Debunking Doomsday 2012: The Solstice Conjunction

This is the spiral galaxy ESO 498-G5 that is over 100 million light years away [Image: ESA/Hubble & NASA]

This is the spiral galaxy ESO 498-G5 that is over 100 million light years away [Image: ESA/Hubble & NASA]

I’m not sure if there is an official name for this theory other than “DOOM!” but I’m calling it the Solstice Conjunction theory, for reasons that will be apparent soon. This theory is similar to the Planetary Alignment theory that I posted last week. They are similar simply because there is an alignment (also known as a conjunction) that happens in both of the theories. This alignment doesn’t involve any other planets, it is an alignment of the Earth, Sun and the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. From what I’m reading on several sites and blogs, this myth is more highly revered by the doomunity than is the Planetary Alignment myth, which is interesting considering the Planetary Alignment theory has more chutzpah than this one. It is far more rare, as well, and has that sciencey sounding “gravitationally pulling apart the Earth” thing. Way more fun than the Solstice Conjunction. #Bleh

Those of you that know what the Solstice Conjunction is and what it means may notice that I am burying the lead here. That this whole article is virtually useless if I can just get to the fact about what exactly the conjunction is. I know… I’m doing it on purpose. I want to explore the myth a bit and point out the numerous flaws in the theory before I give away the big bit that puts the proverbial “nail in the coffin” of the Solstice Conjunction theory. Then again, if you already know, then most of this article will not be news to you at all.

llustration of solar wind impact on Earth's magnetosphere Copyright: NASA

llustration of solar wind impact on Earth’s magnetosphere Copyright: NASA

I want to state that after tons of reading on the subject, I still am not sure what this conjunction is supposed to do to our  planet and/or species. Some places say it is going to cause a polar reverse here on Earth, which is just ridiculous if you know what the poles are and how they work. I spoke at length about the Earth’s magnetosphere in a previous post about Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) a few weeks ago, but will re-explore it here.

The Earth has an invisible, magnetic sheath that protects our planet and the life forms that coexist upon it from the solar winds, flares and coronal mass ejections that constantly emanate from our host star. This exists, in simplified form, due to the Earth’s molten metal core churning beneath our feet and causing a rotation of electromagnetic energy in a kind of dynamo effect. The magnetosphere is what causes auroras in the north pole. Those auroras are actually our magnetosphere absorbing the Sun’s particles and converting them into visible light energy. That’s not quite right, but close enough for the needs of this article. The point of the matter is, what effect would a conjunction have on our magnetosphere? To effect that you would need to either overpower the magnetosphere with enough coronal mass ejections or perhaps a gamma ray burst from a supernova, of which there are none close enough to us to have any effect. Another way to destroy it would be to stop the spin of the Earth’s core, stopping that dynamo effect. Of course, doing that would be most easily accomplished by stopping the spin of the Earth altogether. Anything that could exert enough force on the planet to stop its spin would end up taking us out before the lack of magnetosphere did. I’m not saying it’s impossible, I’m saying that if such a thing were going to happen, the likelihood of it happening any day is just as likely as it happening on December 21, 2012.

Dust Disk Around a Black Hole in Galaxy NGC 7052

Dust disc around black hole in galaxy NGC 7052 [Credit: Roeland P. van der Marel (STScI), Frank C. van den Bosch (Univ. of Washington), and NASA.]

Another version of the theory says that the gravitational forces of the Sun, combined with the same forces of the supermassive black hole is sure to pull Earth off of its orbital plane and drifting us either away from the Sun, forever to roam the cosmos as a rogue planet, or toward the Sun and perhaps into the Sun. Let’s debunk both of these simultaneously by discussing what the gravitational effects of that supermassive black hole are. Due to its distance from us, it is difficult to observe the black hole. There are people working on it, however. (Read This article if you want to help map the Milky Way) The effects of the black hole on us, due to the fact that the distance between us and the black hole is ~27,000 light years (~270 trillion km), are fewer than the effect that our Moon has on us. Sure, its pull is enough to keep our solar system in a stable orbit around it, but that would be the extent of it. Once something is in a stable orbit, it takes a great deal of force to pull it out of that orbit, especially considering the fact that the orbit that the supermassive black hole would attempt to pull us into… Would be the orbit we currently have.

Earlier, I mentioned that I was burying the lead on the biggest piece of evidence against anything strange happening due to the Solstice Conjunction. That biggest piece of evidence is history. The Earth has existed for ~4.5 Billion years. With that in mind, isn’t it entirely possible that this conjunction has occurred in the past? Actually, it has happened, quite regularly. So regularly, in fact,  that it happens every December 21st. The term Solstice Conjunction refers to the conjunction that occurs on the Winter Solstice. Congrats doomsayers! December 21st is the shortest day of the year! #LeGasp

Question time… Which alignment theory sounds cooler to you? Planetary or Solstice?

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About Alloy Matt

Happy Husband | Beardsman | Blogger | Dreamer | Wholigan | Drinker of Coffees | Tweeter of Hashtags | Gamer of Table Tops | Amature Astronomer | Fanboy of Apple

Posted on December 18, 2012, in Doomsday2012, Geek, My Nerdography, Nerd, Space and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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