Planetary alignment pyramid scheme

By Phil Plait | August 20, 2012 12:46 pm

What the heck is in the air this past week? First we see a simulated image of the sky from Mars go massively viral because people thought it actually showed Earth in the Martian sky, then a clearly Photoshopped pic of two "Suns" setting on Mars gets passed around.

And now a new slice of oddness enters the field: a picture of a planetary alignment over the Giza Pyramids, saying this only happens once every 2737 years. Because planetary alignments and the pyramids play such a large role in New Age/astrological beliefs, there is clearly some sort of spiritual message implied here.

Well, I hate to be a thricely-bursting-bubble person, but here we go again, again. Let me be clear: while there will be an event more-or-less like this in December, and it should be pretty and quite cool to see, the claims being made are somewhat exaggerated. The picture itself isn’t real, and the planets won’t really look like that from Giza. Also, alignments like this happen fairly often, though to be fair getting them spaced out to fit over the pyramids in this way probably is relatively rare.

Busting your Cheops

Here’s the picture making the rounds:

It clearly shows the three pyramids in Giza, Egypt, with three planets above them. There are various versions of this picture I’ve seen; most are like this with almost no explanation. Some say the planets are Mercury, Venus, and Saturn, and some mention this is what it will look like on December 3rd, 2012, just before sunrise.

First, this obviously cannot be an actual photo if the event hasn’t happened yet! This must be a Photoshop job. That’s fine if it’s only to show what things are supposed to look like, and no one is claiming this is an actual photo.

However, it hardly matters. There are lots of other problems with this planetary alignment claim.

What’s your angle?

The first thing I did when I saw this was ask: is there really going to be a close conjunction of three planets on December 3rd?

The answer is yes! Mercury, Venus, and Saturn will all be within a relatively small distance of each other in the sky on that date. This isn’t a particularly tight configuration like Venus and Jupiter were earlier this year – in this case, they’ll be 14 degrees apart, nearly 30 times the width of the full Moon on the sky – but it’s still pretty nifty.

The second thing I did, though, was ask myself: will they really look like that in the sky as seen from Giza?

The answer this time is no. I used the software planetarium program SkySafari to show what the three planets would look like in the sky before sunrise on December 3rd as seen from the location of the pyramids, and got this:

In this picture, the yellow line is the ecliptic, the path of the Sun in the sky through the year. The green horizontal line is the horizon, and the three planets are labeled.

Note the angle of the planets: in the picture going viral, the planets are much closer to horizontal, but in reality the line connecting the planets is at a much steeper angle. It’s nearly vertical, in fact. This may not seem like a big deal, but having the planets closer to horizontal like in the viral picture is more spectacular than what will really happen, exaggerating the claim.

Not only that, but in the pyramid picture the planets are almost exactly on a line, like beads on a string. But as you can see in the picture above, they’re not nearly that colinear. Again it’s looking like the pyramid picture is exaggerating the situation.

Mirror, mirror

I noticed something else funny as well.

Here’s a satellite view of the three pyramids, courtesy Google maps:

In this picture, north is up and east is to the right. The planetary conjunction happens before sunrise, and as you can see from this satellite view you have to face southeast to see it. That means to see the planets and the pyramids together you’d have to be to the northwest of the pyramids. I added an arrow to the picture here to show that.

From that position to the northwest, the biggest of the three pyramids (Khufu) will be on your left, and the littlest (Menkaure) on your right (this map may help).

You may see where I’m going with this. Look back at the viral picture, and you’ll see they got the pyramids backwards. The little one is on the left (the one in the middle looks like it’s the biggest, but I think that’s a perspective effect due to the telephoto lens used and the angle of the shot, but that’s because it’s built on ground 10 or so meters higher than the big pyramid), which means this picture was taken to the southeast southwest of the pyramids, facing northwest northeast. [Note: a few folks have pointed out I was close, but off a bit. Because the pyramids overlap in the picture, the camera viewpoint is clearly close to being in line with them, making it more like south-by-southwest of the pyramids and facing north-by-northeast. This doesn’t change my argument though: the planets would still be behind you!]

In other words, if you were standing in the spot where the viral photo was taken and faced the pyramids, the planets would be behind you.


Again, this may be forgivable if the picture is just supposed to be an example of what you’d see. But it’s more evidence that this event may not unfold exactly as claimed.

Medium rare

Finally, there’s this claim of a planetary alignment only happening every 2700 years or so. That’s not strictly true, but there’s wiggle room here.

Planets orbit the Sun, and we see them moving in the sky (the word planet translates as "wanderer" in the original Greek). Because they orbit the Sun more or less in the same plane as the Earth, we see them passing each other as we all move around (imagine watching a NASCAR race from ground level; the cars appear to approach and pass each other as they go around the track).

