Exposing PseudoAstronomy

January 30, 2009

Planet X and 2012: Proof Earth Is Not Experiencing a Pole Shift


Between my posts on the magnetic pole shift and geographic pole shift (since I left my notes on the latter in the office and so will have to write that post tomorrow), I’m going to address the claim that people make that our planet, right now is in the middle of a pole shift, that it’s already started to happen, and The Government doesn’t want you to know.

I’m going to show you why this is very obviously wrong, and what you can do yourself on any clear night to prove that this is wrong.

All posts in this series:

The Premise

This premise is NOT unique to this particular website, but it’s the one I’m using to illustrate the point for this post. The author clearly states, “Earth’s axis tilt has recently increased by an additional 26 degrees.” He also provides an illustration of what Earth’s orbit should be (top) and what it actually is (according to him) (bottom).


For background, we’ll actually use his first (top) diagram. Earth’s axis is tilted 23.5° relative to the ecliptic. The “ecliptic” is defined as the plane that Earth traces out when it orbits the sun. So the tilt can also be described as the tilt that Earth’s axis makes relative to the path it takes around the sun.

Now let’s define “axis.” Again, this may seem elementary, but it’s important we get all the definitions straight. There are two points on Earth – the North and South geographic poles – that are always* pointed at the exact same locations in space. If you were to draw a line between these two points and follow them to other stars, the North pole line would come fairly close to what’s popularly known as the “North Star,” or “Polaris.” This common name comes both from medieval Latin polaris meaning “heavenly,” from the original Latin polus meaning “end of an axis.” Fairly apropos.

That is very important here – the poles are always aimed at the same spot in space, regardless of the time of day, regardless of the season. And Polaris sits 66.5° above the ecliptic (90°-23.5°= 66.5°) – or just about (since it’s actually slightly off of the axis, but it’s close enough for our purposes here).

The rest of the planet rotates – spins – around an imaginary line that runs through the North and South geographic poles (those two stationary points relative to the stars). This means that everywhere else on Earth, the stars rise and set throughout the day and night as Earth rotates under them. At either pole, the same stars just move in direct East-to-West circles without any rising or setting.

* There is a ~26,000-year precession (wobble) of the pointing of Earth’s rotation axis. The axis stays the same relative to Earth, but it moves relative to the stars in a rather large circle. 13,000 years ago, the North Star would have been the very bright star Vega. However, this should NOT be confused with a pole shift. This process is very slow and steady, and it has nothing to do with the claims of the 2012 doomsdayers.

Why This Pole Shift Claim Is Demonstrably Wrong

I’ll admit, this is fairly low-hanging fruit. You don’t have to be an astrophysicist to figure out that these claims are wrong. And you should also be wary when the very first words on the guy’s website are, “Order your copy today” (of his book). You should also be careful when the guy’s Ph.D. is purely honorary and in the “the field of Energyinformative Sciences, from the Academy of Energyinformative Sciences.” Notice something missing? Yeah, anything related to astronomy, geology, or physics … not that a degree in those automatically makes all your ideas suddenly believable.

With that in mind, what would happen if the pole, well, shifted? Well, it would not look like this person’s diagram, partly because the plane of the ecliptic does not rotate with the axis of rotation. Earth’s orbit around the sun is independent from its rotation about its axis. But the major problem with the diagram is how he has drawn the day/night sides. Because the ecliptic would stay the same as it is now, the day/night shading should run vertically through the image.

What would the consequences of this be? This is where his claims are very easily demonstrably wrong in two very simple ways.

First, let’s look at this tilt and where the day/night line should be. If Earth has tilted an additional 26° as of now, it would be tilted 49.5° relative to the ecliptic. That means that all latitudes North of 49.5° N or South of 49.5° S would experience 24 hours of daylight during their summer solstices and 24 hours of night during their winter solstices. England, Norway, Canada, Alaska, Tierra del Fuego, parts of Australia … I think they would have noticed this. I don’t think that governments could really cover something like that up.

