Friday, December 21, 2012

its the end of the world, as we know it...

According to various interpretations of the Maya's all encompassing calendar, it supposedly ends today, which many speculate to mean that the world is coming to an end. Although it is an interesting theory, i'm not buying it. 

[[ our replica of the maya calendar. ]]

I just have a hard time believing that all of the sudden the earth is going to spontaneously explode with every natural disaster occurring in the same place at the same time. It is too much like all apocalyptic movies where a family is split apart trying to get to the secret government bunker underground, but luckily someone always happens to know a pilot with a fueled up plane, and John Cusack or Denis Quaid ("Denis Quaid is here!") save the day after all. (If you need an example, just watch the 2012 or Deep Impact movie trailers, or throw in a little Dante's Peak, The Day After Tomorrow, and Armageddon and imagine all five movies happening simultaneously).

Or, perhaps you buy in to the theory that aliens are going to reveal themselves, in which the Volgons destroy earth in order to facilitate an intergalactic highway construction project. Well, as far as I can tell, the dolphins haven't left yet, so I think we are going to be alright on that front as well. (See lyrics to "So Long and Thanks for All The Fish" for more context).

[[ don't panic from hitchhikers guide to the galaxy which i referenced above. ]]

I realize that was a ridiculous amount of links and references, but I was having fun, and I couldn't stop myself. Now, on to the real stuff...

Here are some points of interest for those of you who are still convinced that the end is near... (Information as gathered from EarthSky and NASA articles, click on links for full articles and more information). 

What we do know, is that the December 2012 Solstice will occur today at 11:21 (UTC), and no, the planets, as usual, will not be aligned. (source).

Our solar system will not cross a galactic plane (the center line of our galaxies spinning disk of stars). In fact, we are currently moving away from it and are not likely to cross for another 30 million years or so. You can watch a video created by the Morehead Planetarium that demonstrates this. However, earth will cross the galactic equator (an imaginary circle dividing the also imaginary celestial sphere in to two halves for mapping the sky), which is something that happens twice every year. (source 1 / source 2).

A magnetic pole reversal is "a common occurrence that happens gradually over millennia". There is no evidence, in millions of years of geological record, to suggest that any of the doomsday scenarios regarding the magnetic pole reversal are to be taken seriously. (source).

"Nibiru, sometimes called Planet X, is not going to collide with our planet this year - or ever - because it doesn't exist." - Bruce McClure, EarthSky (source).

According to Professor David Stuart, an archaeologist and expert on the ancient Maya at the University of Texas at Austin, neither the Maya, or their calendar, ever predicted the end of the world. The Maya's created a series of calendars to track time for various things, such as agricultural and cultural events. The 'Long Count Calendar' was created to track a cycle of 400 years, (or 360 since it is somewhat disputed), which we have now reached the end of, or in other words the turn of the cycle. According to Stuart, this cycle is practically endless based on their ancient structure system and will continue on. (source).

Just remember, Don't Panic! 
...And no matter what, always make sure you have your towel.