So we see planetary conjunctions all the time, literally every year. At least, with two planets we do. What about three? Well, that happens a lot as well, and when it does it almost inevitably includes Mercury and Venus. Venus and Mercury are closer to the Sun than Earth is, which means two things: a) they orbit it more rapidly, so the configuration changes all the time, making any given conjunction pretty common, and 2) they never get very far from the Sun, meaning you’ll find them near each other in the sky every year or so.

That also means that as another planet – say, Jupiter or Saturn – orbits the Sun, eventually it will pass one or both of these planets in the sky as well. This isn’t a particularly rare event! Mercury, Jupiter, and Venus had a lovely conjunction earlier this year, in March 2012 (though to be fair Venus and Jupiter were quite close, with Mercury being well below them in comparison). The particular configuration claimed – Mercury – Venus – Saturn – happens relatively often as well. In fact, there was one in 2005.

To be fair, the wording of the claim does sound like they’re saying this conjunction combined with the relative spacing over the pyramids is much more rare. That might very well be true.

But even forgiving the inaccuracies of the picture, I find it very difficult to find this anything more than coincidence. There are many, many landmarks on the Earth, and many ways the planets can arrange themselves in the sky. Why not ask how often planets will be near each other and rising near the heelstone at Stonehenge as seen from some particular angle, or aligned with the ziggurats in Central America, or the Moai at Easter Island? And there’s always Manhattanhenge.

The point is, things like this seem almost supernatural, but part of that is because you’re choosing the location after the fact. If you ask how many places there are like this, and how many times the planets "align", it doesn’t seem quite as mystical.

Things are looking up!

Don’t get me wrong: it would actually be pretty cool to see this planetary/pyramid alignment. Someone putting themself at just the right place to the northwest at just the right time might be able to get the three planets aligned with the three pyramids. That would be very pretty, and I’d love to see it personally! But I wouldn’t assign any spiritual significance to it beyond that.

And hey, part of my job is to promote astronomy and get people looking up. If you happen to be in Egypt in December and get some good shots of this event, send ’em to me! I’d love to see them. And if you can think of some other place on our fair planet where this conjunction would make for a nice photo, I’d love to see those, too.

After all, the sky is pretty, and fun to observe, and amazing to understand. In my opinion, just grasping it as it is should be good enough.

Related Posts:

An unreal Martian skyline
Astrological sign of the times
Venus rounds the corner
Kryptonite for the Supermoon


Comments (73)

  1. Cassiuss

    Pretty sure baby Jesus is in that first image, near the bottom. Riding a velociraptor.

  2. Bart

    I wonder if the origin of this is that the planets would line up with the pyramids in the same proportion as seen from the top. I’ve seen similar claims made between the pyramids and the three stars in orion’s belt. Wikipedia calls this the Orion correlation theory

    It strikes me that your simulation of the three planets have a similar look to the stars in orion’s belt.

    Not that there is any significance to this, but I wonder if that’s where the origin of this came from.

    And then someone misunderstands what they mean by “line up” and draws the silly picture.

  3. Rob

    Actually, based on the visible sides of the pyramids and the fact that they’re overlapping each other a little, it looks more to me like the pyramid photo was taken from the southwest facing northeast, rather than the southeast looking northwest. If it were taken from the southeast, then the pyramids would be more spaced out and would have the corners pointed directly at the camera rather than off to the side.

    Not that this affects your main point, as the planets wouldn’t be over top of them from that vantage point either.

  4. Bart

    I took the liberty of taking the Orion pyramid pic from wikipedia and overlaying it on Phil’s SkySafari picture and TADA.

    So I’m pretty convinced this is the origin of this nonsense.

  5. Chris P

    I agree with Rob. The apex of the right pyramid is directly above where the slope of the middle pyramid reaches the ground. If you draw a line through those two points on the aerial photo it heads in a south-westerly direction to where the photographer must’ve been standing.

    That’s why the middle one looks bigger too, it’s much closer than the far one, but because of the foreshortening effect of the telephoto lens they look like they’re next to each other.

  6. kevbo

    Rob is correct – you can mimic the picture in Google Earth:
    -go to lat 29.967, lon 31.127 degrees (about 500m south of the smallest pyramid – you’ll see a rectangular platform and a loop of road; about mid-way between the road and the platform…)
    -turn on 3d buildings
    -zoom yourself right down to the ground level (scroll wheel up until your nose is in the sand)
    -hold the ctrl key and drag the mouse down while holding the left button to look up at the horizon.
    -Fine adjust your view from there (ctrl-drag to pan your view, and just click drag to move around).

