Exposing PseudoAstronomy

February 15, 2010

Planet X and 2012 and Astrology: Exploring the Claims of Astrologer Terry Nazon on 2012, Part 1


Introduction

While I was supposed to be working today, I was looking at the upcoming Coast to Coast AM late-night George Noory -hosted radio show. Tonight, February 15, 2010, they’re having what has been termed an “Astrology Special” with three astrologers coming in. I went to each of their websites just to nose around, and I found a page on Terry Nazon’s site dedicated to “The Mayan Prophecy of 2012.”

I’m an astronomer. Astrology is to astronomy what alchemy is to chemistry (or, for those about to take the SATs: astrology:astronomy::alchemy:chemistry). And, I’ve written many, many posts on the non-event of Planet X and 2012 (Planet X, 2012, and Planet X and 2012 — yes, those are different). So, this particular woman has combined two things that I just couldn’t help myself to post a break-down.

To do this, I’m going to examine both her numbered claims (part 1 – long!) and then claims she makes in the expository text (part 2).

Note: Several times I link to a NASA website on eclipses in this post. Unfortunately, that server seems to be down as of the time I’m posting this. You can do a search on Google for it and find the cached version of the page in most cases, however.

Other Note: It appears as though Ms. Nazon was cancelled from the show before it went live on Feb. 15. I am not sure when this change happened, but it was no more than 2-3 days before the episode.

Numbered Claim 1

“On December 21, 2012 The Winter Solstice, the Earth and the Galactic Center align. The Galactic Center is also called the Milky Way. The Mayans called the Milky Way, The Sacred Tree, or the Great Mother. This alignment of the Earth and the Galactic Center only happens once every 26,000 years! The Galactic Center is at approximately 26°-27° Sagittarius.”

I’ve addressed this claim directly, twice, on my blog before both in my post “ Planet X and 2012: What The Sky Looks Like On December 21, 2012” and “ Planet X and 2012: The PseudoAstronomy (or Just Plain Wrong Astronomy) About a Galactic Alignment.”

In sum and substance, no, there is no alignment between Earth, the sun, and/or the galactic center in 2012, let alone on December 21, 2012. Now, there was an “alignment” between the sun and galactic equator on December 21, 1998. I personally don’t recall anything special then except maybe taking my last semester exam in 9th grade. For references on this, see the two posts above and/or any astronomy planetarium software.

As for where the galactic center is located on the sky, it is true that it is in the direction of the constellation Sagittarius. It is located at the celestial coordinates 17 h 45m 40s RA, -29° 00′ 28.00″ DEC. So while she’s right about Sagittarius, she’s wrong about the galactic center’s location, off in declination (latitude on the sky) by the width of at least four sun / full moon diameters.

Numbered Claim 2

“Uranus squares Pluto at 7° – 8° of cardinal signs. This is the waxing square of the cycle that started in the mid 1960s, with the conjunction of these two planets in mid Virgo. December 21st, 2012 A.D., represents an extremely close conjunction of the Winter Solstice Sun with the crossing point of the Galactic Equator (Equator of the Milky Way) and the Ecliptic (path of the Sun), what that ancient Maya recognized as the Sacred Tree, or the Great Mother. This is an event that has been coming to resonance very slowly over thousands and thousands of years. It will come to resolution at exactly 11:11 am GMT.”

I find this claim interesting. I really can’t say anything about “Uranus squaring Pluto” as that has nothing to do with astronomy, but I find it interesting in that this claim directly backtracks from the previous! She’s changed “Galactic Center” to “Galactic Equator,” which is actually finally correct (almost). The problem with this is that which I pointed out above, and I invite you to go to the links to my previous posts on the alleged alignment.

Numbered Claim 3

“March 16th 2012, A lunar occultation of Pluto occurs today. This is the first anywhere on Earth since January 19th 1935. They will occur every month now from today upto [sic] August 17th 2013.”

Now is as good a time as any to point out that I’m just copying and pasting from Ms. Nazon’s website. If there are spelling mistakes, I am indicating that with the [sic] as is standard practice to indicate it is not a transcription error on my part.

Anyway, I looked into this. I’m not sure what software she’s using, but I was using Starry Night Pro. I started out in my default location of Boulder, CO (USA) and didn’t see any occultation. I then went to France, Iran, a few places in Russia, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, the UK, Benin, Egypt, Venezuela, China, Australia, Chile … the closest I saw any approach was about 15′ of Pluto to the moon. That means it misses it about a quarter of a lunar diameter, and that was from the Falkland Islands. Finally I tried the south pole, and pluto gets within 6′ of the moon (0.1°). Close, but no cigar.

As far as I can tell, this claim is simply false, unless someone can give me a different location where this happens. (Again, I did this via simulation in Starry Night Pro.)

Now, what’s cool is that after March, the occultations do actually start to take place as seen from Earth, about every 27 days or so after that. Those of us at my latitude in Boulder, CO won’t be able to see this until January 10, 2013, at about 6:30 PM, though at that time they’ll be about 11° away from the sun. And, the occultations will stop around the August 2013 timeframe for those of us in the higher latitudes in the northern hemisphere.

