Is the Sun from another galaxy?

By Phil Plait | June 27, 2007 8:59 pm

Note: I generally don’t do a thorough debunking of pseudoscientific nonsense on the blog, and instead relegate that to the main site. But I decided to do this on the blog, knowing that more people would read it than if I put it on the main site and linked to it from the blog. So here it is. Bon appetit.

We’ve always assumed the Sun was born in the Milky Way, and has been here its whole life. Is it possible it was actually born in a different galaxy, and the Milky Way stole it?

Do we have (cue evil music)… an alien Sun?

No.

Oh, you want more info? Alrighty then, sit back. This’ll be fun.

Introduction

A website called Viewzone recently posted an article claiming that scientists have determined the Sun is not native to the Milky Way Galaxy, but instead was absorbed by the Milky Way while eating a smaller dwarf galaxy.

There’s just one eensy weensy problem with this: it’s totally wrong.

Here’s how the writer from Viewzone sets this up; I have synopsized but kept his argument intact:

1) The Milky Way is eating a smaller galaxy, called the Sagittarius Dwarf galaxy.

2) Because this galaxy has far less mass than our own, the Milky Way has far stronger gravity. This has destroyed the other galaxy, turning it into a long stream of stars.

3) This stream is at an angle to the plane of the Milky Way’s disk, and intersects that disk.

4) The Sun is very near the position of this intersection. The odds of this happening are very low.

5) Therefore, the Sun originally came from the dwarf galaxy, and is not originally from the Milky Way.

I’m not exaggerating their claim at all. They make it very clear, saying:

We actually belong to the Sagittarius Dwarf galaxy.

As with most pseudoscientific claims, this one has some truth to it. The Milky Way is indeed cannibalizing another, smaller galaxy. The MW is bigger, and so its gravity did rip the smaller galaxy up, turning into a long ribbon or stream of stars. It does intersect the MW, and the Sun is in fact near this intersection point.

But their conclusion — that we come from the Sagittarius Dwarf — is complete nonsense. Here’s why.

The Plane Truth

First: look at the illustration created by the scientists who discovered the dwarf (click for higher res).

The Milky Way is the blue spiral, the dwarf galaxy is the red stream, and the Sun’s position is marked by the yellow dot. See how the dwarf galaxy is tilted with respect to the Milky Way? That means that all the stars from that galaxy are orbiting the Milky Way at that angle. So if the Sun came from the dwarf, we’d be orbiting the Milky Way at that angle ourselves!

We’re not. Studies of the Sun’s motion relative to the plane of the Milky Way (using the stars, globular clusters, other galaxies, and many other sources) make it a rock-solid certainty that the Sun’s orbit is in fact in the plane of the Milky Way. It’s not plunging through the disk at a high angle at all. So right away we see that the claim that the Sun is alien to the Milky Way is complete rubbish.

Seriously, we’re done here. You can stop.

Oh, you want more? OK. Let’s continue the smackdown.

If you read the Viewzone article (or the original claim from a site called, interestingly, CureZone) you can see they don’t understand this angle issue at all! They do seem to get that the stream is at an angle to the Milky Way, but they also claim that this is why the plane of our solar system is at an angle to the Milky Way’s plane, which is a bizarre (and totally incorrect) idea.

First, the plane of the solar system (defined, really, by the plane of the Earth’s orbit) is tilted with respect to the Milky Way’s plane by about 60 degrees or so. But this is not a big deal; the Sun formed from a gas cloud 4.6 billion years ago, and any number of forces would have caused that cloud to collapse such that the plane of our solar system could be pointed any which way. There’s no reason to assume the two planes would align.

Second, the articles never actually make the case that the solar system is aligned with the angle of the Sagittarius dwarf stream! If the Sun came from that galaxy, and they make these claims about angles and planes, don’t you think they’d actually see if our solar system aligns with the dwarf galaxy? That should set off alarm bells in your head.

Anyway, by looking at the illustration I can see right away that the tilt of the solar system is not aligned with the dwarf galaxy’s star stream either. Note: this next part of the paragraph is difficult to describe, so feel free to skip it and go to the next paragraph. It’s incidental to the main point anyway. The plane of the dwarf stream is perpendicular to the direction toward the center of the Milky Way, while the solar system’s plane is pointed at the center of the Galaxy. In other words, at one point in Earth’s orbit, you can draw a line from the Earth through the Sun and it will pass very near the center of the Milky Way (if you were at the Galactic center, you’d see our solar system "edge-on"). If our solar system were aligned with the dwarf stream, that wouldn’t happen (from the Milky Way’s center, the solar system would appear to be "face-on"). That means we’re not aligned with either galaxy, and their claims about angles are bogus.

Look: the important thing to see here is that the angle of the Milky Way in the sky is not important at all. What counts is the Sun’s orbit around the center of the Milky Way. And the Sun’s orbit is aligned perfectly with the plane of the Milky Way, and not at all in the plane of the Sagittarius dwarf.

So again, we’re done.

But of course, I can always add more.

It does seem a coincidence that the Sun happens to be near the intersection point of the two galaxies. But look at the drawing: the stream from the dwarf galaxy is far, far larger than the Milky Way. If we belong to the dwarf galaxy, what are the odds that at this point in time we’d be almost exactly in the center of the plane of the Milky Way? A star in the dwarf stream would spend billions of years, going around the Milky Way, but only spend about a million years plunging through the Milky Way’s disk, and a fraction of that right at the midplane. The odds of us being precisely at the halfway point through the Milky Way’s disk just as this discovery is made are incredibly, ridiculously low. It makes a lot more sense if we are instead part of the Milky Way, and happen to be near where the two galaxies meet.

Conclusion: we’re native to the Milky Way.

Heavy Metal

One way to try to figure out if a star belongs to one population or another is to look at the chemical compositions involved. The Sun, for example, is known to have an above-average amount of iron in it, indicating that it’s a third-generation star. Most stars in the Milky Way have lower iron abundances, but some have more. However according to a paper on the composition of stars in the dwarf galaxy, the dwarf stars are much lower in iron than the Sun. If I am reading this paper correctly (it’s tough going, I’ll admit!) then it’s very unlikely just from this that the Sun came from the dwarf galaxy. It’s far more likely it was born right where we always thought: in the Milky Way.

Conclusion: we’re native to the Milky Way.

Artful Dodger

Also, I want to point out that the article on Viewzone is artfully constructed such that it sounds like the astronomers who wrote the original (and scientifically accurate) paper on the galaxy are agreeing (or at least supporting) with Viewzone’s (erroneous) conclusions. Quotations from real astronomers are interspersed with totally incorrect conclusions by the Viewzone article author.

Look at this from the Viewzone article:

On the other hand, Majewski and his colleagues have been surprised by the Earth’s proximity to a portion of the Sagittarius debris.

“For only a few percent of its 240 million-year orbit around the Milky Way galaxy does our Solar System pass through the path of Sagittarius debris,” Majewski said. “Remarkably, stars from Sagittarius are now raining down onto our present position in the Milky Way. Stars from an alien galaxy are relatively near us. We have to re-think our assumptions about the Milky Way galaxy to account for this contamination.”

Wow, that sounds like Majewski, the lead author of the scientific paper, agrees that the Sun must come from the dwarf galaxy, doesn’t it? Especially that last sentence. But he’s not really saying that at all. If you remove that last sentence about rethinking assumptions, he’s just commenting that it’s remarkable that we’re near the intersection point. Remarkable, but not mind-blowing. But the important part is that the last sentence is on another topic, the idea that we can’t assume that all nearby stars are native to the Milky Way. The vast majority are, to be sure (or else we would have discovered the interloping galaxy a long time ago), and astronomers will have to be careful when looking at individual stars. But he’s not commenting on the Sun at all.

To be fair, this is from the original press release. But the way it’s placed in the Viewzone article is misleading. It doesn’t support the Viewzone article’s premise at all.

Conclusion: don’t trust what the article says. But that’s true for anything.

Weird Stuff

I’m not a fan of attacking the messenger, but sometimes it pays to look at someone’s pedigree when they are making a huge claim like this. If they say the Sun comes from another galaxy, and also that Napolean talks to them through their houseplant, then you have to take the Sun claim with at least a modicum of salt.

Which brings me to this from the Viewzone article:

It has been postulated that this is the real reason for both global warming since higher energy levels of the Milky Way are almost certain to cause our Sun to burn hotter and emit higher energies. Indeed, temperatures have been seen to rise on virtually all the planets in our system. This seems quite apart from any local phenomenon like greenhouse gases etc.

Sigh. The warming of the outer planets is another bad idea. First, not every planet is warming — and saying "virtually all" is dead wrong — and the ones that are, if they are (it’s hard to tell), all have good reasons for doing so.

At least the ViewZone article author is in the good company of bonehead Fred Thompson.

Also, what are "higher energy levels of the Milky Way"? This vague term is never explained… and I know why: it’s meaningless. What energy levels? Kinetic energy? Gravitational energy? I suspect they mean "energy" in the meaningless New Age sense, given the very next paragraph:

This grand turning is possibly the root cause for the discontinuation of the Mayan calendar (the most accurate on the planet) because the ‘read-point’ of the Pleiades star cluster, which many believe the calendar was based upon, can no longer be a constant as we begin to steer away from the earlier predictable movements.

The Mayan calendar is the most accurate on the planet? That will surprise most astronomers, who have things timed to fractions of a millisecond.

Invoking the Mayans when discussing galactic interactions is a little, um, odd. The term "non-sequitur" seems inadequate. "Goofy" might be a better word.

Incidentally, the original article on CureZone, on which the Viewazone article is based, is a total mishmash of gobbledygook. The opening headline is:

New Discovery Evidencing Solar System Traveling Different Direction To Milky Way Substantiates Astounding New Theories — Coming To Be Called The 3 Most Pivotal Discoveries Of Our Time…

Anyone who says their idea is ONE OF THE MOST PIVOTAL OF ALL TIME, well, they’ll score pretty high on the crackpot index. That doesn’t mean they are a crank, of course. But it sure helps.

And the headline is certainly wrong — the solar system is traveling quite nicely around the center of the Milky Way in the plane of the disk, as I hammered home above.

Conclusion: The article is strongly suspect as to its accuracy.

Wrap Up

This kind of stuff comes and goes. Mostly goes, which is good. It’s silly pseudoscience of the highest order: all of the evidence points to the Sun being a native of the Milky Way (a native Sun! Bwahahahahahaha!). But someone sees a scientific article, doesn’t do any real research, jumps to any number of bad conclusions, ignores obvious refuting evidence, and then wraps up the nonsense in scientific-sounding jargon.

This particular silliness got a degree of success because it did well at Digg.com. But it’ll go away, just like all other silly claims. Well, not all others; more’s the pity. But I’ll keep at ‘em.

So if you hear someone claim that the Sun is not from around here, you know where to point them. There’s a reason I gave my website the name I did.

Tip o’ the sun visor to the bazillion folks who kindly sent me emails about this stuff!

Comments (170)

Links to this Post

  1. Is the Sun from another galaxy? at Science ID Australia | June 27, 2007
  2. How To Spot A Psychopath :: Stupid Claim Not True: Film At 11 :: June :: 2007 | June 28, 2007
  3. Astrolink [Global Edition] » Astrosphere for June 28, 2007 | Latest astronomy news in 11 languages | June 28, 2007
  4. Impostura Jornalística N°1: Não Somos da Via Láctea? « Imposturas Científicas | June 28, 2007
  5. Astrolink [Global Edition] » Alien Sun followup | Latest astronomy news in 11 languages | June 28, 2007
  6. Zooglea » otra de periodismo científico de investigación | June 29, 2007
  7. Mz … :: Nueva Teoría: La Tierra NO Proviene De La Vía Láctea : : June : : 2007 | June 29, 2007
  8. marcapasos » Blog Archive » Sí, estamos en la Vía Láctea | June 29, 2007
  9. TauZero :: Blog » Sí, estamos en la Vía Láctea | June 29, 2007
  10. nunca nueve » Milky Way | June 30, 2007
  11. Porque pertenecemos a la Via Lactea y no a Sagitario // menéame | June 30, 2007
  12. Bad Astronomy Blog » Is the Sun from another galaxy? | Nerdal Network | July 2, 2007
  13. REVISTA MACROCOSMO.com » Clipping » Retirada da notícia "Galáxia Sagitário, a Terra é de lá" | July 3, 2007
  14. Sí, estamos en la Vía Láctea | July 8, 2007
  15. appletree » Blog Archive » Science Links: ‘World’s Cutest Mammoth’ Edition | July 12, 2007
  16. Netsphere Blogger » Archivos » Extragalácticos y engañadísimos | July 14, 2007
  17. Exasperated Calculator » Blog Archive » Is the Sun an alien? | July 24, 2007
  18. TrishAndHalli.com » Blog Archive » Controversy “Bubbles Up” Around Alien Galaxy Theory | July 30, 2007
  19. Nuestro sistema solar no pertenece a la Vía Láctea | Teleobjetivo | August 3, 2007
  20. Kodro <::> Javi » La Tierra es de la Vía Lactea y punto pelota | September 5, 2007
  21. Impostura Jornalística: Não Somos da Via Láctea? « n-Dimensional | March 26, 2008
  22. OCCAM » Sí, estamos en la Vía Láctea | April 18, 2008
  1. Wow. The whole thing smelled fishy to me, but for some reason I didn’t make the blatantly obvious connection with the Sun’s orbit around the Milky Way. It must have been kicking around in the back of my brain, but when I saw it in this post, I finally got that nice click as the idea shifted into place.

