Will our solar system cross the plane of our Milky Way galaxy in 2012? No. The solar system will not cross the galactic plane on December 21, 2012 – or on any other date in 2012 – or anytime soon. Sure, our Milky Way galaxy is flat and round, like a pancake. And yes, the sun does weave in and out of the galaxy’s flat plane. However, astronomers have determined that we’re currently moving away from, not toward the galactic plane. By astronomers’ estimates, our solar system last crossed the plane of the Milky Way galaxy some 3 million years ago. We won’t do so again for another 30 million years.
See the video below to visualize where we reside relative to the galactic plane.
This video is from Morehead Planetarium / Science360 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It’s one of a series of excellent videos by Morehead attempting to answer the many wild, crazy, improbable and false doomsday scenarios related to December 2012. Thank goodness this month is finally here. Soon it’ll be January. See you in 2013!
Bottom line Morehead Planetarium / Science360 produced a good video discussing the fact that our solar system will not cross through the plane of our Milky Way galaxy on December 21, 2012. In fact, we won’t pass through the galactic plane again for 30 million years.