And then this did occur back in January 19, 1935, again from the South Pole, and it just missed occulting Pluto on February 15, 1935.

So while this claim is partly/mostly correct, I’m not sure what the significance is supposed to be. It’s not like it happens on December 21, 2012.

Numbered Claim 4

“May 11th 2012 Saturn conjunct Spica (2nd time) [sic]“

I’d like to see her work on this claim. I checked several locations around the globe for this date, and the closest Saturn gets to the star Spica is several degrees (around 4). With the full moon being 0.5° across, that’s 8 full moons away.

However, I spoke with a friend of mine who practices astrology (yes, I do have friends, and yes, some of them have beliefs outside of my own). According to her, astrologers consider anything within about 5° to be a “conjunction” which is “considered to be mutually enhancing.” So, under that definition, yes, this will be a conjunction.

However, even if it is true … so what? (a) This isn’t December 21, 2012, and (b) what does a conjunction between Saturn and a star as seen from Earth have to do with anything?

Numbered Claim 5

“May 20th 2012 Annular Solar Eclipse at zero degrees Gemini. Central eclipse 23:53 GMT. Eclipse visible from southern USA, central America, central equatorial south America and Africa.”

A solar eclipse is a “rare” and beautiful thing that I hope to observe in August 2017, when totality will be centered pretty much directly over my parents’ house. It’ll be a partial eclipse from Boulder, but it will be occurring right around sunset so I’m not actually sure if I’ll be able to see it (or if I’ll still be in Boulder at that time).

The only thing un-rare about an eclipse is that they generally happen twice a year. And an annular eclipse – where the moon doesn’t quite cover the entire solar disk so you have an “annulus” of sun around it – isn’t the neat kind where you actually get totality. You can go to NASA’s eclipse website to view the eclipses for many decades into the past and future, both solar and lunar.

So, yes, there will be an annular solar eclipse on May 20, 2012. This is not rare. And the time of greatest eclipse will occur at 23:53:53 GMT (so she’s a minute off, rounding, though that’s really nit-picking). And it will be visible from China, Japan, the Pacific, and western United States.

Otherwise, the where on the sky part of this eclipse is completely wrong. The sun and moon will lie within the constellation Taurus (the bull), with the sun at about 20° declination and about 4 hrs right ascension (see the diagram below from Starry Night Pro, location set to Boulder, CO). Far, far away from Gemini. In fact, it’s much closer to Aries than it is to Gemini. 0 RA is in the constellation Pisces … even farther from Gemini. I’m actually surprised that Ms. Nazon made a mistake this large unless she was using the wrong dates or just was making it up – about it being in Gemini. As for Gemini being at 0 RA, well, that just simply doesn’t happen and won’t for several thousand years.

Skychart on May 20, 2012 Showing Solar Eclipse

Skychart on May 20, 2012 Showing Solar Eclipse

Note on reading these images: First, you can click on any of the star chart images in this post for a much larger version. Second, a guide to reading these — Constellation names are in blue. Star names are in yellow. Solar system object names are in pale red. White outlines are constellation boundaries as defined by the International Astronomical Union nearly a century ago. Red grids are effectively the latitude/longitude system that we use in astronomy (declination (DEC) and right ascention (RA)). A green line is the line of the ecliptic – what the sun appears to trace out in the sky over the course of a year.

Numbered Claim 6

“June 4th 2012 Partial lunar eclipse at 15 degrees Sagittarius. Central eclipse 12:03 GMT [sic]“

We experience what are called “eclipse seasons” on Earth. This is when the nodes of when the moon crosses the celestial equator when it’s a new or full moon recur 1-2 times before they move away. In simpler terms, we only get an eclipse when the moon, Earth, and sun directly line up. Since the moon is on an inclined orbit, this only happens twice per orbit. And those locations (“nodes”) move around Earth. If we have a full moon when the moon is on a node, we get a lunar eclipse. If it’s a new moon, it’s a solar eclipse. And because it happens twice per orbit, then if you have one kind of eclipse, chances are very good that 2 weeks later, you’ll get the other kind.

That’s the case here, for June 4, 2012. And it will be a partial lunar eclipse – again, not the most interesting kind, and the time of greatest eclipse will be approximately 11:04:20 GMT (she was an hour off). But I’ll take this opportunity again to ask, “So what?”

The only thing wrong with this claim is that Ms. Nazon again gets the constellation wrong – the moon will be in the constellation Ophiuchus (which I think is the bane of astrologers since, because of precession, there are now 13 “sun signs,” but Western astrologers only recognize the original 12). The moon will be about 13° away from the edge of the constellation Sagittarius for this eclipse … that’s nearly 8% of the way across the visible sky at the time. Again, a fairly big miss for someone who studies the sky.

Skychart on June 04, 2012 Showing Lunar Eclipse

Skychart on June 04, 2012 Showing Lunar Eclipse

Numbered Claim 7

“June 6th 2012 Transit of Venus across the disc of the Sun.”

