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Q: Milky Way Great Rift ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   4 Comments )
Subject: Milky Way Great Rift
Category: Science > Astronomy
Asked by: citizena-ga
List Price: $30.00
Posted: 21 Oct 2005 13:21 PDT
Expires: 20 Nov 2005 12:21 PST
Question ID: 583192
This question parallels my previous one regarding concerns of the
"galactic crossing".Would a researcher please explore the validity or
lack thereof of these claims, which I have summarized:

-In the year 2012, the Sun will have travelled to the edge of a cosmic
"Dust Cloud" in the Milky Wat known as the "Great Rift".
-The Great Rift is a very dense cloud cloud of space dust [blocking]
all the light from the stars and behind it (the implication is that
light to Earth will be affected, as well).
-On 12/21/12 the Sun will be at or on it's edge...[and]  Earth will be
within the "Dust Cloud" for apprximately 3-5 months of it's 365 day
-This is supposed to wreak havoc of various types on Earth.

Thanks in advance to the researcher who can separate fact from fiction
regarding the alleged dangers of the "Dust Cloud".
Subject: Re: Milky Way Great Rift
Answered By: sublime1-ga on 21 Oct 2005 15:07 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi again, citizena...

I was once again drawn to your question.

The resolution of this seems rather simple to me.

You cited:

"On 12/21/12 the Sun will be at or on it's edge...[and]
 Earth will be within the 'Dust Cloud' for approximately
 3-5 months of it's 365 day orbit..."

For reference sake, I used some keywords to look up what
you might be citing *from*, and found the post on this 
page at

The fear seems to be that this cloud will somehow obscure
light coming from the sun to the earth. This is negated by
the simple facts:

The sun is 93,000,000 miles away from the earth.

A light year is ~5,000,865,696,000,000 miles

The Great Rift is dark band in the vicinity of the Summer
Triangle, which is "many thousands of light years away from
us", per this page on the BBC astronomy site:

So, how can something which is ~5,000,865,696,000,000 miles
away from our little solar system going to obscure the light
which is a mere 93,000,000 away from earth?

It can't.

For a more scholarly discussion of the significance of 2012
and the astronomical alignments predicted by the Mayans, you
might enjoy this page by John Major Jenkins, on BeyondTheDoor:

"To start with, however, I use the exact center of the Milky
 Way band that one finds on star charts, known as the "Galactic
 Equator" (not to be confused with Galactic Center). Where the
 Galactic Equator crosses the ecliptic in Sagittarius just
 happens to be where the dark rift in the Milky Way begins.
 This is a dark bifurcation in the Milky Way caused by
 interstellar dust clouds. To observers on earth, it appears
 as a dark road which begins near the ecliptic and stretches
 along the Milky Way up towards Polaris."


"Here is a full view of the sky at noon on December 21st,
 2012 A.D. The band of the Milky Way can be seen stretching
 from the lower right to the upper left. The more or less
 vertical dotted line indicates the Galactic Equator. The
 planets can be seen tracing a roughly horizontal path
 through the chart, indicating the ecliptic. The sun, quite
 strikingly, is dead center in the Sacred Tree."
Images are provided:

Please do not rate this answer until you are satisfied that  
the answer cannot be improved upon by way of a dialog  
established through the "Request for Clarification" process. 


Additional information may be found from an exploration of
the links resulting from the Google searches outlined below.

Searches done, via Google:

"Dust Cloud" in the Milky Way known as the "Great Rift"

"within the Dust Cloud" "great rift"

"sun is * light years away"

light year = miles

Request for Answer Clarification by citizena-ga on 21 Oct 2005 15:48 PDT
I found at this website:
the following statement: "My research into the nature of this date
reveals that a rare celestial alignment culminates on it. Generally
speaking, what occurs is an alignment between the galactic and solar
planes. Specifically, the winter solstice sun will conjunct the Milky
Way, which is the edge of our spinning galaxy as viewed from earth.
Furthermore, the place where the sun meets the Milky Way is where the
"dark-rift" in the Milky Way is - a black ridge along the Milky Way
caused by interstellar dust clouds (See Diagram 1).

This is a feature of the Milky Way anyone can see on a clear
midsummer's night, away from the light pollution of industrial
society. At dawn on the winter solstice of A.D. 2012, the sun will be
right in this dark-rift, and the orientation is such that the Milky
Way rims the horizon at all points around. Thus, the Milky Way "sits"
on the earth, touching it at all points around, opening up the cosmic
sky portal.

