2012: Shadow of the Dark Rift

Dec 22, 2011 By Francis Reddy
Thick dust clouds block our night-time view of the Milky Way, creating what is sometimes called the Dark Rift. The fact that -- from the viewpoint of Earth -- the sun aligns with these clouds, or the galactic center, near the winter solstice is no cause for concern. Credit: A. Fujii

(PhysOrg.com) -- One of the most bizarre theories about 2012 has built up with very little attention to facts. This idea holds that a cosmic alignment of the sun, Earth, the center of our galaxy -- or perhaps the galaxy's thick dust clouds -- on the winter solstice could for some unknown reason lead to destruction. Such alignments can occur but these are a regular occurrence and can cause no harm (and, indeed, will not even be at its closest alignment during the 2012 solstice.)

The details are as follows: Viewed far from city lights, a glowing path called the Milky Way can be seen arching across the starry sky. This path is formed from the light of millions of stars we cannot see individually. It coincides with the mid plane of our galaxy, which is why our galaxy is also named the Milky Way.

Thick dust clouds also populate the galaxy. And while can see them clearly, our eyes detect these dark clouds only as irregular patches where they dim or block the Milky Way's faint glow. The most prominent dark lane stretches from the constellations Cygnus to Sagittarius and is often called the Great Rift, sometimes the Dark Rift.

Another impressive feature of our galaxy lies unseen in Sagittarius: the galactic center, about 28,000 light-years away, which hosts a black hole weighing some four million times the sun's mass.

The claim for 2012 links these two pieces of astronomical fact with a third -- the position of the sun near the galactic center on Dec. 21, the winter solstice for the -- to produce something that makes no astronomical sense at all.

As Earth makes its way around the sun, the sun appears to move against the background stars, which is why the visible constellations slowly change with the seasons. On Dec. 21, 2012, the sun will pass about 6.6 degrees north of the galactic center -- that's a distance that looks to the eye to be about 13 times the full moon's apparent size -- and it's actually closer a couple of days earlier. There are different claims about why this bodes us ill, but they boil down to the coincidence of the solstice with the sun entering the Dark Rift somehow portending disaster or the mistaken notion that the sun and Earth becoming aligned with the black hole in the galactic center allows some kind of massive gravitational pull on Earth.

The first strike against this theory is that the solstice itself does not correlate to any movements of the stars or anything in the universe beyond Earth. It just happens to be the day that Earth's North Pole is tipped farthest from the sun.

Second, Earth is not within range of strong gravitational effects from the black hole at the center of the galaxy since gravitational effects decrease exponentially the farther away one gets. Earth is 93 million miles from the sun and 165 quadrillion miles from the Milky Way's black hole. The sun and the moon (a smaller mass, but much closer) are by far the most dominant gravitational forces on Earth. Throughout the course of the year, our distance from the Milky Way's black hole changes by about one part in 900 million – not nearly enough to cause a real change in gravity's pull. Moreover, we're actually nearest to the in the summer, not at the .

Third, the appears to enter the part of the sky occupied by the Dark Rift every year at the same time, and its arrival there in Dec. 2012 portends precisely nothing.

Enjoy the solstice, by all means, and don't let the Dark Rift, alignments, solar flares, magnetic field reversals, potential impacts or alleged Maya end-of-the-world predictions get in the way.

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Cave_Man
1.5 / 5 (22) Dec 22, 2011
Way to minimize the condescension......

I don't know anyone who believes some alignment bullcrap about the sun and dust clouds what everyone believes is that we will pass through a thin disc of intense 'gravity' since the BH at MW center is spinning so incredibly fast. Thats why galaxies form disc shapes because of the spinning black hole, and why globular clusters are simply spherical.

So as our entire solar system orbits the galactic center we bob up and down through the disc every so many years, there are scientists who believe that this is what causes magnetic pole flips. According to most scientists we are entering this thin disc now or very soon and it could take up to a decade to pass through it and we have NO IDEA what it will do and what the consequences are.
Nanobanano
3.2 / 5 (9) Dec 22, 2011
It's just a galactic calendar. It doesn't portend the end of the universe.