Now this is cool. Once every 122 years and then again 8 years later, the planet Venus transits across the disk of the sun as seen from Earth. Historically, this has been very important for astronomy because it was the only way to directly measure the size of the solar system and the distance between us and the sun. I invite you to read a bit more about it on Wikipedia if you’re interested.

Anyway, yes, this does happen, and will happen, though unfortunately it won’t be visible from most of the US as it happens from 22:09 June 5 through 4:49 June 6 (GMT). About the best place for this one will be Indonesia or Japan.

While this has historic significance for astronomy, though, I again fail to see the significance of it in foretelling, well, anything that is supposed to happen on December 21, 2012.

Numbered Claim 8

“June 11th 2012 Jupiter enters Gemini.”

If she’s right … So?

But yet again, Ms. Nizan is wrong. I’ll again direct you to any number of for-free or commercial planetarium sky programs and tell you to go to that date and look at where Gemini is and look at where Jupiter is. On June 11, 2012, Jupiter is clearly on the ARES side of Taurus, not anywhere near Gemini. Maybe she got her year wrong — Jupiter enters Gemini on June 27, 2013.

Skychart on June 11, 2012 Showing Jupiter's Location

Skychart on June 11, 2012 Showing Jupiter's Location

Also, Jupiter orbits the sun once every ~12 years or so. That means that about once a year, it moves into a new constellation. About once every 12 years, it repeats the cycle! Gasp!

Numbered Claim 9

“July 15th 2012 Lunar grazing occultation of Jupiter (visible from the UK with a clear horizon ) 02-00 [sic] GMT.”

This claim is true and pretty cool. The moon will occult Jupiter for several minutes at this time as seen from the UK. But it’s just as significant – and even more common – as the lunar occultation of the planet Saturn that was visible from the US and other parts of the world in 1997.

While in analyzing these claims so far I’ve concentrated on showing some of their flaws, I will yet again ask: So what? What does an apparent alignment from an insignificant planet floating in a vast universe have to do with anything?

Numbered Claim 10

“Aug 14th 2012 Mars and Saturn conjunct Spica [sic]“

Not sure what Ms. Nazon has against periods, but she leaves them out a lot in this list. Anyway, Ms. Nazon seems big on conjunctions with Spica. And as I stated for her 4th claim, this is another one that is simply not true. A conjunction is when things come together and appear to be in the same spot. Unless you’re using a very loose definition of the word – perhaps she meant “close conjunction” instead of “conjunction” – then this is again demonstrably false (just go to planetarium software and look!!).

Yes, they’re reasonably close, with about 3.5 full moons separating Mars from Spica, and 5.5 separating Mars from Saturn. I’m really not sure I’d call this a conjunction, especially if you’re trying to link it to some cosmic energy vortex being activated because these objects are supposed to meet. But, I suppose under the 5° idea that astrologers seem to use (based on my friend), the three will be in a “conjunction.”

Numbered Claim 11

“August 22nd 2012 The Moon, Mars, and Saturn are conjunct [sic] Spica.”

Moving the ol’ clock forward on Starry Night software and … Nope! For those familiar with photography, you could easily use a 100mm lens to photograph this close conjunction. You need something with wider than a 5° field of view, as Saturn from the moon is nearly 6° apart — even under the 5° rule we can’t really consider this to be a conjunction.

Now, granted, this would make a neat photograph. And if I remember, I’ll probably try to capture it. But in the grand scheme of things, this really is not a very close conjunction – definitely not a once-in-26,000-years event.

Numbered Claim 12

“October 5th 2012 Saturn enters Scorpio.”

Okay, I’m not sure what Ms. Nazon is using. But Saturn is still pretty much smack dab in the middle of Virgo in October 2012 (see image below). Unlike Jupiter, Saturn takes longer – about 30 years – to orbit the sun once. So, it will enter a new constellation about once every 2.5 years. And 30 years later it repeats. So, is there supposed to be some significance I’m not getting in it staying in Virgo on October 5, 2012 allegedly entering Scorpius?

Skychart on October 05, 2012 Showing Saturn's Location

Skychart on October 05, 2012 Showing Saturn's Location

Numbered Claim 13

“November 13th 2012 Total Solar Eclipse at 22 degrees Scorpio 22-12 GMT visible from north-eastern Australia.”

Let’s see … May + 6 months = November … we have another potential eclipse! Which is what Ms. Nazon is predicting for NE Australia. And, lo!, yes there is an eclipse on November 13, 2012, visible from northern Australia and the southern Pacific.

But in what seems to be a running theme, this takes place in the constellation Libra (the scales), and the declination is about -18°, not 22°. For those who don’t know, Libra is a full 3 constellations away from Sagittarius, over 11% of the visible sky away from Sagittarius. It hasn’t been since about the year 1400 B.C. that the sun was in Sagittarius on November 13 — assuming we use our calendar instead of what was in use at the time.

Numbered Claim 14

“November 14th 2012 The Moon occults Mercury (daylight occultation visible from the UK with a telescope) .”

Yep, the moon occults Mercury, visible from the UK, at about 10AM on November 14, 2012. And it does it again May 9, 2013. Mercury never strays too far from the ecliptic, so the moon has a reasonable chance of occulting it once a month. So again, this is not a rare occurrence, nor does it have any physical significance.