    Rock on, Phil.

  2. Hi Phil! Im from México and I love your website, by the way this mistake was posted in one of the most popular newspapers here, “El Universal”. Check their website (In spanish of course but its a translation from CureZone):

    http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/articulos/41004.html

  3. Remek

    An outstanding, detailed (and entertaining) debunking, Phil.
    (can’t wait to read your book!)

    Sort of makes one wonder why people like this purposefully wear blinders to focus on only the (very limited) data that ‘supports’ their thesis, while totally ignoring everything else (ie- the 800lb gorilla facts) that completely shred everything they claim as “the truth”.

  4. Hey Phil, thanks. I fell for this one. I even recall thinking it odd when they mentioned higher energy levels causing planet warm ups and still accepted it. I should have realized also the matter of the suns movement compared to that of the intersecting dwarf galaxy. I guess I got caught up in the “cool” notion of the sun not being native to this galaxy. A great example how a person can get caught up in an idea that they personally like and overlook the obvious.

    Thanks again.

  5. they’ll score pretty high on the crackpot index

    Yet another wonderful invention of Baez’. Is there anything that man can’t do?

  6. jbrader

    Well played sir. I’m curious though, since it is true that we are near the point of intersection do you know of any start visible from the northern hemisphere that belong to the dwarf? I know of course that it wouldn’t look any different through my little 10″ scope than any other star but it would be cool to know that I’m looking at a star form another galaxy.

  7. TheBlackCat

    Looking at the high-res image, http://astsun.astro.virginia.edu/~mfs4n/sgr/sgr_big.jpg , it doesn’t look like we are even in the stream of stars at all. Near it, yes, but not in it.

  8. Anne

    Fractions of a microsecond, actually; millisecond pulsars are so regular that people are building exceedingly accurate timing systems to try to detect gravitational waves left over from the Big Bang by their effect on the travel time from these pulsars to us.

  9. If I remember my college astronomy correctly, the cannibalization of smaller galaxies by larger ones is what leads structured galaxies to become ellipticals. Is this currently happening to the Milky Way or is my understanding incorrect?

  10. BH1602

    I’m not trying to start a fracas — this is a sincere question. My understanding is that PSEUDOSCIENCE is stuff like palmistry, astrology, phrenology, parapsychology, etc.

    I do not know enough about astrophysics, etc. to be a wise critic of cosmological theories. I therefore trust 100% BA’s judgment that the “Alien Sun” theory is completely incorrect. Its propounders certainly make some wacky claims surrounding the significance of their findings.

    But does that make their conclusions PSEUDOSCIENCE? That seems akin to saying that every self-satisfied lawyer who loses a case is guilty of incompetence and malpractice.

    Like I say, I’m genuinely looking for information here. I’m not trying to make an argument or be a wiseguy. If I were, you’d know.

  11. Is it possible it was actually born in a different galaxy, and the Milky Way stole it? […] No.

    I totally buy your arguments that our sun isn’t from Sagittarius Dwarf. I have a question though.

    I’m no scientist, so I may be crackpotting here, but this is what my question is based on: To my knowledge, large galaxies do not form directly, but by slowly cannibalising their neighborhood, and the process yields either elliptical or disk galaxies depending on how quickly it takes place. When it happens quickly, the dwarfs fall into the large galaxy rotating every which way and the result is an elliptical with chaotic stellar orbits. But when it happens slowly, there is time for the dwarfs to be aligned to the rotation of the larger galaxy, resulting in a galaxy with a disk where all stars rotate in roughly the same direction.

    Right?

    If so, isn’t it conceivable that our home star originally came from a dwarf galaxy that was aligned and absorbed billions of years ago? Do we have a clear falsification of that idea? (Of course, if not, then it’s likely idle speculation that we’ll never be able to test. But still…)

  12. Buzz Parsec

    1) What are the chances that global warming deniers will latch on to this as yet another proof that we have met the enemy and he isn’t us? Despite the obvious fact that if it takes billions (bazillions?) of years for the swarm of stars to orbit the Milky Way, it must have taken of order the same amount of time for them to spread out as much as they have, and if it takes the Sun 240 million years to orbit the MW, then the situation hasn’t appreciably changed in millions of years. Do you see the problem with time scales?

    2) BA – “So if you hear someone claim that the Sun is not from around here, you know where to point them. There’s a reason I gave my website the name I did.” Bazooka Joe comic – 1st guy (pointing at the sky): “Is that the moon or the Sun?” 2nd guy (Mort, the guy with the turtle neck, maybe?): “I don’t know. I’m not from around here.”

  13. Buzz Parsec

    3) Why does the Sun have a pair of meatballs at the end of its noodly appendages? Is this the Pastafarian equivalent of a halo? Shouldn’t it also have an eye-patch?

  14. Paradox

    You should reconsider the probability however. By all that we know from science, the Universe is practically impossible, Life having evolved here is just as unlikely and then for us humans to arrive with a brain and all. Have you counted those odds? Makes belonging to a dwarf galaxy a near certainty by comparison.

    And about the inclination of the sun during it’s creation. Have any study been done on the orientation of other stars in the Milky Way vs the galactic plane? Because saying there’s no reason to assume they should align, without observation is very weak for a debunker.

  15. I actually work with Majewski – I’m a fellow UVa PhD (although unlike Phil, I managed to avoid taking parallax plates). We in no way said the Sun was part of Sgr or even implied it. That would be ridiculous. In fact, while we suspect there is some local stuff from mergers, it may not even be Sgr.

    Just to add one other thing. Sloan Digital Sky Survey has a new result on the preprint server that shows that the Sgr stream passes overhead and intersects the disk something like 15 kpc away. Our earlier maps and simulations were based on M-giant surveys. Their results are a little more robust and get a better handle on the nearby parts of the stream.

  16. Sriram

    Well…simply awesome man…. i love ur debunkin…i fell for this one you know but it smelled fishy … hope everyone DIGGS it so tat the world can know the truth!!!

    Cant Wait to read your book…

  17. PK

    BH1602, I (and I dare say “we”) usually take pseudoscience to mean the collection of ideas about the world/universe that have been thoroughly refuted by mainstream science. This means that ideas can move from the realm of science to that of pseudoscience, and the transition is often messy (e.g. creationism and global warming).

  18. slang

    Aristotle Pagaltzis wrote: “If so, isn’t it conceivable that our home star originally came from a dwarf galaxy that was aligned and absorbed billions of years ago?”

    Conceivable? Why not? Then again it’s also conceivable that the sun formed in small cloud of gas that came from a supergiant star going boom that by weird gravitational interactions was burped out by its home galaxy or cluster and that had been floating around in the empty reaches of space for billions of years until it came near the milky way which disturbed the gas cloud and caused it to collapse and form our solar system and another rogue star passed close by thus hurtling the sun with its planet into the claws of the milky way.

    Granted, there is zero evidence for this (new?) hypothesis, and the chance for it to happen is probably so small that we might need to invent new math to calculate it. Still, it’s conceivable. But the evidence points in a different direction, and Ockhams razor tells us that the explanation which requires the least coincidences is the most likely true (not exactly but that’s one interpretation).

    Great write-up, BA, thanks. And you didn’t even touch the hilarious list of “changes being watched by scientists”, for none of which the author even attempts to explain how they would support his whacky story. And for none of which he lists the mainstream scientific explanations. (And why is “Comet” in quotes? Was SL-9 actually a dark angel of destruction? A defense mechanism of the Milky Way trying but failing to destroy the invading Sun? *sigh*)

  19. Phil

    “Let’s continue the smackdown”

    Quote of the decade.

  20. slang

    A quick google for ‘growth of dark spots on Pluto’ gives the impression that the source for the silly list of “changes being watched by scientists” might be some presentation by The Millenium Group, about “the renewing flow of the PlanetoPhysical States and Processes”. Really. A search for the group name and the word debunk leads to the BAUT Against the Mainstream forum, usually not a good omen :)

  21. Grand Lunar

    I figured global warming would somehow be mentioned.

    Anyway, thanks for clearing up this issue. I saw this claim elsewhere and didn’t know what to make of it.
    Thank you for bringing sense into the world. :)

  22. DennyMo

    BA says:
    “The odds of us being precisely at the halfway point through the Milky Way’s disk just as this discovery is made are incredibly, ridiculously low. It makes a lot more sense if we are instead part of the Milky Way, and happen to be near where the two galaxies meet.”

    Hmm, I think I heard Duane Gish use this exact line when describing why ID/Creation has to be right, because the odds of everything happening like Big Bangers and evolutionists think it did is umpteen bazillion to one. Overall, I agree with your debunking, just suggesting that some arguments are weaker than others..

  23. John

    I don’t understand the paragraph about the solar system’s ecliptic. We are at a 60 degree angle to the plane of the galaxy, edge on to the center, okay got that (btw is there a map or star atlas somewhere that shows this? IIRC Atlas of the Universe doesn’t show that, it would be neat to see). How are we oreinted in relation to the dwarf galaxy? Or even the stream of stars connecting the 2 galaxies? From the second image, I’m not even sure where the dwarf galaxy is supposed to be in relation to our own – is it that denser blob of stars at the top of the image? Or is it out of frame?

  24. Chris

    While I whole heartily agree and thank you for this “smackdown”, there is one tiny detail or question about an argument:

    Can you really argue that their claim is nonsense due to the fact that it is a lot less likely for the sun to be part of sgr and exactly at the intersection than being a part of the MW and at the intersection?

    I agree that this is another (small) factor that helps your point (which honestly does not need any more help), but it’s not really a valid argument, is it?

  25. Shig

    Fascinating! I had never even heard of the Sagittarius Dwarf. Following your site is always an education.

    That graphic of the two galaxies reminds me of a fanciful image at the end of an episode of Cosmos: the view of the “galaxyrise” on a world somewhere above the galactic plane. One of those stars on the inner “surface” of Sagittarius’s arc must have a planet that affords such a view.

  26. TheBlackCat

    But does that make their conclusions PSEUDOSCIENCE? That seems akin to saying that every self-satisfied lawyer who loses a case is guilty of incompetence and malpractice.

    Literally speaking, pseudoscience is anything that pretends to be science but isn’t (that is what “pseudo” means). It anything that tries to add legitimacy to itself by calling itself science and/or using scientific-sounding words but really has none of the properties that science has. This case is some person taking other peoples’ good science, twisting it and quoting out of context to support a totally wrong conclusion, and ignoring the science that contradicts his or her position. This is a pretty much universal property of all pseudoscience and it is probably enough to qualify this is pseudoscience just based on that. So you might be able to make the argument this is just really bad science, but the way the evidence is presented (and the way that it isn’t) is a very strong indicator that this is a case of pseudoscience.

  27. icemith

    I’m glad I’m a “Scorpio” and not a “Sagittarius”! Wouldn’t want to be an Alien would I?

    Not that I believe in that nonsense, but just in case….

    Ivan.

  28. Thank you so much for looking at this, Phil! ^^ Though now I feel a bit ashamed that the warning klaxons didn’t sound for me when I read the original until I got to the bit about the Mayan calendar and global warming. Maybe I should take Physics I again, with a teacher who isn’t evil and horrible. >.> Or maybe I should try to squeeze in an astronomy course one of these semesters…

  29. Morgan

    Chris: The Viewzone article claims that the fact that our system is near the intersection of the two galaxies is evidence that we’re from the dwarf. This is only true if the probability of our being where we are is higher if we are taken to be from the dwarf than from the Milky Way. In fact, Phil explains that the probability of our being in our current location is higher if we’re from the Milky Way. This doesn’t prove we’re not from the dwarf, but it means our position can’t be used to argue that we are.

    Think of it as being like a snapshot of a car at a crossroads. Say you’re working off GPS data, or somehow otherwise have only the position of the car at a given instant, not its orientation or velocity. You can see that the car is smack bang in the middle of the east-west road, a small distance away from the crossroads. Essentially the Viewzone article is saying that the fact that we’re near the crossroads at all means we must have been driving along the north-south road, and it’s a coincidence that we’re in the centre of the east-west – but in fact it’s much, much more probable that our position is due to our driving along the east-west road, and our position can’t be used to argue otherwise.