It was probably made over several generations of precise "nake eye" observations, and then just extrapolated forward.

Seeing as how archeologists discovered ancient cities like Puma Punku and Gobekli Tepe, which is 12,000 years old, it's possible the Mayans got this technology handed down to them somehow. 12,000 years ago is nearly half of an entire precession cycle.

They didn't have a lot of technology or entertainment or video games to occupy their time, and since stars tied into their religion, give some religous fanatics endless free time and they are bound to come up with something else to worship and track day after day, year after year.

Considering the calculation was probably done over several generations, and again using only naked eye observations, being off by only a day or two in a prediction thousand(s) of years ahead of time is pretty impressive.
Nanobanano
1.7 / 5 (9) Dec 22, 2011
Galaxies are shaped like a disc because the disk shape is actually the "calm" side of the black hole.

The polar jets are the "business end" of the black hole, and end up blowing away the polar regions of the galaxy over eons of time.

We have entire dwarf galaxies passing through the milky way, or being eaten by it, and yet it somehow manages not to affect our planet in any measurable way.

This implies the distances involved are just so great that no amount of energy or radiation even matters over "observable" time scales. After all, it takes about 30 years for one of these dwarf galaxies to move one light year, and it takes thousands to tens of thousands of years for any gravitational changes to propagate and reach us here on earth. Yet those are much bigger events than a simple alignment involving little net change in distance...
sethxdeath
4.5 / 5 (17) Dec 22, 2011
Cave_Man, I've never heard anyone who believes the nonsense you're describing. How accommodating of you to provide references and evidence to support your claims, by the way.
_nigmatic10
5 / 5 (12) Dec 22, 2011
Make no mistake, there is a correlation between the alignment of celestial bodies and the alignment of large masses of intellectually challenged creatures. When such phenomenon occur , hide your sanity away, and any Elvis statues.

In all honesty, these types of events could provoke what is termed by many among law enforcement as a full moon effect.
avatar42
5 / 5 (17) Dec 22, 2011
Dec 20 2012 is on a Thursday and Douglas Adams readers know the Earth gets destroyed on a Thursday to make way for a hyperspace by-pass. And it is my 55th birthday. Coincidence? ;-)
Vendicar_Decarian
4.1 / 5 (14) Dec 22, 2011
Cave Man... Uuahh Pah Gruh Stitk Thump thump thump. Grrrrrrr
MorituriMax
4 / 5 (5) Dec 22, 2011
Caveman grunted
Way to minimize the condescension......

You sure picked an accurate name.
rubberman
3.5 / 5 (11) Dec 22, 2011
Cave Man... Uuahh Pah Gruh Stitk Thump thump thump. Grrrrrrr


Breaking this down:

Was that one more or less bizarre than "consensus scientific conclusions" fabricated in the UN and Washington, DC?= Uuahh

a.) CO2-induced global warming [1]? = Pah

b.) Earth's heat source - the Sun - is steady? = Gruh

c.) Standard solar model of Sun made of hydrogen?= Stitk

d.) Solar neutrinos from H-fusion oscillate away?= thump

e.) Collapse of H-cloud made the Solar System [2]?= thump

f.) Big Bang made hydrogen (H) from nothing?= thump

References:

1. "Deep roots of the global climate scandal(1971-2011)"=Grrr

Birds of a feather....
Bitflux
4.7 / 5 (13) Dec 22, 2011
You know guys, i know of people that believe in a man that supposedly walked on water, turned water to wine and spontaniously healed people some 2000 years ago...
Do you know how many people that believe in THAT bullshit?

superstition all of it.
350
3.7 / 5 (13) Dec 22, 2011
I have determined that Omatard (Child Molestor) is just getting links from physorg to his articles to boost the google search engine ranking of his stuff. Nice but no one cares what you have to say, you might as well just post a link every time you come to an article and leave it at that so at least we can ignore you without scrolling further down.
GuruShabu
1 / 5 (3) Dec 22, 2011
Global warming is the culprit!
that_guy
4.6 / 5 (10) Dec 22, 2011
One of the most bizarre theories was built up with very little attention to facts.