Second, let’s look at the stars. He claims, “The star layout would only be a miniscule change which the average person would not notice.” This is factually wrong and very easy to see for yourself. Just go outside with a camera that can have a shutter speed of a minute or longer and a tripod. Aim it towards the North, and take a 1-5 minute picture (or longer if you’d like). What you will see is the stars making little arcs through the picture, but there will be one reasonably bright star that appears to not move at all. That star is Polaris. It may look something like the photo below, which was taken for about 30 minutes. The bright star towards the lower right corner is Polaris.

Sorry Southern Hemisphere folks, there is no pole star for you guys, but you can still accomplish the same effect and see stars moving around the Southern Celestial Pole.

What does this relatively stationary star show? It shows that Earth’s axis is still pointed towards Polaris. If it had tilted by 26° — even if it had tilted by 1° – that star would not stay in the same place, but it would move along with the others.

In addition, tens of thousands (or more) telescopes rely upon knowing exactly where Polaris is relative to the North Celestial Pole. Without it, they couldn’t keep keep track of objects, “go to” telescope systems wouldn’t work, and everyone who has any telescope that tracks the night sky would notice.

The Conspiracy

And so we get to the conspiracy”

“Why has no one mentioned the shift of the Earth’s Axis? Surely they would tell the public if something this major had occurred. Surely the scientists or meteorologists would have said something? Surely the media would have mentioned this?

“Wrong!!!! Global Panic! Economic Meltdown! Panic Hording!

“Meteorologists, Media CEO’s, astronomers, astrophysicists and other experts worldwide seem to have been silenced. A common gov’t control procedure in wartime or cataclysmic situations with severe penalties for those who fail to comply… Threats of Gitmo or being discredited & unemployed would be persuasive. Remember what happened to Bob Lazar for revealing Area 51 secrets? The gov’t destroyed him.

“The gov’t successfully persuaded thousands of workers & scientists to keep their silence when building the A-bomb in the 1940’s, so let that be an example of how it is possible to silence an entire industry of tens of thousands, if needed.”

Again, these claims are demonstrably wrong because anyone can check Earth’s polar alignment by going outside and looking for the North Star (or Southern Cross), and anyone can tell you that southern Argentina doesn’t experience 24-hr daylight around the summer solstice. And, being an astronomer, I can say that I certainly haven’t received my hush money, otherwise I’d be driving a nicer car (or have a nicer camera system, more likely … or maybe live in a nicer apartment).

Final Thoughts

This represents one of the more silly claims (remotely) related to the Planet X and 2012 doomsday scenario / conspiracy that’s out there. But it is related under the category of a “pole shift,” and so I have included it in this series. The idea that Earth is currently experiencing a pole shift is easily shown to be incorrect, and with that, I hope to lay this topic to rest – at least to those of you who have read this blog.



  1. I appreciate what you’re saying even if I don’t understand all the math. My question is, if a pole shift could happen once can/will it happen again and, if so, which star will the Earth align with next and is the shift likely to result in natural disasters?

    Comment by Charlotte Cowell — February 21, 2009 @ 9:14 am | Reply

    • I really like some of the comments in this report/blog. I appreciate the authors sense of humor, “Argentina doesn’t experience 24-hr daylight around the summer solstice,” is a good point.

      A Sextant is a good investment and maybe greatly needed in the near future.

      Comment by poopypants — May 11, 2010 @ 10:38 pm | Reply

  2. Charlotte –

    Please read the post, “Planet X and 2012: The Pole Shift (Geographic / Spin Axis) Explained and Debunked.” It discusses the lack of evidence for a geographic pole shift (which is the one discussed in this post). It also discusses why a pole shift simply doesn’t work because it lacks a mechanism. Hence, your question is based on a false premise, “if a pole shift could happen once can/will it happen again” … it hasn’t happened and really lacks any physical mechanism to do so.

    Comment by astrostu206265 — February 21, 2009 @ 11:34 am | Reply

  3. Just have to say “thank you” for taking your time to debunk all the crazy stuff people come up with. Your use of common sense backed by science is appreciated by many who know that most of this stuff is BS, but don’t have the time or knowledge to correctly build the case. Thanks again.