   This doesn't sound particulary catastrophic, thankfully. But I wish
to make two points: The source of my question that you cited is
absolutely correct-great research! I'll admit that that source doesn't
appear particularly credible. Two, I don't know if John Major Jenkins
is much of a scientist; he seems to mix mysticism, myth and some
science. He could be right in his observations, but I in a way don't
trust him as a scientific resource.

  Be that as it may, you have presented a fairly good logical
explanation as to how the dust cloud issue is harmless.  IF it is
possible to locate any science sources regarding the Dark Rift in that
year or the dust cloud issue, I will be more than happy to increase my
research payment for your time (just to have a little more
confirmation). But, if nothing shows up, please let me know; perhaps
there isn't much information available on this obscure topic. Thank

Clarification of Answer by sublime1-ga on 21 Oct 2005 19:58 PDT

That is an interesting article you found. What bothered me is
that it is unattributed, and a search for the quote preceeding
the missing diagram:

"a black ridge along the Milky Way caused by interstellar dust
 clouds (See Diagram 1)"

...indicates that this article is duplicated on about 100 sites,
many of which include the diagram, such as on this page:

What's ironic is that the diagram is a much-duplicated image
created by John Major Jenkins using the EZCosmos program, which
is shown on the page of his which I cited, labelled "Chart 1".

Jenkins' full article, which was originally published in the
Dec-Jan '95 issue of Mountain Astrologer, is reproduced on 
over 200 websites, as determined by a search for an exact 
quote from the article:

"celestial convergence appears to parallel the accelerating pace"

In researching this further, I'm fully convinced that the
real issue is simply the *alignment* of the sun with this 
dark rift at the edge of the Milky Way's "equator" but 
this is a far cry from the sun or the earth or the solar
sytem "entering" the dark rift's dust cloud.

This alignment held great significance to the Mayans, who
exerted themselves in astonishing ways to predict it with
great accuracy, but the implications to both the Mayans
and the New-Agers, seem to be primarily astrological, 
metaphysical and spiritual, rather than predominantly
physical in nature.

Some people, such as the author of the post which inspired
your question, seem unable to grasp the more abstract
implications of the convergence and are reduced to 
interpreting the event literally, as a physical concern:

"...the sun will have traveled to the edge of a cosmic dust
 cloud in the Milky Way..."

...instead of "the sun will align with the edge of the Milky
Way at the place where the Great Rift resides".

Big difference!

citizena-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $15.00
Answered in a timely and propfessional manner; Did extended research
for clarification. Recommended researcher; Thanks!

Subject: Re: Milky Way Great Rift
From: myoarin-ga on 21 Oct 2005 16:57 PDT
I doubt that the sun and solar system move very much within the the Milky Way.
If we are near the Great Rift, we must be now virtually in it; seven
years is a blink in spacial tiem and distance, and 3 to 5 month in the
cloud is even less, an impossibly short time and distance for anything
within galactic space:  a mere 186 million miles, the diameter of the
earth's path around the sun in six months, 16 minutes of one
light-year (I believe that light from the sun takes 8 minutes to get
to the earth, so twice that for the diameter).
The nearest star is 2 light years away, I also remember learning, and
has been for most of my lifetime, so we are not approaching it but
moving with it in the Milky Way, and therefore also move WITH any
cloud out there. ...

This rather reminds me of my fears about 1984 back in the early 1950s.
Subject: Re: Milky Way Great Rift
From: qed100-ga on 21 Oct 2005 17:33 PDT
Keep in mind also that the great dark clouds in the Milky Way are very
hard vacuums. At the distances from which we observe them they are
indeed dense enough to obscure the weak visible frequencies of light
coming from the far side of the clouds. But if our solar system were
embedded deep within such a cloud, the Sun's light wouldn't be
massively filtered at the distance of 93,000,000 miles.
Subject: Re: Milky Way Great Rift
From: citizena-ga on 21 Oct 2005 18:12 PDT
Thank you for your comments. They are also somewhat reassuring!
Subject: Re: Milky Way Great Rift
From: sublime1-ga on 21 Oct 2005 22:25 PDT

Thanks very much for the rating and the tip!

Best regards...


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