Numbered Claim 15

“November 28th 2012 Penumbral lunar eclipse 7 degrees Gemini. Central eclipse 15:33 GMT [sic]“

Yep, 2 weeks after a solar eclipse, we have the possibility of a lunar one. And not a very good one at that – the moon may appear to dim a little, but it’s unlikely that it will appear to go very red. That’s what a penumbral eclipse is versus an umbral – the good kind! And if Earth’s shadow could stretch farther into space, just a few hours later we would see a Jovian eclipse with Earth’s shadow turning Jupiter red!

Anyway, I’m getting kinda sick of saying it and hopefully I don’t have to post yet another screenshot for you to believe me, but she got the constellation wrong again. This happens in Taurus, not Gemini. And I’m not sure where she’s getting her coordinates from — she either needs a new calculator, better tables, or better software. The moon will be at about 4 hrs RA and +20° DEC … not 7° in Gemini. In fact, the farthest south that Gemini gets is just under 10°. Now, Gemini does cross through the 7th hour RA, but there are 24 hours of RA, not 360, so saying anything about it being 7° is either being completely oblivious about what RA means or making up numbers.

And she’s again an hour off, with the greatest eclipse time being 14:34:07 GMT. This eclipse will be visible in Europe, East Africa, Asia, Australia, the Pacific, and North America.

Numbered Claim 16

“Uranus will enter Aries in 2011. The last time Uranus transited Aries was in 1927-1935 which we all know as The Great Depression.”

Okay, for some reason this claim was bolded on her site, along with #17 and 18. Perhaps it’s because she actually ties these into past events. Let’s look …

Uranus has a longer year than Saturn, about 84 Earth years. When running open house observing nights on campus, we refer to it as the “once in a lifetime” planet because unless you have an unusually long lifespan, you will never see Uranus in the same location in a constellation (excluding retrograde motion, but that’s a different story). You will never see it in the same place in its orbit (that’s more precise).

So now let’s go through this without looking up to see if she has the constellation right. 1927 + 84 = 2011, so yes, wherever Uranus was in 1927, it will be returning there around 2011. So that would be a correct analysis.

Now, about depressions. For those who don’t know, one of my hobbies is coin collecting. As such, I’ve tracked US inflation rates throughout history and come up with some beautiful graphs. Suffice to say, the US has gone through several “great” depressions – present one excluded because only history will tell if it’s a “great” one. The first was during the Revolutionary War, when inflation skyrocketed. Second was around the War of 1812 – about 40 years later. Third was during the Civil War, when America experienced the largest inflation rates in its history as a country (excluding just after its founding) — that was 50 years later. And then the Great Depression – about 70 years later. If you want to play it forward, we experienced depression-class inflation rates again during WWII (15 years later) and again during the Korean and Vietnam Wars (30-40 years later).

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t see an 84-year pattern there.

United States Inflation Rates, 1776-2008

United States Inflation Rates, 1776-2008

Oh, and now let’s see if it’s actually in Aries (looks at Starry Night Pro …) Nope. Uranus is smack-dab in the middle of Pisces. It enters Aries in late 2018. And what would it entering in 2011 have to do with 2012?

Numbered Claim 17

“Neptune will enter Pisces its own sign in 2011. The last time this occured [sic] was 1847-1862 where it last transited during the time of the French Revolution.”

Just because I’m already looking at Starry Night for Uranus and Aries, let’s take a look at Neptune. Neptune takes even longer in its orbit – about 164 years. And in very late 2011 it moves into Aquarius, and finally in December 2023, it will move into Pisces. So, I am honestly curious now – Ms. Nazon, what are you using to make these claims? Are you just making them up? Are you using software that doesn’t account or over-accounts for precession? What’s going on here?

Anyway, about revolutions. Yes, 1847+164 = 2011. Now, I’m not a historian, so I did a quick look-see on Wikipedia … The French Revolution was 1789-1799, while there was a less severe one in 1848. But revolutions take place all the time. The Cuban revolution of the 1960s. The Islamic Revolution in Iran in the 1970s. You could even say the Civil Rights in the 1960s was its own kind of political revolution. Let’s not forget the Communist Revolutions in the mid-1900s in China, Vietnam, and Korea. Or Germany in the 1930s, Italy in the 1930s, the Russian Revolution at the beginning of the twentieth century … need I go on?

This – like the Great Depression link to Uranus – is an obvious example of retrodiction and anomaly hunting. She’s looked at the last time Neptune was in that place in the sky (NOT PISCES) and found something that would’ve made front-page headlines while ignoring any other occurrence of an event of that type that has happened since.

Numbered Claim 18

“Pluto has entered Capricorn, well, the last time Pluto entered Capricorn was 1762-1777 the American Colonial Revolution.”

I’ve heard this from several astrologers on Coast to Coast over the last few years, that Pluto is entering a place in the sky that it hasn’t been since the American Revolution. That’s because Pluto’s year is about 248 Earth years, so it takes quite awhile. The “only” problem is that, yet again, Pluto won’t be in Capricorn until about mid-2024. It’s still in Sagittarius until then.