Was that one more or less bizarre than "consensus scientific conclusions" fabricated in the UN and Washington, DC?
...
References:

1. "Deep roots of the global climate scandal (1971-2011)"

http://dl.dropbox...oots.pdf

I can't fathom how this comment has the slightest relation to the article or conversation in question.

I reported it, but they really should just suspend his account for excessive abuse of the commenting system to advertise rather than intellectually(Or even unintellectually) discuss the articles.
Shootist
2 / 5 (10) Dec 22, 2011
You know guys, i know of people that believe in a man that supposedly walked on water, turned water to wine and spontaniously healed people some 2000 years ago...
Do you know how many people that believe in THAT bullshit?

superstition all of it.


Why do you troll in here with this?
Shootist
2.5 / 5 (11) Dec 22, 2011
I have determined that Omatard (Child Molestor) is just getting links from physorg to his articles to boost the google search engine ranking of his stuff. Nice but no one cares what you have to say, you might as well just post a link every time you come to an article and leave it at that so at least we can ignore you without scrolling further down.


And I don't need you to remind me of the accusations against Oliver. It has no bearing on what is going on here.
dan42day
3.3 / 5 (6) Dec 23, 2011
The world as we know it will end for each of us when we die. It will make little difference to any of us personally if the other six billion happen to die at the same time.
jsdarkdestruction
3.9 / 5 (8) Dec 23, 2011

And I don't need you to remind me of the accusations against Oliver. It has no bearing on what is going on here.

"consensus scientific conclusions" fabricated in the UN and Washington, DC?
considering he made a post in a completely unrelated article to smear other scientists I believe it is important to show olivers credibility. See the way it effects that is b/c oliver cant back anything up he says and just links to the stuff the question was about again. with the obvious contradictions of different parts of his theories he cant provide anything other than his own work we have all read and his "it is because i say it is." handwaving. so we have to look at olivers integrity and honesty to judge if he's a trustworthy man. he lied for years about his sexual abusing of his children while pretending to be an honest upright citizen. why should we trust anything he says? you may have known about olivers integrity/honesty but not everyone does, new members deserve to know.
Cave_Man
1.9 / 5 (10) Dec 23, 2011
Cave_Man, I've never heard anyone who believes the nonsense you're describing....

Yeah, because im making a serious argument which i plan to publicize on youtube making me look like a complete nutcase
(which is prob what u heard), and not just making a comment on a presumptuous article.

My argument is only that to assume you know what the Mayans were referring to in terms of a "Dark rift" is a good way to get something 100% wrong. The mayan prophecy, from what I know, predicts that on the 13,000th year of their long count calendar the Dark rift will once again appear and usher in changes on a global scale.

It seems wildly ignorant to assume that they were referring to something that happens twice a year, they would have obviously been able to see for themselves. So why the prophecy on the 13,000th year?

Nobody knows for sure. It could be just another year and then in 2013 an asteroid hits, nobody knows and to claim you do or claim everything will be fine is asking for it
Cave_Man
2.1 / 5 (10) Dec 23, 2011
If anyone ever digs up a mayan tome called "Mayan Knowledge for Dummy's" I will gladly concede on all points to whatever the facts may be.

But Mayan Civilization is gone, there are things we will never recover from that ancient world and to assume we have a certain percent of the picture is not only not provable but in the lower percentile would be exponentially uncertain.

