Exposing PseudoAstronomy

February 16, 2010

Planet X and 2012 and Astrology: Exploring the Claims of Astrologer Terry Nazon on 2012, Part 2


Introduction

This is Part 2 of my two-part series on the 2012 claims of astrologer Terry Nazon, found on her website, “The Mayan Prophecy of 2012,” which I found after seeing the Coast to Coast AM late-night George Noory -hosted radio show for February 15, 2010 on their “Astrology Special.”

Part 1 of this series dealt with Ms. Nazon’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.

Note: There will be a third part to this series, but it will not be posted for a few months. I have been in contact with Johan Normark, who writes the Archaeological Haecceities blog and he has agreed to write a guest post for me about Ms. Nazon’s claims of the Mayan culture, but he will not be able to do so for a few months.

The Galactic Center — of Our Universe?

“Let me introduce you to the Galactic Center of our universe, the Milky Way 27° Sagittarius. This is where all the creative energy of universe comes from. A Massive black hole, many times larger than our own Sun.”

After reading some of what Ms. Nazon has written, and especially going into her numbered claims as I did in Part 1 of this 2-part post, I would surmise that she knows very little astronomy. I would expect she knows some very basics, like what a planet is, what the ones in the solar system are, and some basics known to laypeople. However, she apparently does not know galactic structure nor the basics of the layout o the universe, as evidenced by the above quote.

In my first part of this series on Ms. Nazon, I very quickly brushed through celestial coordinate systems. I’ll go a bit more in-depth here because this post is MUCH shorter.

If you were to project Earth’s latitude system onto the sky, you get what astronomers refer to as “declination” which is abbreviated as “DEC.” It’s that simple. The North Celestial Pole, at +90 DEC, is very close to the star Polaris and is where Earth’s rotational axis would lie if it were to go on forever. 0° DEC is the celestial equator.

Longitude is a bit trickier. While there are technically 360° in any circle, astronomers divide the sky’s longitude into what’s known as “right ascension,” where the circle is divided into 24 hours (abbreviated “RA”). The reason for this is to make estimating when an object will be visible a little easier. For example, let’s say I’m out observing and Mars is at the 13 hr RA. But, at that time, only objects at 12 hr RA are above my eastern horizon. Then I know right away that in 1 hour on the clock, Mars will rise. This is easier than taking the degree difference and then dividing by 15 to get the time.

So through this system of DEC and RA (where RA rotates with Earth’s rotation), we have a celestial coordinate system so that any astronomer could go to another and say, “I got an e-mail this morning from someone who claims they see Planet X at DEC +34° 12′ 52″, RA 11 hr 53 min 33 sec. Can you check out those coordinates to confirm?”

That is how you use the coordinate system Stating, “Milky Way 27° Sagittarius” is fairly meaningless. However, because I am familiar with to what she is referring as well as these general claims, I will decipher the statement (after first explaining why it’s meaningless). First, because she states 27°, one could assume she is referring to DEC because there is no such thing as degrees in RA. Stating that something is at DEC 27° is like stating that a ship is at 27° latitude. Okay, latitude is nice … but I’m not about to search the entire circle of the globe at that latitude for the ship.

She narrows it down by saying Sagittarius. Unfortunately for Ms. Nazon, the northern-most part of Sagittarius lies just above the -12° mark. Southern-most is just below -45°. So, let’s assume she actually means -27° instead of 27°. Because it’s Sagittarius, we are limited to RA 17h45m to 20h30m.

From the context, she’s talking about the very center of the Milky Way, known as Sagittarius A* (pronounced “A-star”), or Sag A* for short (us astronomers like abbr.). This object, which is a super-massive black hole, is located at the coordinates DEC -29° 0′ 27.9″, RA 17 hr 45 min 40.045 sec. So even if we flip the sign for Ms. Nazon, she’s still 2° off, though not that big of a deal – I may be nit-picking here.

The second main reason why this claim shows Ms. Nazon knows little about structure is that our galaxy’s core has nothing to do with the universe. The universe couldn’t care less where our galaxy is nor where its core may be located. A galaxy is a grouping of stars, gas, dust, and dark matter, bound by mutual gravity. The universe is – by definition – “everything.” To claim that our galaxy’s center is the “Galactic Center of our universe” simply makes Ms. Nazon sound ignorant about the basic astronomy.

Oh, as to the creative energy flowing from the galaxy’s center … I’m going to leave that alone. It’s not worth commenting on other than to make a vague reference to Star Trek: The Animated Series.

To Infinity and Beyond!