    Comment by Terrence — March 17, 2009 @ 4:07 pm | Reply

  4. I think people are confusing Magnetic pole shift with actual pole axes shift .NASA has a lot to say on the subject of magnetic shift and IT is moving right now according to NASA and they are not covering it up 10 ktm a year now .Right now a few of Old aircraft runways are off magnetic as much as 10 deg mag. most runways are build on a magnetic spec east west or north south ,NASA also is not covering up a coming Magnetic soler storm in 2010 or 2011 .See Hathaway “NASA” but Dikpati forcast Solar Max 2012 same page .Also the government has built a super bunker to house all the Elite PTB this is just out its been covered up but its leaked out ,Photos are now on yuotube “Underground Government base exposed” interesting to look at and gee why can’t they build bunkers for the people that payed the bill .Norway has also built a bunker for the elite 2,500 government picks “ARC bunker” also not covered up now but was .Russia built bunkers for the masses a long time ago and the Swiss built bunkers for almost all the people in the country of course they did it for a H bomb war . Metatech Corp report Jan 11 ,2009 to FEMA in reguards to Solar Storm Its a risk that EHV transformers could be knocked out by same if storm is as big as perdicted .EHV transformers take a long time to make and install and they are not now being stocked piled anywhere in case that could happen Turn around time for a blowed EHV is 12 months and people are out of work that could be building EHVs .On the other hand the government has ordered huge stocks of caskets and grave vults that just one could hold 40,000 bodys as well as body bags and that has been kept quite but has leaked out ,its not hard to find locations of grave vults and mass caskets by the thousands on the web . Some one thinks some thing big is going to happen soon NASA made 25,000 phone calles and it cost 11 million bucks no one spends 11million on 25,000 phone calls.Also To find water on Mars it cost 700 billion ,really ,I think the money went some place else .NASA spent 20 million extra for jet trips for big shots than if they would have went first class on public flights in 2007 . NASA spends money like water and with almost no oversight .This is info thats not hard to find if looked for in the records .Congress over sight wanted the unfinnished study of bird strikes on aircraft that cost more than 10 million NASA has not given it up ,maybe they spent the money on another project who knows but .WHY ! The government PTB are Just Crooks or something else is going on that is covered up in such a way it looks open .So tell me that their is not going to be any Solar storm ,The Magnetic pole is not moving and We all have no need of Bomb shelters or Bunkers . last note Their are a few FEMA approved builders of Long turm desaster bunkers for well to do people “Crooks” that have lots of land and money .Really FEMA certified everything but a direct hit from a comet . The rich are buying them now like hot cakes ,So tell me once more their is no chance they will ever use them ,They are smart well informed Crooks that have a in with people in high places they are just wasting their ill-gotten loot on fixed location bunkers ,so they are rich smart well conected and fools .Right .Everything is just fine no reason to be prepaired for anything like the government has done And the people just get debunked whatever .Really nothing to worry about go watch football and drink more beer right !

    Comment by Dave — April 29, 2009 @ 12:01 am | Reply

    • The misspellings are so rampant here that you have to wonder if they’re on purpose. Intentional or not, the poor grammar belies the poor thought process. My only note: this is why language is important. Language is what influences our reasoning. Without proper language, as clearly evidenced here, we lose our rationality.

      Comment by Arpad — July 1, 2010 @ 9:04 pm | Reply

      • Dyslexia or speed-typing has no bearing on the thought behind the expression. Attack the idea because of imperfect expression of the idea? Dismiss it because it is not structured correctly? Are you serious? If English is not this individual’s first language, then that is yet another reason why spelling and grammar may not be palatable for narrow-minded perfectionists like you. Ideas and thoughts conveyed through the imperfect interface of language should be perceived by the intelligent for what is meant rather than what is said. As such, I find that there is nothing much in the way of ‘illogical’ expressed here.