Numbered Claim 19

“Venus will make a rare planetary loop above the Orion star system, a rare planetary passage over the disk of the Sun on June 6,2012.”

Let’s take this in reverse-order since there are actually two things here. Venus’ year, being an inferior planet relative to Earth (meaning that it’s closer to the sun than Earth), is shorter than ours and once or twice a year it will pass close to the sun. Unless it passes directly in front of it, as is actually the case in 2012, it will appear to pass above or below the disk. And as I already discussed in Claim #7. Double-dipping isn’t allowed.

As for “rare planetary loop,” this happens about once every 20 months – hardly a once-in-26,000-years. When Venus reaches its greatest elongation from the sun (its farthest distance) when it’s an evening star, it will appear to reverse directions in the sky and instead of traveling West-to-East, it will go retrograde and travel East-to-West. So, from Earth’s point of view, it will look like it stops and reverses direction, I suppose appearing as a “loop” in the sky.

This happens when it’s in Taurus in May 2012 (above Orion, yes). It will happen in the constellation Libra in October 2010. It happened in March in 2009 in the constellation Pisces, above Cetus and below Andromeda and Pegasus. In December 2013 it will happen in Sagittarius, just next to Capricornus. And in August of 2015 it will happen through Leo. In fact, just a month before that – on July 1, 2015, Venus and Jupiter actually will have a very close conjunction, appearing less than 0.5° apart in the sky. Too bad it’s during the day, though you may be able to catch them pretty close together just after sunset.

Numbered Claim 20

“We will be in an 11 year Sun Spot Cycle that is known to make us less compliant and more reactive over the slightest provocation.”

Please show your work. And, by the way, we’re always in an ~11-year sunspot cycle.

Final Thoughts, Part 1

Okay, there are two real take-away points from this analysis of Terry Nazon’s justification for why 2012 is meaningful astrologically or that it’s going to lead to something big that the Mayans supposedly predicted.

First take-away point is that she’s quite sloppy. Well over half of the specific claims that she made for where objects would be relative to constellations are demonstrably false – just use any planetarium software you like and you’ll see this.

Second point is really the main debunking point of astrology – what does any apparent alignment of an object with another object from Earth’s fleeting vantage point at that moment have to do with anything?

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32 Comments »

  1. From what I know from astrologers, they use not just that 5° tolerance (“orb”), but varying tolerances for different aspects – just checked Wikipedia: apparently between 2° and 10°.

    Funny thing is, an astrologer in a discussion once tried to prove that astrology’s true by stating that, if I remember correctly, 28% of professional athletes (of a list of thousands) have any aspect (conjunction, sextile, etc., didn’t matter which) with one particular planet (Mars? don’t remember exactly) in their birth horoscopes. However, the orb system he was using covered 28% of the full circle… and a more detailed statistical calculation actually confirmed a pretty good randomness. :)

    Comment by cimddwc — February 16, 2010 @ 2:02 am | Reply

  2. I always find it amusing when science is used to refute Astrology. Astrology is the original religion of mankind and has nothing to do with science. It is simply a belief structure, and modern science is the competing religion. Sort of a pointless endeavor in both cases.

    Comment by NMIlluminati — February 16, 2010 @ 9:52 am | Reply

    • While it may be a pointless endeavor for true believers of astrology, the purpose of this particular post was to examine specific claims. Anyone who takes a few minutes to actually do the observation can see that Terry Nazan’s claims are flat-out wrong. There’s a difference between a belief and something that is observationally true/false. With this in mind, my Part 2 post (which will go live in about 2 hours) raises the question that if this person is so demonstrably wrong, one should really consider whether they want to pay ~$330/hr for a phone consultation with her.

      Comment by astrostu206265 — February 16, 2010 @ 10:09 am | Reply

    • Sure! Like a Crationist’s “Evolution is just a theory as well!”.

      Let us see:
      A belief: a set of assertions held to be true with an unproven connection to reality.
      Science: a set of assertions held to be true with a proven connection to reallity.

      Thank’s for trying.

      Comment by Peter — June 16, 2010 @ 7:32 am | Reply

  3. [...] Part 1 of this series dealt with Ms. Nazan’s specific numbered claims on that page on her website. This second part will focus on the claims she makes throughout the paragraphical text on the page. [...]

    Pingback by Planet X and 2012 and Astrology: Exploring the Claims of Astrologer Terry Nazon on 2012, Part 2 « Exposing PseudoAstronomy — February 16, 2010 @ 12:01 pm | Reply