“Now the concept of infinity and time has intrigued mathematicians, scientists, physicists and philosophers for eons. It was profound and very spiritual. On the number line with the center being zero, zero is never reached. To think that you can go infinitely in one direction and infinitely in another is not only profound but, it’s the truth. If that’s the case then, when we die or end, and when we are born and begin, is infinity. It’s a continuum of time. Since there is no end on the other side of zero… it is where everything happens, but didn’t.

“Our Galactic center at 27* Sagittarius is a black Hole…Is this where we find infinity?”

If you can understand what Ms. Nazon is saying for the first part of this, I congratulate you and I request that you explain it to me in the Comments section of this post.

As for the last sentence, as I explained above, the galactic center is at a DEC -29°, not 27°, and I think she’s mixing up her symbols with Sag A* and the little degree sign (°) on her “27.”

While you may not consider this to be an important point, it does speak to her lack of familiarity with the topic, and hence should speak to whether or not you want to pay her nearly $330 an hour for a phone consultation.

Real Particle Baths?

“During the Solstices the Galactic Center bathes us in energy. Real particle energy! Protons and Neutrons the DNA material that sustains life on Earth.”

Interesting claim. But profoundly meaningless. First, the center of our galaxy is very roughly 30,000 light-years away. That means that the fastest thing we know of – light – would take 30,000 years to get to us from there. So, perhaps Ms. Nazon is claiming that the Milky Way’s black hole is constantly spewing out material and so that 30,000 light-year distance -> time delay doesn’t matter.

Now, by definition, a black hole cannot emit particles (let’s ignore Hawking Radiation for this discussion). However, material falling into the black hole does emit radiation, and this radiation and any particles can be accelerated to speeds very close to that of light. So in that sense, Ms. Nazon is correct.

But, it’s this whole alignment with the solstices that’s meaningless. By definition, the Winter Solstice happens when the sun is at exactly RA 18 hr, and the Summer Solstice happens when the sun is at exactly RA 6 hr. That’s actually how the RA system is set up, to line up with the solstices and equinoxes.

Granted, 17 hr 45 min 40.045 sec is not that far off from 18 hr 00 min 00.000 sec. But it’s not the same. And this is ignoring that it’s a few degrees off in DEC. So let’s say she’s right – on the Winter Solstice, this event for some reason happens because the sun is only about 14 min away from the galactic center. If that’s so, then why doesn’t this happen for the ~2-4 week period surrounding it? There are a few days around there when the sun is in closer alignment with the galactic center.

And then the same thing for the Summer Solstice, except why would this bathing event happen when the sun is in the opposite part of the sky?

And then, if you think about looking at the galaxy in a top-down way – say, a flat plate representing the galaxy and then a grain of sand representing our entire solar system – why would the orientation of that grain of sand relative to the center of the plate make any difference in the larger picture?

Final Thoughts, Part 2

This post is shorter than the first because there were much less astronomy-related specifics in it.

This post focused mainly on Ms. Nazon’s sketchy new-agey astronomy-sounding claims and why to anyone who studies astronomy they are fairly meaningless and demonstrably insignificant. If you doubt what I’ve written, I suggest you do a little independent reading on your own on astronomical coordinate systems, large-scale structure of the universe, and how an apparent alignment between two objects would have any bearing on anything. I invite you to post questions you may have in the Comments section for clarification.

And I would ask that – even if you don’t believe me completely – you consider the lack of knowledge that Ms. Nazon has demonstrated on her website before you fork over $64.00 for an “E-Reading via email,” or $74.85 for a 15-minute phone reading (or $329.95 for a 1-hour reading).

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17 Comments »

  1. […] 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). […]

    Pingback by Planet X and 2012 and Astrology: Exploring the Claims of Astrologer Terry Nazon on 2012, Part 1 « Exposing PseudoAstronomy — February 17, 2010 @ 7:37 pm | Reply

  2. Thanks for the two posts, I have just read parts 1 and 2 and enjoyed them. Its good to see people putting quality effort into debunking the whole 2012 nonsense.

    Comment by limey — February 20, 2010 @ 4:59 am | Reply

  3. […] 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 @ 3:58 pm | Reply

  4. […] 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 about the […]

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

  5. […] Way back when, oh, about two months ago, I wrote a two-part series on astrologer Terry Nazon (part 1, part 2). […]

    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

  6. […] 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 @ 11:42 pm | Reply

  7. […] 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 seriously not […]

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

  8. I’m not an astrologer by any means. Can’t stand the stuff.

    If you’re going to discredit a subject, you should do so in a way that doesn’t make you look like the idiot. Any astrology-believer who read this would get as far as your bit on “27° Sagittarius” and stop reading due to literally rolling on the floor laughing. Like I said, I’m totally not an astrologer, but even I know that “27° Sagittarius” means 27 degrees from one side of the constellation to the other. (No, I don’t know which side is zero. I think it’s the side that the Sun and planets enter from.) It has nothing to do with declination.

