Galactic Alignment Spells Doom. Many Sky-watchers believe 2012 will close with a "galactic alignment," which will occur for the first time in 26,000 years. In this scenario, the path of the sun in the sky would appear to cross through what, from Earth, looks to be the midpoint of our galaxy, the Milky Way, which in good viewing conditions appears as a cloudy stripe across the night sky.
Some fear that the lineup will somehow expose Earth to powerful unknown galactic forces that will hasten its doom perhaps through a pole shift or the stirring of the super massive black hole at our galaxy's heart.
NASA's Morrison has a different view. There is no 'galactic alignment' in 2012, he said, or at least nothing out of the ordinary. He explained that a type of alignment occurs during every winter solstice, when the sun, as seen from Earth, appears in the sky near what looks to be the midpoint of the Milky Way. Horoscope writers may be excited by alignments, Morrison said. But the reality is that alignments are of no interest to science. They create no changes in gravitational pull, solar radiation, planetary orbits, or anything else that would impact life on Earth.
The speculation over alignments isn't surprising, though, he said. Ordinary astronomical phenomena are imbued with a sense of threat by people who already think the world is going to end. Maya astronomers built observatories and, by observing the night skies and using mathematics, learned to accurately predict eclipses and other celestial phenomena. These choices may indicate that the Maya calendar is tied to seasonal agricultural cycles central to ancient survival.