        The rich are indeed spending their fear money. NASA are indeed lying to the public.
        What’s new? Governments and their respective agencies are lying to the people? Surely not!

        Comment by Jonoh — July 22, 2010 @ 4:47 pm

      • Laziness is the problem here. Language does in fact affect thought. There’s a great documentary called The Linguists in which a couple of dedicated scientists (real scientists) travel the globe to preserve language because of its relationship to human perspective and thought. Orderly thought can, of course, be expressed in disorganized language but I believe it is difficult to express disorderly thought in well structured language. In fact, the act of trying to express illogical thoughts in a rational manner might cause one to rethink them. Or, God forbid, the act of re-reading what one has written might also have some positive effect. Ya think?

        Let’s start with the idea of mutual respect. If you expect me to take care in reading your words, isn’t it respectful to take at least as much care in writing them as you expect me to take in reading them? In this case as in many others, the text is very difficult to read.

        Since you chose an uncharitable ad hominem attack of me as a narrow-minded perfectionist, I’ll touch on that briefly. The Internet is full of low quality ideas propagated by people that don’t bother to vet what they read or are told. This is leading to hysteria and could very well be dangerous. It definitely cheapens the intellectual discourse of our society. I’m far from narrow-minded but I will agree that I aspire to be a perfectionist in a growing age of sloth.

        Let’s proceed to the logical problem, which is the only thing with which you claim to be concerned. The primary logical fallacy, repeated throughout the text is referred to as “Absurd Extrapolation.” Stating that because one thing is true then it must lead to the second, regardless of the lack of connection. This is a symptom of uncritical and undisciplined reasoning. For example…

        1. The earth’s magnetic pole is currently moving, THEREFORE there will be a magnetic pole reversal. I have to paraphrase and append what I assume he means because he doesn’t finish his thought. See how this is a problem?

        2. There are secret government and “crook” bunkers, THEREFORE it is proof that the government is building these for themselves to survive the near future. The government has been building underground for decades; think Nuclear Holocaust. To digress, that “Underground US Government Bases Exposed” YouTube video is ridiculous. Many of the images are well known and have been in the public domain for decades: Salt Lake mines, Detroit salt mines, etc.. What a hoax. Even if there *were* secret government bunkers, and there probably are, it’s a huge stretch to conclude that then there’s some well known, impending global apocalypse.

        This is the kind of thing that now saturates the Interwebs. It’s to the point where you can’t even Google anything serious without finding a bunch of crackpots. I maintain that it all starts and ends with language. Period. Don’t get me started on how this same problem is a much more dangerous thing in a Democracy. We see it every day.

        Comment by Arpad — July 24, 2010 @ 3:46 pm

  5. […] Planet X & 2012: Proof Earth is not experiencing a pole shift […]

    Pingback by 2012hoax: Agpage — May 14, 2009 @ 10:17 am | Reply

  6. […] Planet X & 2012: Proof Earth is not experiencing a pole shift […]

    Pingback by 2012hoax: Astrogeek — May 14, 2009 @ 1:33 pm | Reply

  7. […] Planet X & 2012: Proof Earth is not experiencing a pole shift […]

    Pingback by 2012hoax: Links — May 14, 2009 @ 10:52 pm | Reply

  8. Dave, your spelling and grammar skills are that of a 5th grader. Unfortunately, that doesn’t lend much validity to your comments.

    Comment by GrammarCop — September 20, 2009 @ 10:50 pm | Reply

    • What about if Dave is mildly dyslexic? Are you really so judgemental. GrammarCop?

      Comment by OpenMind — February 9, 2010 @ 5:18 am | Reply

  9. It is already happening.

    and you can’t stop it.

    [Moderator note — I combined your two comments into one.]

    Comment by Laurie — January 10, 2010 @ 7:26 pm | Reply

  10. I wonder why people spend so much time on emphasizing their ideal that if a person does not use grammer correctly they damn themselves to irrevolency?

    For me that is a waste of time and it proves nothing.