  30. I live in Mexico. Way above in the comments, Paco pointed out that El Universal ran this story in Spanish. I just want to hammer home how awful that is. El Universal is one of the most trusted newspapers in Mexico, sort of like the New York Times in the US – though I certainly don’t trust all the science I read in that rag either.

  31. Ian

    I thoroughly enjoyed this debunking. It had been a while since you posted a nice long one like that, and I look forward to the next.

  32. Excellent post! Your new digs and life as a full-time writer must agree with you. :) In defense of the Maya, they did have an impressive calendar for their day, considering their lack of our precision instrumentation. But anyone who’s STILL using the Mayan calendar has some serious issues.

  33. Donnie B.

    Napolean? Is that a sort of Bonaparte Lite? :-)

    In answer to Paradox, there’s lots of data showing the rotation angles of various stars, and even more now that we have entire planetary systems identified. As I understand it, these are all randomly aligned and show no correlation to the axis of the Milky Way.

    For example, there are several systems that have eclipsing planets — their plane of rotation is lined up exactly edge-on to us. But these systems appear all over the sky, not clustered along a single plane. In other words, those systems have randomly-oriented planes of rotation.

    So it’s not at all strange that our ecliptic is not coplanar with the galaxy.

  34. Sergeant Zim

    I agree with you Ian (sort of). While the anti-creation rants are very good, not to mention (sometimes) more relevant to our daily lives, they do somewhat detract from the overall purpose of this blog. If Dr. BA had enough time in his busy schedule, it would be good, IMHO, to have a double-sided site, one for pure astronomical blogging, and one for more general debunking topics. (This would be in a perfect world, of course).

    Dr. BA, I’m not trying to dictate the content of your blog in any way, I find the content intellectually stimulating no matter what you are posting, but I can see the POV of some of the posters who have complained.
    Overall, though the blog is excellent, you present the science in clear terms that anyone with a modicum of reasoning ability can grasp, and present your points extremely well. I would say you have taken the mantle of “Science Popularizer” from Carl Sagan and Richard Feynman very well. Keep up the good work!

  35. Some points you guys seem to be missing in the discussion:

    1) Sagittarius stars have a tenth of the iron in the them that the Sun does. Therefore we can not be from Sgr.

    2) Sagittarius stars would be moving vertically through the disk. We are moving horizontally. That’s a 90 degree difference.

    3) New evidence (Newberg et al.) shows that Sagittarius probably intercepts the disk 15,000 parsecs away from us.

    4) The MIlky Way is now known to have at least two or three of these mergers going on right now (one in Monoceros, anotehr in Virgo). So the chance of being near to one is not that small.

  36. … do you know of any star visible from the northern hemisphere that belongs to the dwarf? I know of course that it wouldn’t look any different through my little 10″ scope than any other star but it would be cool to know that I’m looking at a star form another galaxy.

    I dunno about individual stars near and bright enough that you could actually see them in a backyard scope… but see the link here:

    http://seds.org/messier/more/sagdeg.html

    … sez M54 is probably actually a member of Sag DEG. (Also, possibly Arp 2, Terzan 7, Terzan 8, NGC 4147, Palomar 2, and Palomar 12… more details at the link).

  37. Protius

    I remember thinking “If it’s raining down on us… wait a minute, aren’t we supposed to be the ones doing the raining?” But they make you want to believe it. ::sigh:: You can’t even rely on the old Apr Fools’ Day check anymore.

  38. Bryan

    While I am neither agreeing or disagreeing with the point you are trying to make, I do disagree with your arguments against this article. My main reason for this is that most of your debunking is based on an illustration, which is inherently flawed for multiple reasons. The first being that being an engineer, I can tell you that any image that gives no specific scale can’t be considered accurate, and therefore fails to be anything more than an artists rendering. The second point you make with regards to angle, again you refer to the illustration, however something that can’t be seen in an illustration is the third dimension, if you look at a 2d image of a plate with a fork sitting on it along the plane of he fork, the prongs will look as if the intersect the plate vertically. Also with regards to the angle, the sun could have come from either galaxy and the gravitational forces of both would affect its plane of rotation, with the larger MW having a stronger effect due to stronger forces thus leaving it in the plane of the MW. As to being in the exact center of the MW plane at the exact time of this discovery, doesn’t it make sense that being at the exact intersection would be the most likely spot to realize there is in fact an intersection, given our limited capacity to view the massive expanse of space. As to iron content, I have not read these papers, however as you’ve said there is a variation in iron content in the MW, so reasonably there should be in the SGR as well. A comparison for this would be to chemistry where there are isotopes that are more or less massive but just aren’t as common. As to discrediting someone who openly makes outrageous claims, all I can say is look at history: Newton, Columbus, Galileo….all made outrageous claims(many in some cases) that were widely discrediting despite that they are in reality true. Interesting thing about science is that its always easy to come up with rational reasons to deny a claim or discovery regardless of right or wrong when not much is known about it. Point being I would much rather read an article about you proving your theories right than trying to discredit someone elses.

  39. Funny Guy

    You can’t debunk something with your ‘thoughts’. You need proof.

    You skip over key points like the 60 degree angle. Unless you explain why that occurred why do you feel compelled to shoot down other ideas?

    Explain the 60 degree tilt or get out! That is the point. Nothing in this post is offering anything but negativity towards someone’s theory.

    Typical scientist reaction.

  40. michael

    Hey BA I saw that article about the same time you did, but not through digg. You posted a link to a web site called http://www.dailygalaxy.com/, and it was browsing there I saw this:
    http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2007/06/hitchhikers-gui.html#comment-74312242
    I had to promptly comment because it was so ludicrous.

    @Funny Guy: the motion of the Sun clearly indicates it was born in the disk of the milky way. That evidence is not a “thought”, it’s a fact. And that evidence is extremely strong. A star just cannot radically change it’s orbit in the galaxy without enormous gravitational pulls from something akin to another galaxy, and that would serve to disrupt any disk that exists in the milky way, rather than transfer stars into the disk. The angle between the ecliptic and the disk of the milky way doesn’t mean anything. Have you any idea the huge difference in scale here? Each star and planetary system is so tiny compared to the milky way that the -variations- in dynamics from one side of the proplyd to the other are utterly negligible.

  41. Dan

    Not a typical scientist reaction at all, ‘Funny Guy’
    A typical scientist doesn’t write with such wanton emotion and attitude.
    Maybe you’re right, Phil, but your awful tone turned me off to your opinion instantly.

  42. Well played Phil.

    I would like your take on this recent article about the sun’s motion in the galaxy and it’s possible relationship to mass extinctions:

    http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/070423_cosmic_evo.html

    Does this one deserve debunking or a mention in your book?

  43. PK

    A typical scientist doesn’t write with such wanton emotion and attitude.

    Ha! This guy obviously never gets referee reports…

  44. Skepterist

    Funny Guy, did you actually read Phil’s post AND follow the links to articles supporting his position, AND read the several responses already explaining the 60º tilt, or did you just skim a couple of sentences and look for something to complain about?

    “Explain the 60 degree tilt or get out!” That’s probably the funniest thing I’ve heard all day.

    Dan, this isn’t a scientific journal, its a blog. The Bad Astronomer is a human being, and has emotions, just like you and me. (well, me at least.) There’s nothing wrong with someone expressing their views passionately. This is his website, after all.

    But, if it turns you off, then the solution there is pretty simple.

    B-)

  45. Re ‘Explain the 60 degree tilt or get out!’

    It isn’t Plait who was something to explain, here.

    There isn’t an actual correlation between the orientation of our solar system and the Sag DEG stream. As Plait clearly stated. So by that requirement, the folk advancing the theory that the Sun isn’t from the Milky Way would also have to ‘Explain the 60 degree tilt or get out!’…

    But, actually, what they really have to explain isn’t the tilt, exactly… it’s why they even thought it was significant. Specifically, why they even considered it evidence for their theory, since there is no such correlation, to either population (Milky Way disk stars, and Sag DEG stream stars), nor would one have been expected, from our current data.

    Confused? Well, ask ‘em while you’re at it what they know about the general orientation of solar systems in the Milky Way…

    See, they couldn’t possibly have any reason from what is known and not known there to think that 60 degree tilt has any significance whatsoever.

    Two points:

    1) They don’t directly know the general orientation of solar systems around stars in our galaxy… because no one does, yet. Of the 241 exoplanets known, as yet, we only have confident orbital orientations for the handful that transit, and I don’t believe anyone’s noticed any correlation to the galactic plane from those…

    However:

    2) They can nonetheless infer them. Binary orbital orientations (the orientations of binary star orbits, which also generally form from a single protostellar nebula, just like our system) are generally known… and they’re generally known to be random, against the galactic plane. Again: there’s no correlation to the galactic plane. See, just for one paper:

    http://www.doiserbia.nbs.bg.ac.yu/(A(QvfgPc7nxwEkAAAANGYxOTNlZTUtZmMzMi00YTY5LWFmMGMtYjczYzAwOWNiMTY4Vi75m7QG_XyBtw9c5KvVHhy0d441))/img/doi/1450-698X/2004/1450-698X0469059P.pdf

    (And while they’re at it, again, they should also explain why it is the Sun is rotating around nucleus of the Milky Way, in the plane of the disk, in roughly the same trajectory as its neighbours… unlike the members of the Sag DEG stream, which plunge through the disk… that really is the clincher, here, anyway…)

  46. Note: read ‘they can nonetheless infer them’ as ‘they can nonetheless infer their distribution’. Point being: no, you can’t infer the actual orbital inclination of any single exoplanet from this data, but from the binary data, the current default assumption would be they are also random.

  47. TMB

    Two minor points.

    Phil – minor quibble, you said “look at the illustration created by the scientists who discovered the dwarf”. In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s David Law’s illustration (part of Majewski’s group) from about 5 years ago, but the dwarf was discovered by Rodrigo Ibata back in 1994.

    “Alien stars to see with your naked eye” – there’s actually some evidence that Arcturus was once part of Omega Centauri, which probably was an external dwarf spheroidal galaxy before it got tidall shredded into something that looks like a globular cluster… see Navarro et al. 2004, ApJ, 601, L43 or http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0311107.

    [TMB]

  48. Daniel

    DennyMo says:
    “Hmm, I think I heard Duane Gish use this exact line when describing why ID/Creation has to be right, because the odds of everything happening like Big Bangers and evolutionists think it did is umpteen bazillion to one. Overall, I agree with your debunking, just suggesting that some arguments are weaker than others..”

    This connection is spurious. In the article, he is saying one thing is more likely than another; the Creation argument is just saying one thing is unlikely. The arguments are of a different type and talking about different things. Also, this debunking presents alternative scientific evidence, instead of turning to spiritual causes. Creationists don’t present an alternative from which one is able to determine odds. It is impossible to refute that Creationist argument because one can’t say what the odds of there being a God are; it is possible to refute this article’s argument, if you could present alternative odds that said it is more likely that we are part of the dwarf galaxy. But no one is able to. This is a much stronger argument that does not compare apples to hypothetical oranges.

  49. Popo

    Whew BOY! I sure am glad to be from the WINNING galaxy, and not some loser “dwarf” galaxy. I mean who wants to find out they’re secretly from a bunch of strung-out “has-been” stars and macking like they’re local? Hell no, our glorious sun is pure-blooded NATIVE, baby! NATIVE! You got that? We’re from right HERE! You saw that runt galaxy’s ass get beat? Yeah well that was US, okay? OUR galaxy kicked that galaxy’s ass. (Actually we ate it, but the analogy becomes somewhat ugly thereafter). Go SUN!

    SUN!

    SUN!

    SUN!

    Woot.

  50. slang

    Stick to engineering, Bryan. The only way to see “debunking based on an illustration” is a complete misunderstanding or a willful misreading of the entire post. The argument based on a picture is in the original article.

    You say the angle of the solar system makes it possible that the sun has originated in either galaxy. Basically, this is true, because solar systems do not necessarily form while rotating in the plane of the originating galaxy. The entire point is that the angle of the solar system can not be used to argue FOR the sun originating in either galaxy, even IF the angle were ‘correct’. Yet this is what the article does, and which BA shows to be wrong.

    The being in the exact intersection making it easier to spot the intersection is equally pointless. Even IF it were true (which I doubt since I seem to remember that Sag. was only discovered after a big inventory was done on stars in or close to the milky way) it still does not argue for or against either position.

    And then you put Columbus between Newton and Galileo, and go on about proving theories… it’s a prank, right?

  51. Irishman

    Thanks, Phil. I was intrigued by the notion, but didn’t have the info to evaluate it. The axial tilt of the Solar System plane with respect to the Milky Way was an intriguing point made in their favor, except for the fact that they conveniently failed to demonstrate that the tilt of the ecliptic matched the orbital axis of Sagittarius Dwarf. In fact, by failing to note that the angles do not match in that case, either, they are covering up evidence that is counter to their hypothesis.