Anyways if anyone is still reading, which is unlikely, I have a Mayan story.
I found several old clay vessels covered with mayan pictographs, we did some research and they are around maybe one thousand years old. So we copied down the pictographs and set to work researching and there really is a huge amount of missing information on the mayans, pictographs are an EXTREMELY complex way of writing. Each picture could potential mean a huge amount of information, most of which died with the mayans who lived at the time of the "writing" on these vessels.

Sorry it's not a story about aliens or the end'o'days. Hehe.
Cave_Man
2.2 / 5 (10) Dec 23, 2011
Make no mistake, there is a correlation between the alignment of celestial bodies and the alignment of large masses of intellectually challenged creatures. When such phenomenon occur , hide your sanity away, and any Elvis statues.

In all honesty, these types of events could provoke what is termed by many among law enforcement as a full moon effect.


I totally agree, but what if something completely harmless were to pass by our solar neighborhood and it were visible to the masses. It would be so ironic that we might start to do ourselves in because we panicked. There's another lesson from Douglas Adams, RIP you brilliant bastard.
Callippo
2.1 / 5 (10) Dec 23, 2011
Actually it's quite interesting theory. Recently we disputed here, how the cold dark matter effect arises from shielding effect of gravity shielding with all visible matter inside of Universe. As I explained many times here, in my theory the global warming results from accelerated rate of decay of radioactive elements inside of oceans and Earth mantle. And this radioactive decay should be accelerated with dark matter. The astrologers noted already, the conjunctions of planets are followed with natural catastrophes and increased mental lability of human population leading into war conflicts. During solar eclipses a various gravitational anomalies were observed (Allais effect). Even the full moon is claimed to be responsible for increased number of suicides or murders (the increased density of vacuum fluctuations could influent the weak neuron waves too). These things definitely deserve a more systematic research. Apparently we have still a lotta things to understand, confirm or refuse.
Callippo
1.5 / 5 (8) Dec 23, 2011
We have many indicia, the solar system is about to enter the large cloud of interstellar gas. http://news.softp...00.shtml This cloud can be full of dark matter, the only problem is, which is the origin of it. We have many theories, one of them is, the solar system is entering the galactic plane. The problem of this theory is, we shouldn't face so fast gradient of dark matter here. But the shielding of galactic core with dense cloud of matter could provide such a gradient. Another theory considered the invisible brown dwarf, encircling the Sun along extremely eccentric path. Although some evidence of such object inside of Oort cloud was reported, we still have no direct confirmation of it (of course, the results of WISE spaceprobe can be censored). The problem is, the contemporary physics is in crisis and it tends to ignore if not deny such an inconclusive phenomena completely.
Callippo
1.5 / 5 (8) Dec 23, 2011
In theory of astronomer LaViolette the center of Milky Way generates regular plumes in 10.000 years period, which coincide with Milankovitch climatic cycles and the traces of which can be found with radioactive isotopes inside of Antarctic snow layers.
http://aetherwave...ves.html Recently astronomers observed pair of these plumes on the sky, so I considered, the most probable source of dark matter comes from there. The problem always arises, when we have more than single explanation available. At any case, the mainstream physics should start to study not only transverse wave spreading, but the spreading (shielding) of longitudinal waves of vacuum too. These waves are essentially gravitational waves and they should manifest with changes of intensity of CMBR noise. We don't follow the intensity of this noise because of lack of both theory, both proper reference standard.
Callippo
1.5 / 5 (8) Dec 23, 2011
There are another effects, which CAN be attributed to shielding of large amount of matter - the pyramid effect, which is generally labeled as a pseudoscience. But the shape of pyramids is conspicuously similar to the retroreflector geometry, the purpose of which is to focus or reflect some radiation coming from center of Earth or from outside Universe.