  4. I don’t know where to start with this, but I’m reasonably sure of where it will end. I hope.

    Comment by Uncle Buck — February 16, 2010 @ 3:03 pm | Reply

  5. With the Speed of Light a constant, and the NEAREST STAR Alpha Centauri located 4.5 light years away, this makes ALL THE OTHER STARS IN THE SKY farther away, right?
    Now, suppose – right this minute – that all the stars in the Universe suddenly disappeared. Went out like candles. Just like they began. Pouf!
    We wouldn’t have a clue; we wouldn’t know it had happened – until four and a half years from now AT THE EARLIEST, would we?
    So – when all the learned astronomers tell you ABSOLUTELY that there CAN’T POSSIBLY be a “galactic alignment” in 2012 – because they’ve looked out there, and see that can’t occur – then those learned astronomers are blowing smoke, aren’t they? Because, dear heart, the center of the Milky Way Galaxy is approximately 50,000 light years from Earth, which means that center has surely MOVED AND CHANGED during that time. (50,000 years is a LONG time – a lot can happen!)
    Now follow me here – if the center of the Milky Way Galaxy has MOVED AND CHANGED from it’s position at the time that the light we are seeing today was formed and began its journey to our eyes – then you don’t know where it is right now, and you don’t know what it looks like, right now!
    Do you? Actually, you haven’t a clue!
    So you, learned astronomer, cannot tell anyone that “there absolutely won’t be a galactic alignment in 2012″ because you can’t see the Milky Way Galaxy as it really will be, in 2012.
    Can you, now? In fact, you are seeing what the Milky Way Galaxy looked like long, long before the human race walked the Earth – aren’t you, learned one?
    Someone a lot smarter than I once said: “The great problem of modern cosmology is that – without evidence to back up their veracity – many ideas of modern cosmology are little more than philosophy.”
    Ain’t THAT the truth! And cheap philosophy, to boot!

    Comment by The Wiseman — February 16, 2010 @ 5:56 pm | Reply

    • I suggest you take a read through this (http://www.astronomycast.com/listeners/questions-shows/questions-show-alignment-with-the-galactic-plane-destruction-from-venus-and-the-death-of-the-solar-system/) or listen to the podcast, its very informaztive.

      I’ll summarise for you; the excact point of the galactic center is not known and as such the moment when we pass from one side to the other is impossible to tell. So if the scientists with their telescopes and powerful computers can’t even tell where the center is, what make you think that anyone else can?

      With reference to your comments on object moving after the light has left them. Well, it is possible to roughly tell, by calculating their movement and extrapolating. But since you brought up the movement point, how do these conjunctions actually work then, since the star any specific planet is supposed to be conjuctioning with is not actually where we think we are seeing it?

      Comment by limey — February 20, 2010 @ 4:52 am | Reply

      • Checkmate, I think Limey.

        I would still caution against throwing the baby out with the bath-water though.

        Comment by himnextdoor — February 23, 2010 @ 1:45 pm

    • Now, see, kiddos… this is why you don’t let Dad near the computer when he’s off his meds.

      (I’m late, I know, I just simply couldn’t resist.)

      Comment by Testingtesting123 — March 26, 2010 @ 3:20 pm | Reply

    • The Wiseman, first of all have you ever heard of cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation? If not, I would suggest looking into it. The sky is not really dark , and astronomy does not equal cosmology! You may not be aware but since many improvements in telescopes, cosmology is now supported by evidence, not just speculation(which you practice). Astrology is nothing more than entertainment. The basis of astrology is invalid. I don’t know how anyone in their right mind would defend validity of astrology. I also don’t know why would anyone spend their hard earned money to get a reading from these charlatans. Go see Broadway play, or find a cheaper form of astrological entertainment.

      Comment by Alia — July 13, 2011 @ 2:50 am | Reply

  6. I don’t pretend to be anything more than an amateur astronomer, but it is a known fact that astrology considers a phenomenon known as “the procession of the equinoxes” which you can look up on the internet. This explains why planetary positions are different for astrology than astronomy. Also, astrology’s significance is not on the science of the planets but rather a kind of timing used by original astrologers. Originally there were several more zodiac signs to accommodate the cusp-born,etc. So chill out-it ain’t over til its over.

    Comment by Cat Callahan — February 16, 2010 @ 6:26 pm | Reply

    • There’s a difference between accounting for precession and not, yes, but (a) it makes no sense not to account for it, and (b) even if you DON’T account for precession, Ms. Nazan’s claims are still wrong. Western astrology was formalized about 1800 years ago, so the sky has rotated “only” about 6.9% since then, or about 25° (about 1 hr 40 min in RA). This is not enough to account for the discrepancies in most of her claims.

      Comment by astrostu206265 — February 16, 2010 @ 6:53 pm | Reply

  7. Now follow me here – if the center of the Milky Way Galaxy has MOVED AND CHANGED from it’s position at the time that the light we are seeing today was formed and began its journey to our eyes – then you don’t know where it is right now, and you don’t know what it looks like, right now!

    Why should we think it’s “moved and changed”? What evidence do you have this has happened?

    Comment by kamamer — February 17, 2010 @ 9:49 am | Reply

  8. [...] Planet X and 2012 and Astrology: Exploring the Claims of … [...]

    Pingback by december 2012 – YouTube – December 21 2012 the END? (Part 5 of 6). | Year 2012 — February 21, 2010 @ 7:32 pm | Reply

  9. Is it possible that whatever it is that is at the centre of the galaxy could have a wobble on its axis? If it did wobble, then wouldn’t the galactic plane be moving with respect to the other matter in the galaxy?