    Furthermore, the Sun’s motion coinciding with the plane of the Milky Way is a strong strike against the Sag Dwarf origin hypothesis. While the Milky Way is much stronger than Sag D, it would still have to account for the inertia of the Solar System in it’s path of motion out of the plane of the MW.

    The “energy levels” comment was very confusing. I got the impression they were trying to state that being in the denser Milky Way would somehow increase the Solar output, but the mechanism was not presented. Was that supposed to be heating by virtue of increased density of the local space? The Sun running into dust particles? Some sort of harmonic effect by virtue of stars being close together?

    The Mayan stuff definitely hit my woo-woo meter. I suspected that an addition of the website, not the original article.

    Buzz Parsec said:
    > 3) Why does the Sun have a pair of meatballs at the end of its noodly appendages? Is this the Pastafarian equivalent of a halo? Shouldn’t it also have an eye-patch?

    I took those to be standard martian antennae, such as depicted here:
    http://www.imdb.com/gallery/mptv/1097/Mptv/1097/3073_0003.jpg.html?path=gallery&path_key=0056775

    John said:
    > From the second image, I’m not even sure where the dwarf galaxy is supposed to be in relation to our own – is it that denser blob of stars at the top of the image? Or is it out of frame?

    The Milky Way is the blue swirl. The dwarf galaxy is the red swirl.

    Bryan said:
    > As to iron content, I have not read these papers, however as you’ve said there is a variation in iron content in the MW, so reasonably there should be in the SGR as well.

    Except that the Sun’s iron content is within the distribution spread of the rest of the Milky Way, but outside the distribution spread of the dwarf galaxy. Another poster states it is far outside that distribution. So it is much more likely for the Sun to be a normal star within a distribution from one galaxy than an extreme member of the other galaxy.

    > As to discrediting someone who openly makes outrageous claims, all I can say is look at history: Newton, Columbus, Galileo….all made outrageous claims(many in some cases) that were widely discrediting despite that they are in reality true.

    Oh, no, not the “They laughed at Galileo” gambit. I think it’s Sagan who responded, “Yes, but they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.”

    I don’t recall there being any turmoil over Newton’s work on Laws of Motion, Gravity, Optics, or calculus, though there was some disagreement over who was the first to come up with calculus. However, Newton did have a few other bizarre beliefs, including numerology, astrology, and alchemy. But hey, nobody’s perfect.

    As for Columbus, he was rightly laughed at because he was wrong. He calculated the diameter of the Earth and argued for a different calculation than most other scientists of the time. However, he was lucky, and instead of reaching the East Indies on his route West, he hit a bunch of other islands in the nick of time to turn his voyage into a success instead of a mutiny. Ergo, the West Indies.

    Dan said:
    > Not a typical scientist reaction at all, ‘Funny Guy’
    A typical scientist doesn’t write with such wanton emotion and attitude.
    Maybe you’re right, Phil, but your awful tone turned me off to your opinion instantly.

    This is not a refereed journal article, this is an internet blog post for a lay audience. The primary goal is entertainment – hopefully, educational entertainment, but still entertainment. If you happened not to find it entertaining, then I doubt you’ll enjoy the rest of this site, such as Phil’s movie reviews, or his pummeling of Planet X, Martian alien artifacts, or the egg-standing myth. YMMV.

  52. Hendrik

    You should try a WHOIS on the Viewzone website, things wil clearup a lot. They have also adultzones and even a sadzone.

  53. Popo writes:
    Go SUN!
    SUN!
    SUN!
    SUN!
    Woot.

    Hail to the Sun God
    He sure is a Fun God
    RA RA RA!

  54. A couple of questions.

    How visible are the remnants of the Sagittarius Dwarf from a distance? Would an observer in, say, Andromeda actually be able to see that big swirl around our galaxy, or is it too dim?

    I’ll wait here while you go check….

    Also, I wonder about Barnard’s Star. It’s moving at about 140 km/s relative to the Sun. Is its velocity (i.e., both speed and direction) consistent with it being part of the Sagittarius Dwarf? Barnard’s is also supposed to be very old, about 11 to 12 billion years; does that tell us anything? (Figures are from the Wikipedia article.)

    If the intersection point is 15,000 parsecs away, I suppose it’s not very likely (Barnard’s Star is only 1.8 parsecs away), but it could be an outlier.

  55. Richard

    I don’t know anything about this but if out solar system came from another galaxy that was perpendicular to the Milkyway wouldn’t its plane be somewhere between the two given the new galaxy would be exerting influence over it and slowly changing the plane, I don’t know just speculating. To be honest its not going to change my day – to – day life either way.

    Also tact was never a big thing for you was it???

  56. tomiwk

    Great explanation! i gotta admit, i was a little excited about being a sagittarian, instead of a simple milkywayarian… sounds like i’m from Battlestar Galactica’s 12 colonies of man!!… well since i was born on dec. 1st., to astrologers at least, i’ll still be a sagittarian, hehehehehe…

  57. jami

    I’m glad were still from our original parental Galaxy.
    I was becoming uneasy in the possibility that we may have been born from some Dwarf Galaxy Called Sagittarius.
    We don’t know anything of who Sagittarius is, where they came from or what they represent.

    How on earth could we ever get the medical records from just a first name?
    Apart from Dwarfism, what other anomalies could we be carrying with us?

    At least in the Milky Way we have evidence of the supermassive black hole that we suffer from, and not to mention the chocolate, caramel and nougat that we have to deal with every day. :(

  58. HE BOY ON HIS BICYCLE –

    Sometimes someone outside a complex system of study is required to come in and point out an answer hidden in plain sight…

    There was the story of the multimillion dollar engineered highway overpass bridge and the roadway engineers were brought in to finish the project with the laying down of a thick new layer of blacktop roadway underneath and as they had opened all the lanes back up, one of the first vehicles to come down the road and come under the bridge was one of those big old oversized earth moving trucks, and all heard a big clunk!

    It got hopelessly wedged and stuck under the bridge with the new height of the roadway.

    Traffic began backing up for miles– The bridge overpass engineers started to have words with the roadway pavement engineers, and the driver of the truck was standing next to his big rig scratching his head…

    And with all this commotion going on…

    Along comes a boy on his bicycle– and the obviously hidden-in-plain-sight answer occurs to him– so he says: “hey mister– why don’t you just let the air out of the tires”.

    – and that was it!

    And it took some mighty big men to simply smile, admit it, and even get in a good belly laugh over it all…

  59. With all due respect, I find that there a few brand new breakthrough mainstream discoveries only weeks old that substantiate both that we are not from an Iron based galactic genisis of the Milky Way as all astronomy has thought, but that also answers in another mainstream science discovery — also just weeks old, that a 60-90 degree angle is in fact concurrent with the Sagittarius Dwarf being our parent galaxy:

    http://space.newscientist.com/channel/solar-system/dn11928-our-solar-system-started-with-a-nudge-not-a-bang.html

    http://abc.net.au/science/news/stories/2007/1942665.htm

    These are both so new, unless actually looking for these, it would almost be impossible to have been fully apprised of them.

    Please adjust positoning on these new discoveries to what will eventually become common knowledge on the internet– for nothing will stop these actual relevant facts release from mainstream science sources — from eventually resolving these matters and it will be the best of all possible choices for you to be found on the scientifically accurate side of the continuing news of course.

    Thank you,

    Matthew Perkins Erwin

    I will be posting a mirror of this — your page as a prepost now on many large forums so that all will be updated with the knowledge that you are clearly now up on the very latest scientifically related matters and now have had a chance to choose from the most updated facts and data as you
    now proceed.

  60. Italvs

    Hey! Great article. Here in Chile, that bad info was published on a really popular website. Because I’m a biochemist who loves the astronomy, I got stunned when I read the info and surfed the web looking for more. I also looked El Universal and the disclaimer from the University of Virginia. Thanks again!
    PS: Practico mi inglés de esta forma!

  61. slang

    Hello mr. CureZone. I’m sure that boy was the BA, while some other kids sat back and tried to get friendly ghosts to move the truck, whilst communicating with their Sagittarius ancestors through an ouija board, perhaps waiting for the planets to align to create a more benign environment with a higher PositiveTruckMovementQuotient. That was where the boy laughed.

    Glad I could help complete your parable. And since you seem to like quotes so much that you started your article with one:

    “Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.” — Carl Sagan

  62. Matt

    The data on the Iron elemental galactic genesis trace [Milky Way] of our system has been superceded by a Newscientist discovery article just weeks old obviating the plausibility of a dwarf galaxy solar system genesis with an Aluminum elemental galactic genesis tracing. [see site for link]

    The data on the 60-90 degree angle mentioned is also superceded by an article and fully mainstream discovery just weeks old.

    It is just a matter of time and all will pan out as it is all just newer data that is actually ‘so new’ that none of you had an opportunity to be abreast of it in time for this debate.

    With all due respect:

    I don’t blame you for shooting for accuracy but these issues will not do anything but come into clearer focus and resolution as these mainstream newest discoveries lyou apparently know nothing about are scheduled to fully lay to waste your entire positioning. It is not my set of discoveries that will do this. My discoveries are only substantiated by these new mainstream discoveries all only weeks old.

  63. PK

    Matt, can you give journal or arXiv references for your claims? The New Scientist is not the most reliable source for scientific information. And can you provide a link to “your discoveries”?

  64. Nicole

    Bravo, BA! Great reading. This link actually got passed around to some of the UVa astro grad students. Nobody misquotes our prof!

  65. Shorter Matt:

    I left the evidence in my other clownpants.

  66. reader

    The original article claims the solar system was captured long ago, is currently, and continues to be in the proper plane of the Milky Way. Acording to the theory we have been captured… in the past tense. While I do agree with you in many respects, you misrepresent the original argument :)

  67. Matthew: thank you for those references. However, they have nothing to do with this topic!

    The first one talks about the collapse trigger that caused the solar system to form from an cloud of gas and dust. Most astronomers think it was due to a nearby supernova 9and there is evidence for that). However, it has long been conjectured that the collapse of the cloud may have been due to a nearby red giant blowing a wind over the cloud. I had a friend in grad school who worked on that very problem back in the early 90s! The paper linked (I just read the actual journal paper) is interesting, and presents a good case that it was an old star that collapsed the cloud, and not a supernova. It’s interesting, to say the least.

    But that has nothing to do with the Sagittarius Dwarf galaxy! I think you have misinterpreted the paper. And I know you misinterpreted the second link:

    The writer for that screwed up the science pretty badly there. The original journal paper (which I also just looked at) talks about the orientation of the local magnetic field of the Galaxy, and the way it’s interacting with the Sun’s magnetic field. The direction of the magnetic field is not in the direction astronomers expected.

    But that has nothing to do with the Sun’s motion. The writer of the online article (not the scientific paper) somehow mistook this as saying the direction in which the Sun is traveling is 90 degrees to the plane of the Milky Way (she wrote "The researchers determined that the magnetic field in interstellar space is propelling our solar system along at a 60-90° angle to the rest of the galaxy."). That is completely wrong; she totally misunderstood the original scientific result. The Galaxy’s magnetic field is orders of magnitude too small to affect the Sun’s motion.

    To be clear: the articles to which you have linked don’t change what I wrote. One has nothing to do with the topic, and the other is based on a very badly mangled version of what the original research was about.

    The Sun is moving along the plane of the Milky Way’s disk, as I wrote above. it bobs up and down a little bit over the orbit, but those excursions are teeny tiny compared to the overall motion.

  68. reader: nope. The original article says we came from the Sag dwarf. Look at the diagram; the star stream from that galaxy is perpendicular to the Milky Way’s disk. Stars from there are not parallel to the disk, and certainly not circularized as the Sun’s orbit is.

    I stand by my conclusion: the Viewzone article is wrong.

  69. I’m assuming this is the paper the ABC reporter mangled?

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/316/5826/875

  70. Some Guy

    Just don’t confuse global warming with human CAUSED global warming kids. When ever I see anyone mention global warming I cringe a bit knowing how little people understand about what they are saying.

    There might be some global warming (key word might), but there is no real proof that we are contributing to it in a significant manner, or that there is anything unnatural about it.

    Its the limited understanding that made me leave the environmental sciences in the early 90′s and move onto something that paid the bills with less idiots pretending they had a clue (I think Earth Day 1992 was my final straw).

    Good news is we have all recovered from that horrific, world threatening global cooling of the 70′s at least ;)

  71. KeaponLaffin

    Bravo and thank you.
    Like some other commenters, I was wary of the articles. I read many and could only come to the conclusion : Weird..I knew the global warming claim was totally bunk..but, the rest seemed..possible.

    So thank you again sir for relieving me of a bit more of my ignorance and showing me the truth.