    That is obviously where the pic is from, and you can see Cairo in the background…

  7. Daniel J. Andrews

    I ran this through Stellarium and could almost but not quite get the even spaced lime-up. I also noted the angle seemed steeper but figured I’d messed something up because the source I saw claimed the picture was generated by a specific planetary program. Should have had more trust in myself.

    Would the sky be dark as shown in this picture? Stellarium had the sky lighting up, and Mercury doesn’t get too far from the sun–the only time I’ve seen it is close to the horizon and during twilight/dusk, not when the sky was dark. ?

    Hmm, equatorial areas have quick nightfalls due to the angle of the ecliptic so maybe sky will be dark? And kick myself here because that should have clued me in that the angle was too low in that pic. Nuts.

  8. HvP

    Agreed, the photo was taken from a popular hill for this type of shot located almost due south and very slightly west of the pyramid complex. The photo is looking north-north east. The small pointed shadows across the bottom of the leftmost pyramid are the “Queen’s Pyramids” that feature prominently in daylight photos taken from the same vantage point.

    My lat/lon = 29°58’4.36″N by 31° 7’35.96″E

    As far as I can tell, only the northern sky would be visible over the pyramids making a shot including the three planets totally impossible from that location. Of course, there are plenty of other places to take pictures from, they just won’t look like the one circulated. There is a hill northwest of the pyramids that might make for a good vantage point for the alignment looking southeast but the placement of the pyramids isn’t nearly so photogenic.

  9. John Ellis

    There is even more mind-blowing hair-pulling woo in the air this month. Check out what Snopes has found going around the internets and had to debunk:

  10. Tara Li

    The first thing that *really* struck me about the image was the colors of the planets! I haven’t really looked for Mercury, but Venus is always pretty white, and Saturn is yellow – a light amber, in fact. While the left one *might* be about right for Mercury or Venus (but it really seems too blue to me), the other two “planets” far more resemble Neptune & Uranus in color. Oh, and the magnitudes seem off too. IIRC from Stellarium, Venus is Mag -1.something, Mercury is about Mag 0, and Saturn is Mag 1.3something.

  11. I’d find a view through Manhattanhenge far more interesting. Especially with light pollution… 😉

  12. Bob Stephens

    The other problem is that the drawing shows the planets of relative equal brightness. On December 3, 2012, Venus will be at -4.0 magnitude, Mercury -0.4, and Saturn +0.7. In other words, as always, Venus will be dramatically brighter than the other two. The difference in brightness is not even represented well in the planetarium screen shot.

  13. Old Geezer

    If anybody gets that photo on December 3rd, they better hurry and send it over because, you know, nine days later…..

  14. Colleen McAllister

    Ok, never mind all the measurements and such, am I the only one who realizes that a snapshot of planets would not show glowing orbs, but simple dots of light if anything? Try taking your own photo of any of the planets. Nice try, whoever the fool is that tried this one.

  15. Old Wolf

    I’m thinking that the viewer would also have to be further back than in the fake image, as Mercury doesn’t get that high above the horizon.

  16. Gary Ansorge

    14. Old Geezer

    “because, you know, nine days later…..”

    …is my daughters birthday…(that’s the only significance there is in that date for me).

    Gary 7

  17. Rasmus

    One thing to keep in mind is that many ancient monuments (not just Stonehenge) were specifically built to cause cool alignments with various stellar bodies (though they’re often mostly built to align with the sun, but that would mean they can align with anything on the ecliptic), or might have been built with such purposes. Which means that they may be perfect places to go looking for these things, or use planetarium software to track the cool alignments.

    Actually, I just realized that spotting such alignments and then go to the real place at the right moment and take a cool picture of the alignment could be the next step for those tired of geocaching/geohashing.

  18. Glauco

    Thank you, Phil. That image should reach my country in a few weeks and it would steal a few minutes from my life, just to prove it wrong.

  19. I don’t really care about the angle nor the elevation nor magnitude of the planets in the above photo but what is so special is that since 1982 I have been working on my own project (ISIS). I knew nothing of the planetary alignments then or now until today but project ISIS was a vision I had to which end I was driven to create a piece of unique photographic art/collage over a period of 14years, in order to illustrate my vision. The story goes: There will be a message carried to Earth when the Comet arrives (I knew nothing of Haley-bop) . There will be confusion and Earth will enter a dark period of total upheaval. An Angel (unknown) will communicate the message as a prequel to a huge event that involves the alignment of 3 Planets somewhere over the Nile. Strange coincidence as my vision is so powerful it has carried through with me to this day. see my website for a picture of ISIS :

  20. Maria

    Hooo. Boy. The next 4 months are going to be interesting times in the US. You know when Snopes has to start debunking lizard people and multi-day universal blackouts that you’re living in “Fun Times”. 😉

  21. Hedin

    14 and 17 The Hobbit premieres :)

  22. Chuck

    Another thing: perspective. If you walked closer to the pyramids, they would appear to spread out, while the angular separation of the planets would remain the same. Thus, the planets would no longer each be above a pyramid. Likewise, if you moved away, the pyramids would appear to bunch together, while the planets again would appear unchanged. Again, the planets would no longer each be above a pyramid. So that particular alignment, even if it were true, which we know it is not, would be valid only from one position, not too close and not too far.