    And if the centre of the galaxy can be thought of as all the matter in the viscinity of the centre then there wouldn’t actually be a galactic ‘plane’ since there will be a difference in the amount of matter distributed to the north and south of the galactic equator, some of which transits north to south and vice versa.

    Therefore the galactic equator would describe a wiggly line that that passes through the average galactic plane to the north and to the south. It may even be possible that there could be more that one line describing the equator at certain points.

    Comment by himnextdoor — February 22, 2010 @ 7:58 pm | Reply

  10. The problem I have with astrology as a science is that there are so many variables to take into consideration that it is unlikely that a human could make any accurate statement regarding any forces that are at work moulding and directing fate.

    That said though, I am not prepared to say that it is not possible that there are people that have ‘Rainman’ type abilities who may be able to extrapolate data from seemingly intractable problems such as to be able to adduce events that may or may not effect humans either individually or as a group. But as far as adducing chance meetings with tall dark strangers, or an upcoming promotion etc. as a consequence of the moon passing into Taurus, for example, is concerned; HOKUS POKUS.

    Ninety-nine point nine percent of astrologers, psychics, palm-readers, tarot-card readers etc. are charlatans who prey on weak or vulnerable people who are lost in life and find themselves at rock-bottom. In my book, they are criminals who should be jailed for fraud. They are guilty of ‘psychologically mugging’ people. However, it’s not illegal; these people are allowed to obtain money by deception, making false claims which can have profound effects on the recipients of their advice and are free to form accredited organisations. Why is that? Why do western democracies who make extensive legislation in order to provide and protect civil rights allow these people to peddle their trade?

    In Ireland it is illegal to have sex with an imbecile. It is part of the same piece of legislation that deals with statutory rape and is based on the premise that imbeciles, and young girls, have to be protected against themselves. The law of Ireland makes it an offense to take sexual advantage of people who are mentally impaired and yet it is perfectly acceptable for someone to set up a premium-rate phone-line with the sole intention of taking financial advantage of people who are simple, or stupid, or just confused. How come?

    I suppose the simple answer is that making it illegal to take financial advantage of people would have disastrous consequences for the economy. Hmm! So the usary system could suffer.

    Perhaps there is another reason for allowing cranks to steal money from the witless, the hopeless and the despairing; Remote Viewers. In the same way that a genuine UFO sighting would be masked by the ‘noise’ of the myriad hoaxes, maybe remote viewers are masked by the ‘noise’ created by shysters too numerous to count.

    Comment by himnextdoor — February 23, 2010 @ 3:51 pm | Reply

    • I completely agree with you that greed has been the problem all along but i think the only reason why the mayans allegedly “predicted” what happened is because it was obvious to anyone because it was written in the sky. A “Man” killing a fish in the midst of toxic appearing ocean aka the milky way. We were given full warning not to kill and to honor the planet and all that was in it. We were given the means on every continent to sustain life if appropriately maintained, but the idea of owning more; that one man was more deserving of free land to own and sell for something as invluable as money. Look at the economy what has credit, or invisible money done for us lately?

      Comment by Julie McKay — April 23, 2010 @ 10:03 am | Reply

  11. [...] I briefly consulted for my two-part (eventually three-part) series on the astrologer Terry Nazon (here and here), because this friend practices astrology as a [...]

    Pingback by Is Debunking a Fringe Person Still Worth It? « Exposing PseudoAstronomy — March 8, 2010 @ 3:57 pm | Reply

  12. [...] on his blog as part 3 of his exposure of the astrologer Terry Nazon’s claims about the Maya. Part one and two are found at his website. I accepted the offer and I have just read what she has to say [...]

    Pingback by Prophet of nonsense #12: Terry Nazon and ethnocentric astrology « Archaeological Haecceities — April 19, 2010 @ 10:40 pm | Reply

  13. [...] back when, oh, about two months ago, I wrote a two-part series on astrologer Terry Nazon (part 1, part [...]

    Pingback by Planet X and 2012 and Astrology: Exploring the Claims of Astrologer Terry Nazon on 2012, Part 3 « Exposing PseudoAstronomy — April 19, 2010 @ 11:08 pm | Reply

  14. It has recently come to my attention that oceans shark population since the release of sharkwater has been fished down 90% of thier population. Sagitarius a “man” holding a bow and arrow aligns in 2012 with pices a fish. (Sharks are fish)Maybe all the mayans saw was man killing fish on an “black road” the road to mankinds demise is the destruction of our ocean. Maybe we knew from the begining but greed, desire and want were to consuming to listen to our only doctrine, do not kill, love one another, honor thy mother and father..the order of things and our ecosystem that contains us.

    Comment by Julie McKay — April 23, 2010 @ 8:41 am | Reply

    • Constellations do not “align” with each other. First, it takes thousands of years to notice ANY movement of the stars relative to each other without anything other than very sensitive MODERN astronomical equipment (where “modern” is last ~100-150 years). Second, each star that resides in a constellation has its own relative motion compared with the other stars and over time the constellation will look completely different. They are not in any way, shape, nor form bound to each other and their only significance is that they appear to make a certain shape when viewed from Earth.