  72. The Mayan calendar is the most accurate on the planet?

    Obviously he must have heard someone say that a Mayan calendar stone is the weightiest calendar on the planet and misunderstood the reference… :)

    Thanks for the post.

  73. ~Historian~

    A little background information

    May 28 – 2006 – thread title – ‘could this be what’s affecting the sun’?

    http://www.proxywhore.com/invboard/index.php?showtopic=54066&hl=sagdeg&st=0

    six months later

    November 19 – 2006 – thread title – BREAKTHROUGH DISCOVERIES Your Life & Future, {you heard it here first}

    http://www.proxywhore.com/invboard/index.php?showtopic=73551&st=0

  74. I’ve read the news on the web y i think…What??
    In Majewski site, there is a reference for this article with a big red note about the falacious news.
    I’m going to post something about it, right now, in my blog, but in spanish.
    Thanks for the post.

  75. Matt

    Unsurprisingly…

    You here on this site offer nothing new…

    As a matter of fact, in such a kangaroo court setting… you are completely biased
    and prejudiced towards anything Not of the status quo.

    All arguments here clearly parrot the status quo, and are clearly formed with status quo glasses on.

    Truth herself could not get a fair trial in such a clearly biased setting.

    It would be now good of you to come out and post all of your real names… so that when your current positioning/posturing you go at with such “Go-team Go” gusto is is fully laid to waste… by the string of just newly released main stream discoveries coupled with the simple ‘plain as the nose on your face’ obvious truths of the ‘simple boy on his bicycle’ — all will be able to see– just who you are and what you stood for with such slam-dunk gusto… Courage!
    “Go-man Go”…

  76. Matt, as I pointed out just a few comments above your last one, the two articles you mentioned have nothing at all to do with this topic. Do you have any comments to make about what I wrote, or are you just going to continue condemning me without understanding the real situation?

  77. Dave

    Oh thank God is not truth, I almost freak out!!

  78. Matt

    “All arguments here clearly parrot the status quo, and are clearly formed with status quo glasses on”.

    I am completely aware of what these two articles mean.

    Your interpretation is simply ‘your interpretation’ and does not automatically hold the patent on truth. How you got involved in this whole thing was with the aim to slam dunk it. You were brought in as the Hatchet Man — or volunteered as such.

    No matter how “settled” the science seems to be, new facts and evidence can still be discovered. Newtonian physics was modified by relativity and then by quantum physics. Even what we thought were basic astronomical facts can turn out to be wrong based on new evidence. When the global warming hysterics claim that the science is “settled” and seek to silence and intimidate anyone who questions their theories, remember that science is never “settled.” That’s the very definition of science.

    Matt

  79. Shorter Matt:

    “C’mon, man… you’re, like, totally harshing my galactic energy levels.”

    Yeah yeah, Matt, I’m mocking you. Terrible of me, I know. But man, you make it too easy.

    Anyway. Somewhat more seriously… this is the abstract from the Opher paper the ABC report describes:

    “The orientation of the local interstellar magnetic field introduces asymmetries in the heliosphere that affect the location of heliospheric radio emissions and the streaming direction of ions from the termination shock of the solar wind. We combined observations of radio emissions and energetic particle streaming with extensive three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic computer simulations of magnetic field draping over the heliopause to show that the plane of the local interstellar field is ~60° to 90° from the galactic plane. This finding suggests that the field orientation in the Local Interstellar Cloud differs from that of a larger-scale interstellar magnetic field thought to parallel the galactic plane.”

    … this is available to anyone who wants it. I have the whole paper, too (anyone can have that, too, for something like $9, if they don’t happen to have access otherwise), and I can assure you: nowhere in the paper does it say our Sun and solar system are not orbiting in the plane of the Milky Way, or even that they’re not headed the direction previously believed. This was clearly an error–presumably introduced by the reporter.

    So yes, Matt, Phil is right about this, and it really is time you gave it up on that one, too. You’re just gonna keep looking sillier, longer you hang onto it. At least, at this point, you can still blame it on the reporter, if you like. They did screw it up, after all… That much isn’t your fault, I guess.

    Oh, and Matt, I’m delighted by startling new discoveries. Got really very little interest in the status quo whatsoever. Change is good, change is fun, change makes the world go ’round (if you’ll pardon the expression)… and science will indeed go forward… Though it’s looking more and more like it’s going to go forward without you, I’m afraid. I’d be leaping up to shake your hand if you really had something here… But the trouble is, Matt, you don’t.

    And there’s no conspiracy to ‘hush this up’, despite your comical, breathless prose that claims there is… the papers you cite are widely available, as data in this field generally is, so that’s not by any means possible. No one’s out to get you, in particular, and seriously, man, if you regularly think there is, you might want to talk to a professional… that’s a bad sign.

    What there is, Matt, is just folks looking at your argument, and the evidence you’re citing, such as it is, and realizing you really make no sense whatsoever.

    Oh, and yeah, and of course that’s my real name. I’m happily on the record on this, dude. With bells on. I’ll eagerly await this earth shattering evidence of yours that so embarrasses me, man. Holding my breath, now…

  80. Matt

    “the local interstellar magnetic field”

    Is the key phraseology in this quote. That field is a complex one and is made up locally of both Sag-DEG and Milky Way galaxies.

    You come on here with status quo glasses on and continue to presuppose that your mutual suppositional ‘take’ MUST be right…

    You mistakenly conclude that either I am not, or the data is not completely supported. Where do you think the many millions of dollars for these last two discoveries came from?

    You will never know unless you are in the loop with those who delight in changing history from behind the scenes.

    I am in the loop because I came up with the theories a year ago and then the contact with real movers and shakers proceeded.

    I am not at liberty to say more except that only scientists who can contribute new work to an equation are included in need to know loops.

    Go ahead tho- and post all your real names.

    You come on here with status quo glasses on and continue to presuppose that your mutual suppositional ‘take’ MUST be right…

    True Science doesn’t always work that way.

    This is one of those cases.

  81. Well then, Matt, the onus is on you: how exactly do those stories relate to the topic of the Sagittarius Dwarf galaxy and the original site at which the Sun formed?

    Now is your chance to show me wrong, and defend your point. How is it that a red giant wind triggering the Sun’s birth, and the direction of the Milky Way’s local magnetic field have anything to do with Sag Dwarf?

  82. Ah you posted that while I was drafting my comment.

    However, you have not furthered your ideas at all. I won’t accept “I am not at liberty…” because you came here to tell me I was wrong.

    So again: how exactly does this support the Sag dwarf original of the Sun?

  83. Matt

    CLUE:

    The data from the Voyager I & II Spacecraft was not due out until nearly 2015.

    It was put on the fact track for a reason.

    If you think you have the inside-the loop-reasons why all the sudden here it is– let’s have it flyboy.

  84. Matt

    When the day arrives that you can come to me with a couple of world class original theories and/or discoveries — as I have had come right out of the blue to me — and which I decided to not just withhold from humanity but have the courage to see released even though my main discipline is not astrophysics…

    then maybe I’ll let you grill me for an answer or two…

  85. Matt

    Those who delight in changing history from behind the scenes have uses for the conclusions and what they mean.

    I personally decided to release it out to humanity — as I was ‘not’ instructed ‘not’ to.

    The very fact that you — outside the loop have even the slightest idea what it all means is because I simply decided to let humanity know. They have a right to know and you seemingly well meaning know-it-alls who appear on the radar as little more than self styled backwater debunkers get wind of such when a scientist currently out of the loop haphazardly allows such a mess and you here on this site are quoting my name and screwing with humanities chances at real cutting edge knowledge– I decided to pay you a visit.

    .

  86. Shorter Matt:

    “Fools! I’ll show them all!”

    …and good luck with that, dude.

    (…still holding my breath… and turning blue…)

    Much more seriously, Matt, you can give it up now. You just busted yourself.

    See, your own page, as of this this moment, says the Opuls paper means the following (quoting you, dear boy, as you yourself are so fond of doing) …

    “We as a Solar System are traveling in a whole different direction than the sciences previously understood or thought possible.”

    … lovely words, those, Matt. Eloquent. To the point. And wrong. And what they are, of course, is a paraphrase of that mangled lead from ABC… Bu now that you’ve just had the actual wording of the abstract pointed out to you, you quickly revised that, didn’t you? And claimed what it means is (quoting you again, dear boy, from just up above, from a few minutes ago) :

    ‘”the local interstellar magnetic field” Is the key phraseology in this quote. That field is a complex one and is made up locally of both Sag-DEG and Milky Way galaxies.’

    It’s over, Matt. You’re done, now.

  87. Shorter Matt:

    “Fools! I’ll show them all!”

    …and good luck with that, dude.

    (…still holding my breath… and turning blue…)

    Much more seriously, Matt, you can give it up now. You just busted yourself.

    See, your own page, as of this this moment, quite clearely says the Opuls paper means the following (quoting you, dear boy, as you yourself are so fond of doing) …

    “We as a Solar System are traveling in a whole different direction than the sciences previously understood or thought possible.”

    … lovely words you wrote there, Matt. So clear. So to the point…

    And so wrong. And what they are, of course, is a paraphrase of that mangled lead from ABC… But now that you’ve just had the actual wording of the abstract pointed out to you, you quickly revised that, didn’t you? And claimed what it means is (quoting you again, dear boy, from just up above, from a few minutes ago) :

    ‘”the local interstellar magnetic field” Is the key phraseology in this quote. That field is a complex one and is made up locally of both Sag-DEG and Milky Way galaxies.’

    It’s over, Matt. You’re done now.

  88. Matt

    you apparently would prefer it to be…

    but the cat is already out of the bag…

    I have been straight with those of you watching on the sidelines.

    It will be ” interesting ” –

    – as Spock says…

    from here on out…

    enjoy the ride…

  89. Well, Matt, I think we can all see from where you are coming. I asked you twice to make yourself clear, and all you come back with are more teasing and insults.

    I don’t want “clues” or “hints”. I want answers. If you have ‘em, then pipe up. Instead of insulting me, why not take advantage of this page, which is read by many thousands of people, including professional astronomers?

  90. Artemis

    My father helped found and currently works on the project that provided the information that got spun into this idea. He’s quite upset about how these loonies morphed it into something quite different than the project intended.

  91. I figure since our dear ‘Matt’ seems to have pretty much done himself in entirely here, I’d move on and follow something one other thing up… realizing this might also be common knowledge:

    Re ‘Good news is we have all recovered from that horrific, world threatening global cooling of the 70’s at least’, a few comments back…

    This claim is exaggerated. Though there were researchers with concerns about cooling, they weren’t generally making particularly confident predictions of global cooling in the seventies. See for more details, at Real Climate:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/01/the-global-cooling-myth/

  92. 2 things:
    1. You simply CANNOT use an image to base your critiques on. for instance: Taking a picture of a car does not give you the information to determine which way it is traveling. So neither does the rendering of the galaxies give you any indications of which way they are moving.
    2. referencing curezone as ‘the original source’??? come on, if you actually check out that site you can clearly see them linking to their source, which in turn mentions the official source: “Science” magazine. Furtermore, the title of the article on curezone clearly states that the discovery ‘Possibly Substantiating Astounding New Theories’, which means its all speculation and should not be interpreted as fact.

  93. slang

    Whacko, whacko, whacko.. what’s in a name.. The “original” refers to the site that sparked this debunking, not to “original research”. And *that* website based its argument on a picture and some arguments that are way beyond just “whacky”.

    Over here, back in reality, the picture is only used to illustrate a point, based on actual scientific evidence. If you cannot see that distinction than honestly you’re out of your league here. Anyway, read the follow-up posts for more graphically illustrated arguments (and discover BA owning up to a small mistake, not that it makes any particular difference to the outcome).

  94. Robert

    Sorry but your debunking is as bad as their bunking. Matter content of a star is based upon star type not galactic averages and at one point you postulate that many normal events could have resulted in sol orbital axis not being on the galactic plane but then make the claim that this is impossible in the sagittarius galaxy, to the point of completely ignoring the impact of the milky war on stellar systems from the other sagittarius galaxy as those stellar systems are being absorbed. Not saying the other theory is correct but that your debunking is pretty poor, in fact nearly but not quite as bad as their work. The only thing you should have looked at is the relative motions of suns from both galaxies and compared that to sol, if that is not currently possible, than it would be better to say until that is done it is difficult to say one way of the other.

  95. Irishman

    Robert,

    The Milky Way contains numerous stars of similar type to Sol. The Sag Dwarf galaxy apparently does not. Which is more likely, Sol is unique in the population of its source galaxy or that it is a member of a population of similar stars? That is the description of the iron content.

    I don’t follow your argument against the galactic plane orientation.

    > The only thing you should have looked at is the relative motions of suns from both galaxies and compared that to sol,…

    You mean like this?

