Sunday, August 30, 2009

2012: All the hype for nothing

Good Sunday after noon everyone! I have been researching a new theory... at least new to me. About the fate of the Earth in 2012. Don't misunderstand me. I've known about the 2012 hype for at least 3 years. I did a speech on the matter my freshman year of college. But what I didn't know is the theory of Planet X.
I have heard everything from solar flares and asteroids to rogue gamma ray bursts. But this morning I was watching the Discovery Channel and during the commercial break I got up to get some breakfast. A commercial came on while I was in my kitchen that was talking about the supposed disaster that "will" happen in 2012. The add directed viewers to a website called The Institute for Human Continuity.
The site explains that they have a lottery for people to take part in, in order to try to save themselves from the end of humanity.
However, the website is anything but a true lottery. It is just a clever ploy from Sony to promote their new movie 2012.

This all leads to one part of the site that I reviewed called The Scenario: Planet X. I had never heard of this theory, so I decided to do my own research on the matter. When I Googled Planet X one of the first links that came up was a series of videos on YouTube called Surviving 2012 and Planet X (Made in 2007). I began reviewing the videos only to find myself, by the second video, doing calculations about the theoretic position of Planet X. And here they come. (NOTE: I am not a physicist, nor a mathematician, but the equations used are basic conversion, distance, and velocity equations)
The video explains that in 1983 Planet X was recorded about 50 billion miles from the sun (50x10^9). And in 1992 it was just over 7 billion miles from the sun (7x10^9). So that means that in 9 years Planet X traveled 43 billion miles (43x10^9). Performing a quick calculation to find out the velocity of Planet X (Distance=Rate x Time). I found that Planet X would have to be traveling approximately 4.7 billion miles per year. If the speed seems too fast, it's not. It is plausible to go this speed. The speed of light is 5.8 trillion miles per year.
If Planet X is traveling 4.7 billion miles per year, then it doesn't take a calculator to see that it wouldn't take 20 years (the calculations being from 1992) for the object to reach the sun. Calculations show that it would have been here within approximately 1.5 years from 1992. Which then draws the conclusion that the world should have ended before 1995. Unless we are dealing with the scenario from The Fifth Element where the object can decelerate, stop, and accelerate at will, we will be fine.

If you want my opinion, nothing is going to happen. And if something does, oh well. I'm not going to spend my last few years alive worrying about one day. I'm going to continue living the happy life that I lead and do as much as I can with my loved ones.
The end of the world is to great a prediction for anyone to try to wrestle with when we can barely predict the weather. If someone else starts throwing numbers at you about another catastrophic event, pull out your calculator and put those numbers to the test. So I bid you all adieu. And with 2012 around the corner... watch your step!