      Comment by astrostu206265 — April 23, 2010 @ 1:09 pm | Reply

  15. Yes exactly everything has its own cycle and its own system and through mathematics we can determine such things as weather, crops, tidal changes etc.
    I dont believe by any means the world is going to end due to some prophecy. However if sharks go extinct since their population has already been reucuded to estimated 10% of the population remaining. This means smaller fishs’ main predator that helps controll the fish poulation will no longer be balanced; become rampant and eat out their source of phytoplankton. Which produces 90% of the worlds oxygen.If we no longer have oxygen I’m pretty sure we’ll die.

    Comment by Julie McKay — April 23, 2010 @ 2:23 pm | Reply

  16. [...] her archaeology claims of the Mayans. He kindly obliged and you can read all three parts here: Part 1, part 2, and part [...]

    Pingback by Ah, the Joys of Stepping on Someone’s Toes: Terry Nazon Redux « Exposing PseudoAstronomy — June 2, 2010 @ 11:41 pm | Reply

  17. [...] showed in my series on Nazon before (part 1, part 2, and part 3) that she is fairly ignorant of where objects are in the sky, and this is [...]

    Pingback by Terry Nazon’s Astronomy: Just Plain Wrong « Exposing PseudoAstronomy — June 9, 2010 @ 7:30 pm | Reply

  18. Nothing against your astronomy, and certainly not in support of Ms. Nazon, but your understanding of the economic term, “depression” is lacking. It is an extended period of significant economic contraction, and currency valuation can fluctuate wildly, not simply inflate.

    Indeed inflation during a depression is usually the result not of the depression but because of government fiscal policy, spending to try and prop the economy back-up and/or devaluing their currency to make the nation’s exports more attractive

    For instance, the longest depression, in duration, was the Long Depression of 1873-1879, but it was a shallower contraction than the later Great Depression. In my (admittedly) eyeballing of your chart below, that appears to be a period of deflation.

    Though, and this is a flaw of her analysis as well, it is an oddly U.S. centric view of an economic pattern. In the UK, The Long Depression is considered to extend well into 1896. Why the stars and planets would only care about the U.S. economy is somewhat baffling.

    Comment by JeffXandra — June 16, 2010 @ 12:38 pm | Reply

  19. So, it seems the point of difference in interpretation of a star or planet or group of the same over an individuals life and body go from the infinitesemil to the macroinfinite. I fall with logic on this one. A planet millions of miles away seen on the backdrop of stars thousands plus light years away can influence my future. I think the odds of winning a lottery are so much higher yet I don’t play it, why? simple logic. the chance of winning is too small, why bother? For those who believe in astrology what you really have is a cheerleading squad shouting ,”run for the goal.” If you believe you can make it, you might , if not, well just wait for those four monsters to stomp the crud out of you at the 50 yard line. Astrology is religion at its finest. Believe and it will come true.Positive thinking makes for positive actions. However you must have the “do nots” of religion, otherwise you have nothing to blame your faults and failures on except yourself and that is unacceptable, after all you’re perfect, your failure was “in the stars.” SO why didn’t you check first? “Today you will have a good day, beware of conflict while driving, smile when another appears angry with you.” Vague, true for about all of us and if you do it, that guy who thinks you stole his parking space may not beat the rabbit pellets out of you. What will they do when that star 100 million light years away suddenly disappears and we know its been nothing but a ghost for 100million years and stopped influencing anything that long ago, around the time of what dinosaurs? Might as well say if I burp the universe expanded to accomodate it.

    I end, astrology is not bad astronomy, though it is, it’s just bad religion.

    Comment by Azsandman — June 21, 2010 @ 4:18 pm | Reply

  20. [...] Planet X and 2012 and Astrology: Exploring the Claims of Astrologer Terry Nazon on 2012, Part 1 [...]

    Pingback by Planet X and 2012: My Posts So Far « Exposing PseudoAstronomy — November 6, 2010 @ 12:13 am | Reply

  21. Hi there,

    It seems like you are mistaking Astrology for Astronomy. When we, astrologers, talk about
    something like Saturn entering Scorpio or Mars conjoining Spica we are using ephemeris
    like the ones below. And guess what? The astrologer you are criticizing is correct! According
    to the Tropical Ephemeris most of all use (some astrologers use Sidereal Ephemeris) Saturn
    WILL enter the constellation of Scorpio in the date pointed by the astrologer you question.

    Use these links to see how correct he is. The second link gives you the position for Fixed
    Stars in the Tropical Zodiac:

    http://www.astro.com/swisseph/swepha_e.htm

    http://www.constellationsofwords.com/stars/Stars_in_longitude_order.htm

    I hope you now understand the parameters we work with are different from your own parameters.

    Take care,

    Nilsa

    Comment by Nilsa Gorey — November 7, 2010 @ 6:44 pm | Reply

  22. [...] since I started to write a series of posts (part 1 here) on 2012 claims of “Terry Nazon World Famous Celebrity Astrologer,” and then getting [...]

    Pingback by Picking Apart a Sham: 2011 Astrology Predictions from Terry Nazon « Exposing PseudoAstronomy — January 12, 2011 @ 1:21 am | Reply


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