    Studies of the Sun’s motion relative to the plane of the Milky Way (using the stars, globular clusters, other galaxies, and many other sources) make it a rock-solid certainty that the Sun’s orbit is in fact in the plane of the Milky Way. It’s not plunging through the disk at a high angle at all.

    Look: the important thing to see here is that the angle of the Milky Way in the sky is not important at all. What counts is the Sun’s orbit around the center of the Milky Way. And the Sun’s orbit is aligned perfectly with the plane of the Milky Way, and not at all in the plane of the Sagittarius dwarf.

  96. Zak

    I want to add it to the record, that the recently crafted atomic clocks are more discerning of milliseconds, and smaller – however, the Mayan / MesoAmerican calendar has the ability to maintain accuracy across very long scales of time (theoretically many tens of thousands of years, and longer). We could ravage the planets resources ’til we’re back in stone ages again, and we could still know how many millenia it’d been since we screwed up. Atomic clocks are very discriminating of tiny slices of time, but require a massive soceital support system in order to keep them running on the long-scale.

    I love the piercing quality of BA reviews, but at times like this they go a little too far the way of James Randi, whom while being a sharp mind ~ is Also a zealot ~ of yet another Camp of Unvanquishable Truth.

  97. bongo

    Studies of the Sun’s motion relative to the plane of the Milky Way (using the stars, globular clusters, other galaxies, and many other sources) make it a rock-solid certainty that the Sun’s orbit is in fact in the plane of the Milky Way.

    Nope. Doesn’t work like that. And you know it.

    How did our solar system get so inclined? How is it that Uranus “flipped?”

    Do keep Occam’s razor in mind.

  98. Thomas Rickarby

    I was duped! How ashamed I am. Thanks for clearing that up.

  99. Dave

    To the Bad Astronomer:

    At the following NASA Voyager site there is an interseting animation that shows our solar system is inclined at steep angle to the galactic plane.

    NASA Voyager Site:
    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/topstory/2003/1105voyager.html

    Animation showing solar system orientation to galactic plane:
    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/mov/97828main_galaxyzoom.mov

    Comment?

  100. There is something about the popular media that I find really scary. Whenever they publish on any topic at all that I have some knowledge of, they get it totally wrong. What are the chances that they will only get it wrong when they write about things that I know something about?

    What this Viewzone article once again demonstrates, is that one simply cannot rely on the popular media. It is literally virtually ALWAYS wrong in whatever it reports on. People who rely only on newspapers and popular magazines for their knowledge of the world are therefore not nearly as well-informed as they probably think.

    Nothing wrong with being ignorant. If you know you know very little, then you can perhaps try to improve the situation. But what if you THINK you are well-informed, but you are actually ignorant? How can we possibly make meaningful and wise decisions on anything when we live in the dark without realizing it? The popular media is slowly leading us further and further into darkness, it seems.

  101. Luis

    Hi all,

    I also read these “news” in the very popular Mexican newspaper El Universal. But then I read the original paper. Most I didn’t understand, but I did notice it never was stated that our solar system is from Sagg dwarf.

    I am a student in Statistics and throughout my career, I have come to realize that many statements made by scientists are frequently misunderstood or distorted.

    To be honest, I did not pay too much attention about this one, though I noticed some things were just not right. However, you did a great job in explaining those fishy things.

    Now I feel like writing to that newspaper requesting for a correction.

    Regards,

    Luis

  102. James

    Phil: Nice work. Excellent debunk.

    Dave: The plane the planets move around the SUN in has nothing to do with the plane the whole solar system moves around the GALAXY in.

    Incidentally, you don’t need Voyager data to tell you that the solar system is inclined with respect to the galactic plane. The fact that the Milky Way doesn’t straddle the equator should clue you in without the use of a computer.

    Bongo: Okay, how about a “mathematical certainty” then?

  103. You do not address the root message in the article which is that due to the interactions of the two galaxies that the Earth is passing the plane of the Milkyway [2012] and that this is the significance of the Mayan calander and that this event IS pivital in what may be happening within this interplay. http://viewzone.com/endtime.html

  104. M.Erwin

    http://www.perceptions.couk.com/greatest.html

    Greatest
    Discoverers
    of the Last Century

    1). How to estimate the distance of faraway stars
    Although establishment science still thought the Universe was the Milky Way

    2). For the first time we knew galaxies existed outside the Milky Way

    3). Hydrogen is the major component of the Sun.

    4). Nuclear fission

    5). Safe levels of Radiation for Humans

    6). Magnetic polarity: Particle Physics

    7). Dark Matter

    etc.

  105. James

    Thanks for this. I am an amateur astronomer with a few years of college physics behind me, not much more.

    I had heard of this whole “We’re from Sag” second hand, and followed the trail here.

    Seems to me, galactic rotational vector vis a vis speed and direction, w/ respect to MW galactic central core is the key to the whole issue, because if that vector is 60 deg off, or at least not generally covergent with a plane of the average separation of stars in the disk, well.

    But, seems to me, It is in that plane, just based on solar velocity, from what I’ve heard / read.

    The sun, moving around the galactic disk, every 240 M Years, it’s going to have a certain vector, similar roughly to the other nearby stars of the Sirius Loop, plus or minus.

    The angle of the earth’s equator with that of the rotation of the earth, not a factor, nor the angle of the system with respect to the plane of galactic rotation.

    Just because you have a compass glued to a pendant swinging to and fro from your rearview mirror, doesn’t mean you are not also speeding down the road at 65 MPH, heading North, the sun to your left, at sunset. The fact that your dome light is on, and aimed at your dashboard, doesn’t affect your speed north.

    Good science, simply explained. As a layman, I understood it all. Thanks again.

    Also one poster earlier said “you can’t infer directions from an illustration.”

    Except that a spiral galaxy shape is determined by the inverse square law (modified by dark matter and dark energy, of course).

    Perhaps more accurate to say, you can’t infer which galaxy it is in, just from a single picture. But with time-motion samples, or a knowledge of the overall vector of the sun through the milky way, certainly, you can.

  106. Jon Sanborn

    While I entirely agree with the analysis saying that the motion of the sun decides this issue, I was intrigued with the idea that a probabilistic argument could be made from the (mere) fact that the sun was in the intersection of the Milky Way (MW) and the Dwarf Galaxy (DG). I dont think probability theory gives a definite answer to this, becuase it is really a question of statistical INFERENCE, and in this field there are often differing principles that may produce different results. I can think of two ways to do the calculation.

    The first is based on the maximum likelihood principe, which says that in choosing between two hypotheses (MW vs. DG) you choose the one that attributes the greatest probability to observed data (i.e. the Sun is in the intersection). This would tell you to compare the FRACTION of the MW’s stars that are in the intersection to the FRACTION of the DG stars that are in the intersection; one chooses the hypothesis with the larger fraction. Its not clear to me what these fractions are.

    But this calculation ignores the fact that the MW is so much more massive. The second calculation would simply compare the number of MW stars in the intersection to the number of DG stars in the intersection. No doubt becuase the MW is so much more dense, the answer in this case would favor MW.

  107. Osiris

    From Milky Way or not ,its not so important. Mr Bad Astronomer who laughing from Mayan Calendar… are shure that galactic alightment on December 21 2012 will be safety for your ass and your fantastic website? Wrote about about Mayan knowledge and make us shure…. Can you? :)

  108. Ted

    You’re arguments are only slightly more convincing than the article you are attempting to debunk.

    1. Just because the dwarf galaxy has a lower heavy metal content that the MW, doesn’t mean that EVERYTHING in the dwarf has a lower metal content. You are either guilty of a logical fallacy, or worse, you are deliberately trying to lead others into a similar fallacy.

    2. The dwarf is orbiting the center of the MW at around 80-degree angle to the galactic plane. That angle is not so inconsistent with the 60-degree angle of the solar system. Your argument is correct, but misleading. I can’t for the life of me imagine why you would want to mislead people in the midst of setting them straight.

    3. Considering that there is certainly a lot of motion within the cluster inconsistent with both its orbit around our galactic center and it’s own spin axis, it is NOT inconceivable that a perfect alignment of angles and velocities would result in a star from the dwarf being captured by the MW. You seem to be saying it is impossible, which seriously damages your own credibility.

    4. I am baffled as to why you didn’t mention the most obvious argument against the solar system originating in the dwarf. If it had, and had been captured by the MW, why is it so stable, with so many nearly circular orbits and very few real eccentricities? The solar system would have had to go through something similar to what the dwarf is going through now.

    I could go on, but I lost interest as soon as you abandoned your credibility.

    I also don’t believe the sun came from the dwarf galaxy. It is extremely unlikely. But I am not so foolish as to state that it is impossible. Read a few of the comments to your article. Did you notice that most of the compliments directed to you are NOT based on an understanding of the science of your arguments, but on FAITH IN YOU? Doesn’t that trouble you at all?

  109. Michael

    I always enjoy passing on things like this to the people at work. After all they still believe that the bible is fact, no matter how many times it has been re-translated to each modern day (at the time) belief.

    Who knows, maybe one of us short-lived/made-from-stardust/creatures-from-thistimearound/ people will get it right before the next cycle starts. Not that it will make much difference in the end. lol

  110. Man, I do believe we belong to the original galaxy of saggitarius, because the solar system is spining in an angle different from the one the milky way has, you can check that we in deed, are part NOW of the mily way, and we are in a gravitational pull or orbit around the center of the mily way, but we are doing it in an angle that matches the one of the dwarf galaxy, so, we are orbiting around the center of the mily way, but we are doing it in an angle, that’s the the mistery that most ancient astronomers couldn’t answer or understand.

  111. Heavyd

    I dont want to be part of the Milkey Way anymore, I kinda liked that silly article. I admit I told the story at work. :)

    Guess I will stop by here more often

  112. beelzebubjones

    just like ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny; a really cool and thought provoking theory that just ain’t so. i read the viewzone artical after “stumbling upon” it with great interest but have to say i was surprised that NONE of the other science sites and periodicals i’m constantly reading even mentioned a word about this. today i decided to do a little look into who else might be covering this news. saw your site as one of the first in my google search and thought, “damn it’s bogus”. i still want it to be right! hell, i still want to believe i live in a liberal democracy! the truth wins out but it’s fun to dream. cheers. thanks for wreaking my day! lol.

  113. beelzebubjones

    i was just happy to have read BA’s clear and reasonable arguments why we were, sadly for me at least, a product of the MWG and not of SDG that i posted my comment. then i read the rest of the comments and was surprised and a bit distressed at Matthew Perkins Erwin’s persistent and unwavering support of his theory in the face of BA’s convincing discredits. and again i thought of the recapitulationist theorist Ernst Haeckel. Haeckel’s untrue and disproved theory was so embraced by so many biologists and thinking lay people that it remained in text books well into the twentieth century. the theory is dead wrong, but it turns out that indeed ontogeny and phylogeny do indeed have close ties but not as his theory posits and in the end Haeckel lost all of the scientific standing he had. my point here to Matt is that you had a theory that lots of astronomers and educated lay people found not just interesting but exciting and i for one hoped was true. the thing is that it sadly looks like the theory from evidence at hand is almost certainly false. matt, don’t waste your energy on making it right. you thought outside the box. you had a brilliant idea that was wrong. i would hope that you’d concede and carry on. don’t waste your time and energy trying to make our solar system members of the SDG, move on, go with the flow of the MWG. you obviously have the kind of mind that sees thing in new ways. keep looking at the universe. keep coming up with your different takes on things. don’t have yourself discredited along with one wrong theory. your unrelenting focus on this topic may well have you miss something else. kudos to you for making us think of things in a different way, a caveat to you for trying to prove it true against the evidence.

  114. From reading this post and all the comments it is clear to me Phil is a scientist who doesn’t like change. He is what the modern scientific equivalent of a Luddite. His investment in his POV is such that he doesn’t want it changed. Any new theory that may undermine his POV is defended with all the juvenile traits you see in his supposed “debunk”. That of sarcasm, derision and ‘appeal to authority’. He is not acting upon reason and intellect, but instead a basic human instinct of self-preservation. This, in itself, questions his ability to separate intellect from instinct. I, unlike most people who have commented in his favour here, do not automatically regard scientists as the final word in everything. The 20th century is littered with scientists who got it wrong, despite all the intellectual chest-puffing and assertions at the time that they were correct. They have been shown to be wanting many, many times. A few brilliant scientists have led the way to new knowledge and discoveries. Phil is not in that group and never will be because, bluntly, his attitude is all wrong. I dare to say he is the antipathy of what science should be about. He is a scientist who has cast aside the core, essential function of the practice of the scientific method, which is to bring positive change to the state of human knowledge, and thus positive change to the world through the application of that knowledge. This ‘change-coward’ gives up that noble first cause in favor of dropping caltrops onto the path to tomorrow, and structuring a life in which success is measured by how greatly progress is impeded.

