What is Galactic
Alignment? By John Major Jenkins
It is important to define what the Galactic Alignment is in
precise astronomical terms. (See the Glossary below for
The Galactic Alignment is the alignment of the December
solstice sun with the Galactic equator. This alignment
occurs as a result of the precession of the equinoxes.
Precession is caused by the earth wobbling very slowly on
its axis and shifts the position of the equinoxes and
solstices one degree every 71.5 years. Because the sun is
one-half of a degree wide, it will take the December
solstice sun 36 years to precess through the Galactic
equator (see diagram below).
The precise alignment of the solstice point (the precise
center-point of the body of the sun as viewed from earth)
with the Galactic equator was calculated to occur in 1998
(Jean Meeus, Mathematical Astronomy Morsels, 1997).
Thus, the Galactic Alignment "zone" is 1998 +/- 18 years =
1980 - 2016. This is "era-2012."
This Galactic Alignment occurs only once every 26,000 years,
and was what the ancient Maya were pointing to with the 2012
end-date of their Long Count calendar.
These are the
astronomical facts of the matter. From a larger perspective,
we can visualize the 2012 Galactic Alignment in the
Position A is where the December solstice sun was in
relation to the Milky Way some 3,000 years ago. Position B
is 1,500 years ago. And position C is "era-2012", when the
December solstice sun has converged, as a result of the
precession of the equinoxes, with the exact center-line of
the Milky Way (the Galactic equator). Notice that the place
of alignment is where the 'nuclear bulge' of the Galactic
Center is located.
A long awaiting digital portrayal of precession and galactic
alignments is now available on Nick Fiorenza's web site.
Descriptions of the
process are also there, but it should be noted that Nick
describes what I refer to as "the solstice-galaxy alignment"
with a preference for the equinox as the measuring
reference. Thus, he speaks of the "Holy Cross" of the
equinox axis and the Milky Way. The point is that
"solstice-galaxy alignment" and "equinox-galaxy cross" refer
to the same event.
It is my hope that the these definitions will help to
standardize the terminology so we can clearly discuss the
rare precessional alignment that culminates in era-2012.