    THEY could just have a screwed up keyboard like me that takes words (grammer) out sporadically. lol

    Comment by Sandra — January 13, 2010 @ 8:44 am | Reply

  11. I think the moderators are just saying “please be carefull” with their usual sublety, manners and modesty. Apparently if you are partially dyslexic your comments are invalid. Don’t worry Sandra after a while reading this site you get used to the moderators’ charming attitude.

    Comment by Henry — January 14, 2010 @ 4:55 am | Reply

  12. That’s a like big mystery…yet to be unveiled…but, whatever has to happen shall happen…so be optimistic and lead a joyful life ahead…leaving behind all worries!!

    Comment by John Cassanova — January 31, 2010 @ 11:10 pm | Reply

  13. finally someone who also believes that polar shift, 2012, and planet x isn’t real. Even though I am only 11 years old, ever since I was 7 I have been researching and experimenting on polar shift. I’m also have some highly efficent notes and mathmatical equations on the poles and how they work and rotate. What really bugs me is the movie 2012. I mean its a great movie and all it just doesn’t make sense. During the movie they never really say why this was happening. Besides the Mayan Counter says doomsday will occur on the date December 21st 2012 at ecxactly 12 o’clock at night but how does that work? time change around the word can carry out from 3 hours to 23 hours. So they are basically saying that the world is going to end at one part of the planet and the other will be perfectly fine. My uncle studies quantum physisics and right now he’s trying to figure out some other mathematical equation that tells us why this isn’t true. I also have some questions. Why don’t people talk about what happens when all the planets alighn? I mean it will happen someday but when? And we don’t even go by the Mayan calendar so why they say that’s when the the human race will die out on that specific date? If the Mayans are so accurate why don’t they have the alighnment of the planets on it? If it doesn’t have that then people are wrong. The Mayans are notaccurate of when the human race is going to die out. Besides Earth runs on its own date and time so I don’t believe anything is going to happen on 2012. People can’t end the human race its almost impossible. I also have a calendar on my phone and I can go into the future over ten thousand years and more.

    Comment by shelby hager — February 6, 2010 @ 10:08 pm | Reply

    • Why don’t people talk about what happens when all the planets alighn? I mean it will happen someday but when? And we don’t even go by the Mayan calendar so why they say that’s when the the human race will die out on that specific date? If the Mayans are so accurate why don’t they have the alighnment of the planets on it?

      Some people do talk about planetary alignments (that’s the foundation of astrology), and there was some such in the 1980s. Nothing happened, and nothing would happen even if they all aligned in a row … they simply do not exert enough force on Earth to do anything doomsday-wise.

      They Mayan calendar end-date was picked by a few doomsdayers in the 1960s and was picked up later on, especially after the world didn’t end in 2003 with the relatively close approach of Mars. The next big date in the new-age / pop-culture was 2012 which, thanks to the internet’s growth over the last 7 years, gained much more traction than it may otherwise have.

      Comment by astrostu206265 — February 8, 2010 @ 1:31 am | Reply

    • First of all I’m sure your a smart 5th grader but the myans only lived in one part of the world so I would say time and date are relitive to to their geographical area as they realy only cared about themselves.In the movie ,(by the way watch it again for it’s content)the earth is basicly melting from the inside out like a microwave thus leaving our spinnig earth’s crust to float where ever it may now as for the pole switching i don’t know much about it but but if you think about it does it mater if the switch unless it some how change the revalution of the planet who care were north and south unless you want be were the best weather is cause changing pole i would think would have some effect on the weather..Have great day and keep thinking it won’t hurt you

      Comment by Art Inman — March 6, 2010 @ 1:04 pm | Reply

  14. I also found out that people keep on moving the doomsday date from 2000 to 2003 and now to 2012. This is so rediculous. Feel free to use my data on your website.

    Comment by shelby hager — February 6, 2010 @ 10:11 pm | Reply

  15. When 2000 finally came, people went crazy because they thought that the computers will explode because the computers didn’t have 2000 in the calander and nothing happened so why do these doomsdayers keep moving the stupid dates!

