Debunking Doomsday 2012: Planetary Alignment Theory
To start, let’s go over just what this theory entails, in case this is the first you’re hearing about it. Some people claim that on Dec. 21st, 2012 all of the 8 planets in our solar system are going to fall in line with each other. Some claim that this is going to cause a catastrophic event that will wipe out all life on the Earth. The way all life will be wiped out is unclear to me, as only one of the theories I have seen would have anything to do with such an alignment. The one that I did see, said something about how Earth would have the gravitational forces of the supermassive Black Hole that is located at the center of our galaxy (the Milky Way), the Sun and the planets Mercury and Venus pulling on one side of the Earth, and the gravitational forces of Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune (four of these planets being gas giants that are the largest planets in our system) pulling on the other side of the Earth, then the Earth would be ripped apart. This is, of course, inaccurate.It does have a nice sciencey ring to it though, huh? This is probably why pseudo/anti-science claims, such as these, tend to get so much traction. It SOUNDS all sciencey, but many people don’t bother to look the facts up. *NOTE* That theory was the best I’ve heard about how a planetary alignment would destroy Earth… it still isn’t true.
I know it’s not true. Simply Googling around to some credible sites on the web will yield that result. I’ve stated before that I am, by no means, a scientist. I do have access to the science that was done by scientists, however, and a reasonable amount of faculties to be able to decipher between good and bad info. There are, actually, a couple of reasons why I know this theory of a planetary alignment pulling the Earth apart (or any of the other theories, for that matter) is false. One of the reasons is a common sense reason and the other is all sciencey.
The solar system formed over 4.5 billion years ago. Our solar system has seen some changes since then, but the solar system, in its current state, has existed for ~4 billion years. Doesn’t it stand to reason that this sort of alignment has probably happened in the past? Sure, alignments such as these (also referred to as conjunctions) are fairly rare, but it makes good sense that these sorts of things have happened before. That being the case, isn’t Earth still here? Once you conclude that you are on the planet Earth and that the Earth has not been destroyed by some sort of planetary conjunction that happened millions of years ago, it is fairly safe to assume that Earth would be fine if it were to happen again.
We observe planets on a regular basis. By watching a planet go through part of its orbit and seeing what the gravitational effects of other gravitational sources in the solar system may be on that planet, you can, with a great deal of accuracy, predict the future orbit of those stellar bodies. Well… Scientists can, anyway. I’ve done a little bit of fact checking on the topic of planetary conjunctions and, according to credible websites that I’ve been perusing and some renderings by a couple of different iPad apps, this planetary conjunction theory gets WAY more interesting! As it turns out, there’s not going to be an alignment of ANY of the planets of our solar system that day! There will be an alignment between the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy, our Sun and Earth that day, however… Because that happens every Dec. 21, 2012! That the day of the winter solstice… It happens every year! That same exact alignment has actually occurred over 4 billion times and nothing has happened each time! Do you honestly think that it would be different this time just because the “Mayans said so”? That argument sounds a little too much like religion for my liking.
This blog post has plenty of science backing it, since the article is based on scientific findings. I encourage you to do the research for yourself with credible sources. I am not trying to get my readers to blindly follow anything I say. The science is out there, look it up if you choose. Here’s the Question of the Day: Are you afraid that the world may actually end on Dec. 21, 2012? If so, how will it end?
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Posted on December 10, 2012, in Doomsday2012, Geek, iOS Apps, iPad, My Nerdography, Nerd, Science, Space and tagged 2012, albany, alignment, alloy matt, armageddon, blogger, corvallis, debunking, domsday, end of the world, geek, lebanon, matt jacobs, my nerdography, myan prophecy, myths, nasa, nerd, planetary, science, space. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.