http://en.wikiped...id_power

The effect of alleged so-called fifth force are mostly attributed to the gravity shielding with objects of different neutron/proton ratio.
http://en.wikiped...th_force
The neutrons are similar to neutrinos in many aspects, they're behaving like weak bubbles of aether, during their decay into stable protons a gravitational wave in form of neutrino escapes (this decay is somewhat similar to the popping of reverse bubbles). The materials with higher relative concentration of neutrons could therefore affect the spreading of dark matter in different way, than the proton rich materials.
Callippo
1.4 / 5 (10) Dec 23, 2011
So why the prophecy on the 13,000th year?
In 1983 Paul LaViolette presented evidence that galactic core explosions actually occur about every 13,000 - 26,000 years for major outbursts and more frequently for lesser events. The emitted cosmic rays escape from the core virtually unimpeded. As they travel radially outward through the Galaxy, they form a spherical shell that advances at a velocity approaching the speed of light.

At any case, the Mayan prophecy can be relevant to reality only if we find sufficiently periodic phenomena. The shielding of solar system with Dark Rift doesn't appear like such a phenomena, because the solar system is currently 530 parsecs from the central plane of the galactic disc and oscillates up and down relative to the galactic plane approximately 2.7 times per orbit which takes 225 - 250 million years. It could explain some extinctions periods, but not galactic plumes.
Crazy_council
3 / 5 (6) Dec 24, 2011
Oliver, you used to put up some interesting arguments, unbelevable but at least interesting. Now you just seem to troll any article that has a disputable theory.

Without touching on your past ( pun intended ), your arguments are getting int he way of other peoples, just as loony but ulitmatly more interesting takes on the universe.

using the ballance of probabilitys, your arguments are seriosly flawed and you dont seem to want to discuse other peoples takes on what your saying. You just past links to irrelevent articles.

Saying that, using the ballance of probabilitys, its unlikley that all your kids were liying,

George UK,
gwrede
3.4 / 5 (7) Dec 24, 2011
Oliver, you used to put up some interesting arguments

Oh, cut the old man some slack. At least he is honest in his posts (as in, he writes what he really thinks).

The animals and sub-humans that lately have occupied these message chains are much worse. The dishonesty, pretense, sheer lack of brain cells, and the juvenile rivalry are much more than any scientifically minded website should have to endure.
Caliban
1 / 5 (1) Dec 24, 2011

The only consideration that seems relevant is the fact that the concentration of matter is considerably greater in the plane of the galaxy, which would tend to increase the chances of "interaction" between it and the Solar System as we drift through from above or below.

It is impossible to predict whether or not some type of collision or disruptive near-miss event will occur. As for a jet being emitted from the core --in our direction, and just as the Solar System passes through the galactic plane-- that's some extremely anthropocentric speculation, to say the least.

As far as the Mayan calendar connection --who knows? But this bit of news may be of interest to a few of you:

http://www.rawsto...urce=Raw Story Daily Update&utm_campaign=fd0e30db9f-12_22_1112_22_2011&utm_medium=email

Quite a shocker!

Callippo
1 / 5 (4) Dec 24, 2011
When we are talking about end of world - what does it mean?
http://sohowww.na...1024.jpg
MorituriMax
1 / 5 (2) Dec 25, 2011
When we are talking about end of world - what does it mean?
crazy shit from people with wayyyy too much time on their hand. If the Universe were this fuhckeeng looneytunes, we ( the universe ) would have ceased to exist a few billion years ago.
hcl
2.8 / 5 (4) Dec 27, 2011
Oliver, you used to put up some interesting arguments, unbelevable but at least interesting.

...
Saying that, using the ballance of probabilitys, its unlikley that all your kids were liying


This is off-topic, of course, but I find it creepy Oliver K. Manuel's website features a mainpage picture of him leering at the body of a young, apparently unsuspecting physics student of his (according to the caption.)

I thought that was extremely creepy even before I heard of the child molestation charges.
typicalguy
5 / 5 (2) Dec 27, 2011
There are hundreds of billions of stars in the galaxy. There's constantly stars being aligned with everything possible. Nothing is going to happen in 2012 from this. Talk about the most Earth-centric nonsense. The Earth isn't special. Nothing is going to happen out of the ordinary.

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