Understanding Eclipses - Cosmic Eclipse
What is a Cosmic Eclipse?
A cosmic eclipse can actually be any galactic body casting a shadow on its neighbor when it is in a line between a light source and the neighboring body that will be in its shadow.
The definition of an eclipse (from Dictionary.com):
Any obscuration of light
In order to define a "cosmic eclipse", we must indicate the specific thing that will be obscured. We must have three things: a light source; an interfering body and something to obscure.
So a cosmic eclipse might involve our Earth; plus an interfering body and light source, the sun; plus something for the Sun to eclipse or obscure, the galactic center of the Milky Way galaxy.
Oddly enough, this very eclipse will happen on the Winter Solstice of December 21, 2012.
The Mayan Apocalypse
Well, it isn't really an "apocalypse" and it isn't related solely to the Mayans. The Mayans simply recorded this date on some rocks and pages of their books. It proves that the Mayans knew about "precession" way back in ancient times. It belongs in their calendar system, not in their fanciful prophecies.
The Solar system exhibits something called "precession". All this means is that the Earth, and any other cosmic body, wobbles and follows an elliptical path during its travels. Because the Earth doesn't follow a perfectly circular orbit or some sort of straight up and down tilting phenomena, we call this behavior "seasonal change", or "precession".
The Mayans calculated this precession relative to the galactic center of the Milky Way. So, every few thousand years, our sun eclipses the galactic plane, or center from the Earth's view. There is really nothing mystical about it, though many cultures believe it to be a magic celestial event.
Looking at the Galactic Center on Its Edge
I survived the Mayan Apocalypse!
Eclipsing the Galactic Center
Can you imagine primitive people believing that the Earth was the center of the universe? At one time, that is how they thought of the Earth. Now we know that the universe is unimaginably vast. We cannot actually see much beyond our own galaxy, and truly we cannot see very much beyond our own solar system.
As you can see, there is a whole lot of eclipsing going on in the universe! The Mayans and other astronomers have picked out certain reference points. These points are used to calculate the passage of what we call "time". Time is relative to who, or what, is doing the observing.
Certain eclipses make valuable marking points for time calculations. The Mayans and other astronomers can calculate the amount of time between specific eclipses. This December 21, 2012 is going to be one of those points.
It doesn't matter if the Sun actually eclipses the galactic center at all. In fact, this is a pretty fanciful description of what is actually happening. The Sun, Earth and Galactic "center plane" are simply lining up as they do in this particular type of eclipse that occurs naturally every 5,125.36 of our Earth years. That's it in a nutshell. Whether or not, this will bring about some mythical "change" or not is strictly conjecture.
Find Out the Real Truth!
Don't Spread Rumors About the Mayan Apocalypse!
Tell your family and friends that the "End of the World" prophecy is just a rumor. There is no scientific evidence that the alignment of the Earth, Sun and Milky Way center will cause a global catastrophe.
It's just another one of those cosmic events that naturally occur in our universe. It is a way to mark the passage of time.
It may be a beautiful, heavenly sight, but that is all it will be. So party if you must, but don't misunderstand the facts.
December 21, 2012
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© 2012 Austinstar
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