    Comment by shelby hager — February 9, 2010 @ 8:55 pm | Reply

    • If one bullet missed you would you stop ducking?

      Comment by Steve — February 10, 2010 @ 5:51 am | Reply

  16. I wonder why ministers that specialize in Bible prophecy are so keen on believing the whole planet x, physical pole shift, Sumerians with even more advanced mathematics than current, etc.

    They also wonder why they have congregations primarily of Nebraska wanted felons with 4th grade educations.

    Comment by John — March 7, 2010 @ 12:02 pm | Reply

  17. Idea! How about we all silence our opinions and know that whatever happens, happens rightly.

    Comment by Jamie Nielsen — September 10, 2010 @ 2:44 am | Reply

  18. […] Planet X and 2012: Proof Earth Is Not Experiencing a Pole Shift […]

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

  19. Thank you,I agree Earth is not experiencing a pole shift.

    Comment by loretta — November 17, 2010 @ 10:37 pm | Reply

  20. There is talk which states if the magnetic field stops during a pole change, all computer memory will be lost and that the human brain will be wiped clean of memory. They refer to an astronaut who did not have a magenetic pulse generator. Why do the magnetic palse generators; which are very expensive, exist if there is no truth to this? Please explain.

    Comment by denver barry — November 30, 2010 @ 6:40 pm | Reply

    • I have never heard of this claim, though it does not surprise me it’s out there. If there were any truth to this, then MRIs would be brain washing machines, not medical imaging devices.

      Comment by Stuart Robbins — November 30, 2010 @ 6:42 pm | Reply

  21. all theory and jokes aside.I live here in the eastern side of australia.The sun has moved from setting in the west to setting in the south west.This has occured over the last few years.This is not normal regardless of what you believe.its there to see everyday of the week…….talk to people…see what they have to say.

    Comment by dave thomas — January 4, 2011 @ 3:19 am | Reply

    • Dave, I have heard this claim over the years, but I have yet to see any evidence that people are not simply understanding that the sun’s setting and rising positions change throughout the year. For people pole-ward of the Tropics (±23.5° latitude), the sun will rise and set more equator-ward during your winter, and more pole-ward during your summer. The only days it will rise and set due East and West are on the equinoxes.

      Comment by Stuart Robbins — January 4, 2011 @ 3:30 pm | Reply

  22. There are two basic facts that have been totally ignored here.
    A) The earth’s axis is constantly changing. Anything that rotates, does so on an axis that will constantly change. The alignment of the earth’s axis will change ver irregularly, due to the fact that the shape of the planet is nothing close to being a perfect sphere.
    B) A common misconception is that a change in the axis can only be one where the angle of the axis can only increase or decrease whereas a change could be in the direction. In other words, the tilt of the earth could put the North Pole the greatest distance from the sun in the point of the rotation that would cause an equinox or a solstice to occur at a completely different time of the year. The season’s would alter, coming sooner or later, and cause what would look like a change in temperature to merely be a time that would have been warmer or cooler.
    The current change involves the magnetic pole. There are airports near the North Pole that have closed and are re-programming computers so that they can give aircraft accurate readings regarding their location.

    Comment by James Peet — February 14, 2011 @ 7:38 pm | Reply

  23. My first point is, anyone contributing a comment (here or anywhere else on the web) and doesn’t understand what the built in dictionary is indicating with a red squiggly line underneath a word, should think twice about hitting the ‘Post Comment’ button. Forgive me, maybe you only know how to type with your thumbs, but this is simply no excuse. Not that being able to spell at a grade 5 level is the be all end all, however it might be a worthy level to attain before engaging in astrophysical arguments or any other discourse on any topic.

    The author has stated very simply and shows the novice very clearly how to gain empirical evidence through your own observations. This isn’t rocket science folks but if you insist on believing what anyone tells you about polar axis shift or anything else, then you are bound to get hood winked. I am not suggesting that you ignore new information and bury your head in the sand, just do a little fact finding. Ask a few questions, i.e. does the information ring true.