    Furthermore, you should know that astrology signs have almost nothing to do with where the astronomical constellations currently are in the sky. In astrology, the 12 signs are (I think) of equal width, and located where they were roughly 2000 years ago. Everybody knows, I think, that in astrology the Sun enters Gemini (for example) on or around May 21st or 22nd. Now, go ahead and look at where the Sun really is in the sky on that date. You’ll see what I mean.

    There’s more than enough BS in astrology for anybody to convincingly take it down. But you should at least learn a little of the lingo and notations first. Or not. But if you don’t, you’ll only be preaching to the choir, and not constructing an argument to convince people who *need* convincing.

    Comment by dcsohl — June 16, 2010 @ 9:10 am | Reply

    • I have read up on the subject somewhat, and my understanding is that no one agrees as to what to take into account. Some take into account precession, some don’t. Some use standard constellations, some don’t. I know the standard horoscopes don’t, for, as you said, the sun hasn’t entered Gemini on May 21 since 800 B.C. However, if your constellations are 30° wide (12 constellations, 360° in the sky, then each is 30°), then Sagittarius should be 30° not 27°, and stating 30° Sagittarius would be redundant since “everyone” knows how wide it is.

      Comment by astrostu206265 — June 16, 2010 @ 9:20 am | Reply

    • So, just to connect the dots a little more… 27° Sagittarius would be 27 degrees in increasing RA from the 0 mark of Sagittarius. Each astrological constellation being of equal width, they start at 0h RA (Aries), 2h (Taurus), etc up to 16h for Sagittarius. Then add 27°, which is 108 minutes (or 1h48m) of RA, and you get 17h 48m RA. And astrologers, from all I’ve ever seen, don’t care about anything aside from the ecliptic. North and south don’t mean anything. Position on the ecliptic is everything to them, and on this technical matter, Nazon is actually right for once.

      Doesn’t make any of this *mean* anything, of course. But, once you translate astrological “coordinates” to real astronomical ones, she’s got something right.

      Comment by dcsohl — June 16, 2010 @ 9:23 am | Reply

  9. A note on the infinity thing…

    I think she’s trying vaguely to use the concept of infinity to explain that we’re all immortal (in one version of the word or another). Unfortunately, she’s still wrong about the details, as she’s trying to say time extends infinitely in either direction. This ignores there being a start to the universe.

    Comment by wurmfood — June 16, 2010 @ 11:00 am | Reply

  10. […] Planet X and 2012 and Astrology: Exploring the Claims of Astrologer Terry Nazon on 2012, Part 2 […]

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

  11. Oh my! I just can’t believe what I am reading. Nazan doesn’t have ANY understanding of mathematical/physical infinity. What an idiot!!! Nazan is just a lazy person who didn’t take time to go to college or to the library for that matter and learn the subjects she’s talking about.

    Comment by Alia — July 13, 2011 @ 3:09 am | Reply

  12. […] Planet X and 2012 Astrology […]

    Pingback by Happy 2012 New Year! Astrology for 2012. « Written on the Wind — November 25, 2011 @ 7:25 am | Reply

  13. 27degrees Sag is astrological talk or position for RA 17h45mins…etc.
    the other thing, i’ve been trying to show/convince my fellow astrologers..the Sun only gets as far south as approx 23deg DEC, and the GC lies at 29deg DEC..that aint no conjunction, not in anyboby’s book. take care.

    Comment by allen martin — December 8, 2012 @ 10:06 pm | Reply

  14. Sagittarius is the only constellation in the Zodiac that has a black hole. And at the present time is is the only black hole in our galaxy that has been confirmed as such by astronomical observations as it’s event horizon has been detected by multiple telescopes. What’s even more exciting is that is is a Kerr Black Hole so its singularity is not a point, but a ring of infinitesimal thickness and infinite density(at least in theory) that forms the boundary of an actual hole in spacetime some 11 million miles across. And that makes me particularly proud to born under this sign.

    Comment by Author_Unknown — November 24, 2013 @ 3:04 am | Reply

    • I suggest you do a little more reading about black hole detection and our knowledge of them and where they are.

      Comment by Stuart Robbins — November 24, 2013 @ 9:38 am | Reply


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