activity is now substantially less than what scientists believe it has been in the past. Some even believe that the sun is experiencing what is known as a “minimum” in its cycles. Such minimums have happened before, and they may last decades or even hundreds of years. They are perfectly natural. So in 2012, the Sun isn’t even expected to be as active as it has been in decades past; no need to worry about solar flares engulfing the Earth (they cannot do so anyway–Earth is much too far away).

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