    I have studied geodetic math (Geodesy) as a part of Survey Technology, and it is relatively easy to calculate the suns azimuth and altitude at any given time during the year (did this back in the early 80’s with pre-calculated sun azimuth tables that went to 2030) at any point on the earth for many years to come. For instance, I am writing this on Mar 08, 2011, Lat 48.25 N, Long 123.52 W, and the calculated azimuth and altitude of the sun at 17:30 (local time) is (Az. 256.5 degrees E of N, Alt. 5.4 degrees above the horizon). Guess what, I observed the sun this afternoon and where do you think it was, no surprise here, exactly where it was calculated to be. I don’t want to put anyone down for not having studied differential or integral calculus but the math here was discovered more than a 1000 years ago and probably something a person would start learning in a grade 10 math class (Tan = Sin/Cos (more or less)). Start getting with it people or you are assuredly going to be led down the garden path on not only polar shift but any other topic you decide to latch onto. You have a brain that allows you critical thought and analysis, do a little research before you jump on the bandwagon.

    P.S. The magnetic pole is constantly moving, this is nothing new.

    Comment by RJS — March 8, 2011 @ 10:12 pm | Reply

  24. I briefly saw this doomsday post, which had me worried. Im glad you cleared up the axis and northstar reality. What has me somewhat concerned which hasnt been answered and maybe you can expound on it. This person was makeing a comment living in Dalas Texas and the sun rising from the northeast instead of the southeast relative to the way the sun makes its arc in the sky. He and his “friends” stated this odd phenonomon which is how he eluded to the axis therory. Why would the sun rise in this manner, if indeed it did? Thanks.

    Comment by Jan Post — November 21, 2011 @ 4:43 am | Reply

    • Hi Jan. This is actually not an uncommon claim, and it’s one that is actually true. The Sun right about now is not rising due East in the sky, nor is it setting due West in the sky. But the reason is simply that we are not on either the spring nor autumnal equinoxes.

      What many people are taught is that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. This is true in the “in the” sense. It only rises due east and sets due west on the spring and autumnal equinoxes. On the summer side of the equinoxes, it will rise progressively further north of East and set further north of West. On the winter side of the equinoxes, it will rise progressively further south of East and set further south of West. But many people do not know this and so when they happen to look at where it rises when we’re not near March nor September, conspiracies such as this arise.

      The reason for the difference is simply the same reason we get seasons: Earth’s axial tilt of 23.5° relative to the plane in which it travels.

      That’s it. No conspiracy. No pole shift. No Planet X. Just the basic way orbits work and have worked for billions of years.

      Comment by Stuart Robbins — November 21, 2011 @ 9:43 am | Reply

      • Excellent explanation, Stuart. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve read this sort of thing from people who have never really bothered to look at the sky before.

        This fear and terror of the moon being ‘in the wrong place’ or the sun ‘not looking right’ definitely seems to stem from the nonsense being peddled about the year 2012.

        What has happened is that a large number of people have heard these rumours and are now paying attention to the sky for the first time in their lives, but are doing so from a position of ignorance, not information. With no knowledge of astronomy, they have no basis for interpreting what they are looking at, and don’t know that what they’re seeing is perfectly normal. As a result, they easily fall prey to the bizarre, idiotic theories of the internet fearmongers, believing them without question. Then they accuse anyone who tries to point out the true facts to them as disinformation agents or NASA shills, who are deliberately hiding the truth, no less!

        Instead of spending time learning about the wonders of the skies, they are unfortunately learning to fear them. It’s a pity they wouldn’t do some old-fashioned research, such as reading an astronomy book! If they spent just a few short hours in their local library, browsing the astronomy section, the experience would probably set most of them straight.

        Comment by caralex — January 2, 2012 @ 7:47 pm

  25. I enjoy read your page (site or blog here) It has kinda given me some bit of hope. Thank you


    Comment by Raymond Shreeves — February 17, 2012 @ 6:51 pm | Reply

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