Francis Reddy of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center would like to remind us that the world will not come to an end in 2012 as the Mayan calendar suggests. There will be several cosmic phenomenon taking place throughout 2012, but none of them are a reason not to pay your taxes or to construct an underground bomb shelter.
Reddy addresses the interesting theory that our Earth will move into a dangerous alignment with the gravitational pull of the galaxy and the that the sun, moon, and Earth will be pulled into some galactic black hole, or something during the winter solstice. It's very hard to explain, as with anything from NASA, but he assures us this is not happening.
Reddy explains what is happening:
"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 galactic center in the summer, not at the winter solstice."
"Third, the sun 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."
So apparently magnetic field reversal, some type of dark rift, solar flares, and an alleged impact combined with the predicted end of the world are all just coincidence and are regularly occurring events. I should have known! I guess it's back to the drawing board for those who are attempting to predict when the world will end. Sadly, it doesn't seem like it's coming anytime soon. Better start saving money again.