    Put simply, his weak attempt to debunk this theory was based on the preservation of his own POV and not the desire to further the knowledge of humankind. And for that, I despise him.

  115. stiletto

    first off, its a good beat down, but in truth,…you really dont know at all. the mayan calendar is more perfect than you realize. these people did things with their technology that it took us how long to discover? we were so dumb as to say the world was flat, and the sun orbited the earth. they have pinpointed starts to a T. in 2012 we will enter our new age. plus, im not a sceintist and i myself can understand the meaning of the energy from the milkyway. our universe has more going on in it than we can even begin to imagine, and when it comes to what we know, well it boils down to nothing. unless some being from space told you it wasnt true… you have no idea. open minds are the only thing we really have in todays age. but, i give you credit for trying. i agree with the comment from Brightgrey lol

  116. Joe

    There are some very interesting replies here, so thankfully there’s lots I wont have to cover.

    Is it so improbable? The original article http://www.astro.virginia.edu/~mfs4n/sgr/ doesn’t seem to think so, despite the warning at the top addressing the issue, it specifically talks about MW integrating the bits of SA.

    The most obvious thing, is that this happened (assuming it did) some number of hundreds of millions of years ago at the very least…

    “The study’s map of M giants depicts 2 billion years of Sagittarius stripping by the Milky Way, and suggests that Sagittarius has reached a critical phase in what had been a slow dance of death.”

    Don’t you think its likely that in a billion years or so a galaxy with the size and gravitational force to rip apart other galaxies might also manage to integrate an individual solar system mostly into its own ecliptic orientation? and even if it were to take longer… which it may… might that not explain our slightly off the ecliptic orientation which actually allows us to see the galaxy we are (as you contend) native of?

    As much as I like debunking bad science, this looks more like a good venue for further research, not a good reason to ridicule those you disagree with.

  117. NickW

    @BrightGrey

    Someone told me that I could get hit by a car traveling 60mph and not get a scratch. I didnt have to test what he said to know he was wrong. I have PLENTY of other data available to me to show that it would be a BAD idea.

  118. Hi nice article, it was fun reading. But I am afraid that you are wrong.. Oh well. :)

  119. tristan

    I smell a charlatan

  120. homer

    since you make a few glaring mistakes of your own and offer numerous different thoughts on the planar angle of orbit I ll post your quotes and let others see your illogical falicies !

    “make it a rock-solid certainty that the Sun’s orbit is in fact in the plane of the Milky Way. ”

    “First, the plane of the solar system (defined, really, by the plane of the Earth’s orbit) is tilted with respect to the Milky Way’s plane by about 60 degrees or so. But this is not a big deal; ”

    close but not totally true, even so then why the following contradictory statement ?

    “If our solar system were aligned with the dwarf stream, that wouldn’t happen (from the Milky Way’s center, the solar system would appear to be “face-on”). That means we’re not aligned with either galaxy, and their claims about angles are bogus. ”

    so 1 st you claim the suns orbit to be within the Milky Ways plane, then you contradict yourself and actually admit some REAL truth that the actual alignment is more in the realm of 60 degrees, and then go on to contradict your 1st statement and say that were not alligned with EITHER galaxy ?

    I mean come on guy its hard to take anything you say serisously when you are so self contradictory yourself …. I have yet to see any real science or true understanding of advanced Astro Physics !

    I leave you with a final quote ! :

    “Look: the important thing to see here is that the angle of the Milky Way in the sky is not important at all. What counts is the Sun’s orbit around the center of the Milky Way. And the Sun’s orbit is aligned perfectly with the plane of the Milky Way, and not at all in the plane of the Sagittarius dwarf.”

    hahahah what happened to 60 degrees ? The thing to really see is that you offer nothing important at all except contradictions and mistruths ! bah nothing but bad astronomy from you it seems …

    debunk yourself next time !

  121. homer, you have grossly misunderstood the point. The Sun’s orbit around the Galaxy is indeed in the plane of the galaxy, which is true for the vast majority of stars in the Milky Way. However, the plane of the orbits of our planets in the solar system is tilted with respect to that plane by about 60 degrees. What I said in the post is correct.

    So before you make fun of people for being wrong, you might want to make sure you are in fact correct before doing something foolish.

  122. Here is an additional topic related NASA Graphic depicting the merging galaxies, galactic streams, and the yellow circle marker also denoting the “You Are Here” position of our solar system for our mutual research:

    http://ipac.jpl.nasa.gov/media_images/sig07-008_medium.jpg

    ________________________________________________________

    Also: A Needed Due Clarification:

    ________________________________________________________

    I do credit Webmaster Phil here with now continuing to post viewpoints that may directly differ from his own and/or his site here. To do such is not required of him , and yet with the questions able to be still coming full circle, hashed out and debated until the highest understanding is achieved is indicative of the understanding of our host to the discovery process which can turn out to be anything but “all neat and pretty”.
    ________________________________________________________

    Clarifying:

    The Viewzone article taken to task here is actually NOT the true sourced data or information of the actual theories themselves and the Viewzone author managed to put a number of people in a difficult spot.

    Q: Why– How so?

    A: Among other things, he saw a hot story and his site was already all set to cash in on the banner traffic. He had some million and a half hits for that initial period as site viewers.

    The original release from the Viewzone author (discussed top of page here) was actually stolen and changed from my 5 discoveries blog. The Viewzone site plagiarized and mangled all my work– displacing my name and inserting the earlier U of VA work and teams, and did the unforgivable of saddling Prof. Majewski and teams with having to answer to the media barrage for some unheard of discoveries supposedly with their name on them… The Viewzone article severely mangled and plagiarized the theorem/ discoveries of my originally posted discovery blog release, published for the launching of an internet based peer review process.

    Original source blog:

    Google Search:
    5 Discoveries
    (or)
    http://curezone.com/blogs/fm.asp?i=985423

    The blog has continually evolved and a good deal of clarification has been afforded by the evolving process with time with newer discoveries that may actually touch the lives of us all. (scroll down blog page)

    ________________________________________________________

    I must agree with you on the specific point that the author of the Viewzone article was clearly in error in so many ways and a calling to task was indeed warranted.
    ________________________________________________________

    As there are so many timely cross findings that may possibly relate (and those that we have yet to find) of a possible untold importance that we may currently have little to no clue about, I have not, and cannot responsibly let this be unduly or prematurely quashed before the opportunity for the proper peer review process has been allowed to take place.
    ________________________________________________________

    The bogus Viewzone article inaccuracies clearly deserved to be debunked, however the subsequent knee-jerk throwing the baby out with the bathwater– possibly through any ignorance, neglect, or lack of an earlier full investigation due to preoccupation borne of bias, may only perhaps temporarily delay the now squarely inevitable and due full scientific investigation and review process no matter who was originally hit over the head with the thankless job of being the discoverer.
    ________________________________________________________

    Schopenhauer’s Law:

    “The 3 Stages of Truth”

    – All Truth Goes Through 3 Stages –

    1). (First) it is Ridiculed

    2). It is Violently Opposed

    3). It is finally accepted as being “Self-Evident”

    I was curious to see if the answer was out there as to how we humans handled possibly similar topics in the past… such as: “if there is a date when– it was discovered the World was round?”

    It was stated that no date could actually be arrived at because humanity was not apparently not set, ready, or perhaps even not allowed to have a remaking of current beliefs due entrenched organized networks to religions and the current thought of the day (preventing anyone from sticking their neck out to be chopped off). The required revolution in thought does not take hold quickly unless forceably unseating or converting those who sit as king of the hill of current theories etc. Their place may have been hard won and they may have earned some right (for a time) to block any new information coming to upset the apple cart they oversee on the bridge all use to cross. It is apparently personally up to them to decide whether to be a menacing troll and jump to hasty conclusions or not.

    To cause individuals or entire institutions have to change and update their whole thinking and have to rethink all current theories that hinge upon the old can turn out to be a thankless job and related accounts of inquisitional style handling of same is not always removed from the history books.

    From the Blog:

    – SPECIAL SIDE NOTE –

    Such information has proven both so extraordinary and so completely new that coupled with the three breakthrough independent theories potentially now turned full discoveries, an entirely new set of conclusions may possibly be in order. Notwithstanding, no completely definitive official mainstream science announcement is projected to be forthcoming from the mainstream science community yet as a whole for some time involving the foregoing discoveries listed above. As a matter of course,individual scientists do not make definitive contrary statements without also publishing for peer review so that the highest degree of accuracy is maintained.

    This very release is available to you to read in advance today because a researcher/ discoverer found outside of the standard peer review publishing avenue for a given discipline automatically defers directly to the internet as the stage to launch the actual peer review process. As such it is still subject to much controversy until such time as the multiple teams of scientists across the globe have had opportunity to properly weigh all the data and full implications of what it all in fact means. Therefore no pronouncements either for, or against this body of work in whole or in part by any one individual at any positioning can be considered as definitive until such time as current textbook based science and scientists are fully allowed the time necessary to be properly updated as well.

    ________________________________________________________

    Matthew Perkins Erwin

  123. M.ERWIN

    Here is an additional topic related NASA Graphic depicting the merging galaxies, galactic streams, and the yellow circle marker also denoting the “You Are Here” position of our solar system for our mutual research:

    http://ipac.jpl.nasa.gov/media_images/sig07-008_medium.jpg

    ________________________________________________________

    Also: A Needed Due Clarification:

    ________________________________________________________

    I do credit Webmaster Phil here with now continuing to post viewpoints that may directly differ from his own and/or his site here. To do such is not required of him , and yet with the questions able to be still coming full circle, hashed out and debated until the highest understanding is achieved is indicative of the understanding of our host to the discovery process which can turn out to be anything but “all neat and pretty”.
    ________________________________________________________

    Clarifying:

    The Viewzone article taken to task here is actually NOT the true sourced data or information of the actual theories themselves and the Viewzone author managed to put a number of people in a difficult spot.

    Q: Why– How so?

    A: Among other things, he saw a hot story and his site was already all set to cash in on the banner traffic. He had some million and a half hits for that initial period as site viewers.

    The original release from the Viewzone author (discussed top of page here) was actually stolen and changed from my 5 discoveries blog. The Viewzone site plagiarized and mangled all my work– displacing my name and inserting the earlier U of VA work and teams, and did the unforgivable of saddling Prof. Majewski and teams with having to answer to the media barrage for some unheard of discoveries supposedly with their name on them… The Viewzone article severely mangled and plagiarized the theorem/ discoveries of my originally posted discovery blog release, published for the launching of an internet based peer review process.

    Original source blog:

    Google Search:
    5 Discoveries
    (or)
    http://curezone.com/blogs/fm.asp?i=985423

    The blog has continually evolved and a good deal of clarification has been afforded by the evolving process with time with newer discoveries that may actually touch the lives of us all. (scroll down blog page)

    ________________________________________________________

    I must agree with you on the specific point that the author of the Viewzone article was clearly in error in so many ways and a calling to task was indeed warranted.
    ________________________________________________________

    As there are so many timely cross findings that may possibly relate (and those that we have yet to find) of a possible untold importance that we may currently have little to no clue about, I have not, and cannot responsibly let this be unduly or prematurely quashed before the opportunity for the proper peer review process has been allowed to take place.
    ________________________________________________________

    The bogus Viewzone article inaccuracies clearly deserved to be debunked, however the subsequent knee-jerk throwing the baby out with the bathwater– possibly through any ignorance, neglect, or lack of an earlier full investigation due to preoccupation borne of bias, may only perhaps temporarily delay the now squarely inevitable and due full scientific investigation and review process no matter who was originally hit over the head with the thankless job of being the discoverer.
    ________________________________________________________

    Schopenhauer’s Law:

    “The 3 Stages of Truth”

    – All Truth Goes Through 3 Stages –

    1). (First) it is Ridiculed

    2). It is Violently Opposed

    3). It is finally accepted as being “Self-Evident”

    I was curious to see if the answer was out there as to how we humans handled possibly similar topics in the past… such as: “if there is a date when– it was discovered the World was round?”

    It was stated that no date could actually be arrived at because humanity was not apparently not set, ready, or perhaps even not allowed to have a remaking of current beliefs due entrenched organized networks to religions and the current thought of the day (preventing anyone from sticking their neck out to be chopped off). The required revolution in thought does not take hold quickly unless forceably unseating or converting those who sit as king of the hill of current theories etc. Their place may have been hard won and they may have earned some right (for a time) to block any new information coming to upset the apple cart they oversee on the bridge all use to cross. It is apparently personally up to them to decide whether to be a menacing troll and jump to hasty conclusions or not.

    To cause individuals or entire institutions have to change and update their whole thinking and have to rethink all current theories that hinge upon the old can turn out to be a thankless job and related accounts of inquisitional style handling of same is not always removed from the history books.

