WR 104

The eve of Dec. 21 seemed an appropriate time to toss a death star into the mix. Tomorrow’s solstice just happens to coincide with an extremely rare galactic alignment. Every 25,800 years the sun and earth align with the centre of the” Milky Way”. It just so happens that the pesky constellation Sagittarius is part of the equation. Sagittarius; smack dab in the middle of the alignment, harbours some serious pondering.

The fact that Sagittarius is my sign has nothing to do with its mystery.

Sagittarius just so happens to end up in the spot light. For starters, the only unconfirmed radio signal from space, known as the “wow event” came from Sagittarius. Sagittarius is front and centre in the “galactic alignment”, and it happens to be the place WR 104 resides.

WR 104 is 8000 light years from earth. Discovered in 1998, it is actually 2 binary stars locked in orbit with each other. Known as a Wolf-Rayet system, WR 104 capable of causing serious trouble. Wolf-Rayet (WR) stars are on their last leg; burning thousands of times hotter and faster than our sun, they hurtle towards an inevitable super nova.

Aside from the black hole created when a star collapses, the nasty Gamma Ray Burst (GRB) is of greater concern. Picture a death ray of radiation obliterating anything in its path. A GRB would destroy our ozone layer; earth would be defenceless against cosmic radiation.

Scientists debate our chances of being at the receiving end of WR 104’s wrath. They all agree that earth has most likely experienced  GRB’s in the past. Either way; rather than disappoint the doomsday set when the Mayan prediction turned out to be a bust – ponder the death star. As my son once said – “there’s a million ways to die out there”.


Galactic Alignment

Mayan people were great time keepers. Able to calculate the length of a year, predict the spring and fall equinox, even understand that earth wobbled on its axis. As the much publicised Dec. 21, 2012 draws near; hype surrounding the end of the Mayan calendar swells. Barely a whisper is spoken of the fact the Mayan people had many calendars, some with dates thousands of years into our future.

Rather than ponder “end of days” or prophecy; why not come to our senses, and understand what is going to happen on Dec. 21. In relation to our known history it will still be a special day. Once every 25,800 years  a “Galactic Alignment” occurs. On Dec. 21, our winter solstice coincides with this event.

Simply put – at the winter solstice this year the earth and sun will be aligned with the galactic equator; the centre of the milky way.

By all means click on the links to learn more about this rare alignment. Certainly of interest; in particular the alignment of Sagittarius. In the 1970s a scientist monitoring radio signals from space noticed an anomaly coming from the constellation Sagittarius. He circled it and wrote “wow”. This is known as the “wow event” – the only unconfirmed radio signal from space.

Getting back to my point – the Mayans kept track of things. We know they had many calendars. I suspect  the “long count calendar” that ends on Dec. 21 is nothing more than an astounding countdown to a celestial event. How they were able to calculate this event with remarkable accuracy, we’ll never know. Archaeologists have managed to recover few pages from the Mayan daytimer. Lost to history, courtesy Spanish Conquistadores,  temple robbers, and grave looters, are the pieces that put this puzzle together.

Rather than dwell on end of days hype, I suggest we ponder the cautionary tale of ancient prophecy. Lets not confuse scientific documents with creation or prophecy myth. All ancient cultures, Hopi, Mayan, Egyptian, Greek, you name it – have similar stories to explain catastrophic natural events.  They all shared a connection to our natural world that we sadly take for granted.

We should all take a moment to ponder the accomplishments of not only the Mayan, but all ancient cultures. Be ashamed by our lack of regard for the world that sustains us, and take time to gaze at the stars. On Dec. 21 a rare galactic alignment will occur, be humbled by the fact the Mayans figured it out. The end of the Mayan calendar is simply a headline grabbing interpretation of a single Mayan observation. Probably nothing more than a simple multiplication table to the Mayans.