    From the Blog:

    – SPECIAL SIDE NOTE –

    Such information has proven both so extraordinary and so completely new that coupled with the three breakthrough independent theories potentially now turned full discoveries, an entirely new set of conclusions may possibly be in order. Notwithstanding, no completely definitive official mainstream science announcement is projected to be forthcoming from the mainstream science community yet as a whole for some time involving the foregoing discoveries listed above. As a matter of course,individual scientists do not make definitive contrary statements without also publishing for peer review so that the highest degree of accuracy is maintained.

    This very release is available to you to read in advance today because a researcher/ discoverer found outside of the standard peer review publishing avenue for a given discipline automatically defers directly to the internet as the stage to launch the actual peer review process. As such it is still subject to much controversy until such time as the multiple teams of scientists across the globe have had opportunity to properly weigh all the data and full implications of what it all in fact means. Therefore no pronouncements either for, or against this body of work in whole or in part by any one individual at any positioning can be considered as definitive until such time as current textbook based science and scientists are fully allowed the time necessary to be properly updated as well.

    ________________________________________________________

    Matthew Perkins Erwin

  124. I guess I was late to this party….. I do want to say that I think there are much more valid criticisms of man-induced global warming theory than the authors of the Curezone and Viewzone articles brought up (on closer examination), and the fact that they so badly mischaracterized the original authors of the Sagittarius Dwarf Spherical Galaxy study tempts me to wonder if this was actually a disinformation attempt aimed at man-induced global warming denial theorists, using legitimate science illegitimately to attaint other legitimate science, by association, that isn’t popular with much of the scientific establishment of late. Just a speculation on my part. I do think the last thing anyone interested in climatology needs right now are red herrings thrown up without offering evidence, regardless of what one’s viewpoint is about that.

  125. Actually let me restate the mischaracterizations of the scientists studying the issues involved were far more the fault of the Viewzone writer(s), not the original “5 Discoveries” author on Curezone. I do however find the speculation about hotter galactic plasma causing planetary warmings to be, well, that. Speculation. There is far more abundant evidence that the variable Solar wind interaction with the interstellar medium affects the climate of the Earth, with the Sun’s variations in particle output being the principle driver of climate change over the last several hundred thousand years, if I read the current state of paleoevidence on this matter correctly.

  126. I do also want to point out that the ending of the Mayan calendar, or any calendar, doesn’t speak to me about the reality of anything except magical thinking, unless there is a track record of Mayan prophecies that can be verified as having been fulfilled or being in the process of being fulfilled in congruence with its dating system.

    To illustrate this analogously, at the end of every year my calendar runs out — you know, the one on the wall I keep. Somehow nothing more changes from the last day of the year to the first day of the next year, that I wouldn’t expect to change from any one day to the next day. Except that I have to buy a new calendar. Now, if some prophet or prognosticator had predicted that at the end of every year, the price of, say, gasoline would spike 10 cents and then go back down the next day, and it happened every year for ten years like he said, then I could expect the price of gasoline to spike again on the next New Years Eve.

    Anyway if anyone knows of such a record of Mayan prophecies connected to the calendar and clear fulfillments thereof, let me know. I never seem to find that in “2012″ enthusiasm.

  127. “…a native sun…” ROFL! Good one.

  128. skywalker

    So whats the chances of the leftover gravitational plane of the dwarf galaxy fliping the magnetic poles of our planets as we pass through it? if that hapens when we flush the toilet wont the water spin the other way? or wouldnt it messup our ionosphere and give us all a great tan?the birds and other animals with built in nav systems will be completely confused…

  129. The inter galactic space is too huge for a star to travel before it burns itself out of fuel.

  130. pradeep dahal

    sun is a star.so sun roates galaxy way ? if so why sun always rises from east sets in west? why don’t it rises from west and sets in east?

  131. Joelius

    Did you ever hear of quantized rotations in space. Your article is so resemblant of a college student who knows everything because he got an A in Algebra based Physics.

  132. homer

    The Mayans probably did not attempt to chart astronomical events beyond Dec 21 2012 because they knew it would be a repitition of a well known galactic cycle. Even so, the possibility of an encounter with debris of the Sagitarius Dwarf Galaxy remain firm. Just as meteor showers occur as the Earth passes through the former path of a comet so similar events may be expected to take place as the solar system passes through the Sagitarius field. Only, the size of objects falling down from the sky will likely be larger and of proportionately greater mass.
    Debris falling from the sky as the Earth passes through the Sagitarius field will probably include mountain-sized chunks of ice and rock and metal crystal and glass. These will be of extra-galactic origin.

  133. David

    The tilt of our solar system is between the MW and Sagittarius Dwarf angles which could mean we have been captured on a previous cycle and are now part of the MW galaxy. Since our Sun is moving in plane with the rotation of the Milky Way, we are part of this galaxy but may have originated from Sagittarius Dwarf, many cycles ago. This would also account for the continuing minor vertical variations in our track around the Milky Way. The bigger event is the passage through the point where the milky Way and Sagittarius Dwarf meet. The events during this passage will be unique and random, much like running a stop light at a busy intersection. You could do it many time with no ill effects, however eventually you will hit another vehicle. I think the Mayans knew of this point of possible collision point and pending our successful passage of this point will start over. No big deal as long as we don’t hit anything raining down on us….

  134. Kaboom

    My theory on the ending of the Mayan calendar is that the guy writing it, after writing out a couple thousand years worth, thought to himself, “My, this is rather repetitive, isn’t it? I think I’ll go do something else now.” Either that, or he died…. after all, he never finished 2010.

  135. Patulecca

    who in this planet really knows that? Just because some people call themself astronomers, they have the right to afirm something like that, the sun could be from any galaxie, just because his orbit is aligned with the center or plane of the galaxy it belongs to the galaxie? What about the other 20 billion tha are not? Are they from other galaxies? I think you people rest to much on your own fantasies, and beleive what you want to beleive. At the end there is just one fact, all your facts” are circumstantial, untill just one of you get aut there and bring real facts, not just images on top of images, or calculations based on numbers, abstractions, just abstractions. Spend that money on earth, there are to many hungry people aroun and we are struggling here in this planet to be chasing stars and delusions of you own minds. To me the sun is from Andromeda., haha

  136. James B

    Wow, they all came out of the woodwork on this one. Clearly quite a few people didn’t quite grasp the concepts in the article (all the distinct planes and how they interact), what surprises me is that so many decided to comment with derisory and combative posts.

    My particular favourites were the ones that suggested something along the lines of “what makes you, someone who has devoted your professional life to this topic, think you know more than me!?” Most amusing.

    Oh, and the quote from back up the page (#135) “plus, im not a sceintist and i myself can understand the meaning of the energy from the milkyway”. I had a feast on the delicious irony.

    you get the feeling this should be restated as “i have no scientific training and therefore the universe is so simple in my eyes that I have no problems conceiving of a term as vague as ‘energy from the milky way’, and thinking its scientifically meaningful”

    Kudos for replying to what devolved more and more into the deranged ravings of someone quite unbalanced. Keep on fighting the good fight.

  137. son

    I belive that God created the sun on the third day of creation.

  138. Ken Smith

    The Milky Way has gobbled up lots of galaxies in its lifetime. I wonder if ours was gobbled up much, much longer ago and had time to change its orbit.

    “Son”; You’re at exactly the right place to announce our sun was made by a god in a day — “Bad Astronomy”.

  139. I know the article is wrong – because I got the Sun drunk and dropped it off here as a joke. She’s from a poor section from the other side of the Milky Way, and a cheap date.

  140. Jonathan Miller

    Thank you for taking the time to help educate amateur astronmers like myself! Because people like me don’t have the education to see most of the anomalies and blatant deception that these pseudoscientist employ I find it quite refreshing that people and organizations like you and yours help us find the truth and help us remember that not everyone working in the feild of science is searching for the truth!!! But searching for ways to falsify the facts just to make their points look more valid no matter how untruthful or ( as far as I am concerned ) CRIMINAL their actions are bu the way, is there a publication or list with these nonscientists names on them for reference and comparison? I hate liars and wolves in sheep’ clothing!!! Again… Thank you very much!!!!

  141. I finally felt like there was some explanation for why I always felt like an alien.

  142. Thank you for your effort to debunk the theory that Sol is apart of Sagittarious DEG. I appreciate it despite your obvious bias against the theory. I like this because it helps people like me understand the question more fully. I choose to believe that both theories are possible. We need more actual scientific data instead of scientific theories to actually “prove” anything.

    However, I feel compelled to rebuke your failed attempt to fully debunk the theory. First and foremost, you use theory’s to try to prove another theory false. As a scientist you should understand how this is fundamentally wrong. Until we have starships that actually visit other star systems all we have are “theories” on what stars are made of. You even admit that within the Milky Way alone there are stars that appear to be outside the norm. So why is it so hard to admit that Sol could be outside the Sag DEG norm but still from said galaxy?

    You point out that Sol’s disk is at an irregular angel to the Milky Way plane. Yet you use a couple hundred years (at best) of scientific theories to say it “proves” that Sol has always been apart of the Milky Way? I take it you might have been one of the ones ridiculing Einstein for his own “outrageous theories” a hundred years ago or so. Yes it appears that Sol is firmly “apart of the Milky Way” now however this fails to exclude the idea that our solar system could have moved differently in the galactic past. There are any number of gravitational forces that could have “changed” Sol’s orbit.

    All coincidences are an illusion born of ignorance. If Sol is at the intersection of galactic collision it in fact does lend credence to the idea that Sol could be apart of Sag DEG. Yet I agree it is possible that Sol instead could be where it is and still born from the Milky Way. I just feel that it is ‘Bad Science’ to use and abuse science like you have. Furthermore, it is ‘Bad Journalism’ to be so heavily biased and still claim you are speaking with some sort of scientific authority.

  143. Richard

    I agree that the solar origin ideas proposed by the Viewzone article are not supported by observed facts. Generally, your response was spot-on, methodical and clear-headed.

    I have one small quibble about your critique, however: Comparing the Mayan calendar dismissively with modern astronomical observation. The Mayan calendar has a year length of 365.2420 days, a variation of 0.0002 from the actual length. The Gregorian (modern Western) calendar has a year length of 365.2425 days, a variation of 0.0003, and that only after the corrective back-hacking addition of leap years. Considering that it dates back nearly 2,500 years, a calendar of that accuracy deserves more than a curt dismissal.

    Of course, its accuracy gives it no claim on mythic correctness or mystical portent, but it deserves far more respect for the observational and mathematical rigor needed to craft it than you seem to have given it here.

  144. Jeff

    You spend an awful lot of words to make a simple claim. Makes you seem a little desperate.

    The truth is, we simply do not have the data to prove that the sun is NOT from SDG.

    The angle analysis reveals your bias. SDG does not have a coherent angle of rotation. It did once, before it contacted MWG. But the gravitational pull of MWG has twisted the leading and trailing edges of SDG so that they are now COMPLETELY DIFFERENT from the original SDG.

    Since your argument on this point is so blatantly and demonstrably faulty and biased, there is no need to even look at the rest of it.

    And sooo…

    I guess we’re done.

    This is a perfect example of why we cannot, EVER, trust what scientists say.

  145. John

    I stopped reading after your “what are the odds” bit. Happenstance of observation has no bearing one way or the other on reality, yet you use it to draw conclusion of fact? It was bad enough that you dismissed SDG origins because Sol’s plane doesn’t line up with SDG, then admit that Sol’s plane doesn’t line up with MW either, and therefore Sol is obviously from the MW. I can’t believe I’ve wasted my time resonding to you. We’re done here.

  146. Phil Devlin

    The MW to our sun – resistance is futile you will be assimilated !?!?
    Wow! What a wonderful and enlightening tread – so many inquisitive minds projecting a wonder of theories, great assumptions and some downright facts. Divergences are expected and required, so it is a tiny bit of arrogance and “I know it all” type of attitude. Please, let’s keep all humanity’s essential debates alive. However let’s not forget this; whenever science is concerned quit often one fact has been immutable:
    “Yesterdays truths are today’s falsehoods”
    Please keep posting and tell it as you see it.

  147. The Mad Zak

    Yea, I laughed a few times while reading this! I only read astronomy articles for entertainment; I am not an astronomy student or scientist. I know galaxies collide, but I did not know our Milky Way was colliding with (or ripping stars from) another galaxy right now. But even with the small amount of knowledge I have I knew the Sun and its solar system orbited the center of the Milky Way inside one of its arms. I had been reading that for years.

    So when I read the dubious article the first thing that popped into my head is “Well, then why are we not flying through the Milky Way in a perpendicular path like the rest of the Sagittarius galaxy? Did we just happen to find a nice, cozy spot and take a right turn?

    Maybe those authors should start writing about things like economics, psychiatry or the weather or some other think that cannot be debunked by math or casual readers.

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