  23. matthew

    This looks similar to a photo I took just the other day of the star Spica, Mars, and Saturn. About a week ago they were nearly in alignment. Now they can be seen after sunset making a nice triangle shape. My point is the colors, Spica being blue Mars red and Saturn orange /yellow look very similar.

  24. Mark Hansen

    Yvonne, I think you take good photos. I think you should keep taking good photos.

  25. Mark Hansen

    Phil, please delete this comment. Accidentally double posted previous comment.

  26. The “alignment” of the Giza pyramids is (sorry to disappoint) based on local topography, not on astronomical alignment, other than to set their north-south axis (and Kate Spence has written some very nice stuff on that). These are just the way three hillocks sat on the Giza plateau; if you already had a little height, it cut down the work to construct the pyramids themselves.

    Surprisingly (or not) we do know a fair bit about when, who and why the pyramids were built – they were the solar resurrection machine element in much larger cultic complexes honouring specific pharaohs, the largest is the Northern one, the Great Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops), while the others, built subsequently by Khafre and Menkaure simply followed the line of the topography and the Nile itself; indeed, you can see how they progressively move away from the main mastaba development of the Giza necropolis on the satellite photo.

    It still remains something special that the Great Pyramid, built over 4500 years ago, is the largest stone building ever constructed on the planet, and until the Eiffel Tower was built in the 1800s, it was also the tallest. I think it’s better and wiser to respect the Egyptians for what they really achieved, than to make up silly fantasies about them.

    Incidentally, if you want to follow the course of a *truly* great pyramid builder, the father of Khufu was Sneferu, and he basically evolved the design of pyramids over his reign from the earlier step pyramids to true pyramids, via the engineering debacles of the “collapsed pyramid” of Meidum and the “bent pyramid” of Dahshur.

    All this by clever, resourceful human beings, without an alien or spirit guide in sight!

  27. “I think it’s better and wiser to respect the Egyptians for what they really achieved, than to make up silly fantasies about them.”

    Hear, hear.
    I always hate it when people come up with aliens etc who “helped” with pyramids etc.
    They so underestimate our forefathers/mothers.

    Few weeks ago there was a nice artcile on the “walking statues” on Easter Island. The local people always said “they walked to their place”. And indeed, with a few ropes around their neck and a few strong guys you can wiggle them quite easyly. Thus walking them to their place.

    If we want something we´ll get there. One way or the other.
    That´s us humans. And great tall story tellers. 😉

  28. @ ^ @shanemuk : Good informative comment – cheers. :-)

    It still remains something special that the Great Pyramid, built over 4500 years ago, is the largest stone building ever constructed on the planet, and until the Eiffel Tower was built in the 1800s, it was also the tallest. I think it’s better and wiser to respect the Egyptians for what they really achieved, than to make up silly fantasies about them. .. (Snip -ed.) .. All this by clever, resourceful human beings, without an alien or spirit guide in sight!

    Seconded by me.

    Must admit I’m kinda surprised too that Macchu Picchu or (Cambodia’s) Ankor Watt or the Taj Mahal weren’t larger / taller than the Great Pyramid too. It must be larger than I’d thought. :-)

    @10. Tara Li :

    The first thing that *really* struck me about the image was the colors of the planets! I haven’t really looked for Mercury, but Venus is always pretty white, and Saturn is yellow – a light amber, in fact. While the left one *might* be about right for Mercury or Venus (but it really seems too blue to me), the other two “planets” far more resemble Neptune & Uranus in color. Oh, and the magnitudes seem off too. IIRC from Stellarium, Venus is Mag -1.something, Mercury is about Mag 0, and Saturn is Mag 1.3 something.


    @12. Bob Stephens :

    The other problem is that the drawing shows the planets of relative equal brightness. On December 3, 2012, Venus will be at -4.0 magnitude, Mercury -0.4, and Saturn +0.7. In other words, as always, Venus will be dramatically brighter than the other two. The difference in brightness is not even represented well in the planetarium screen shot.

    That exactly. You both beat me to it regarding the unequal brightness and colours of the planets. Nicely said. :-)

    Now if it’d been Venus, Jupiter and perhaps also Mars at its brightest then maybe we’d be talking here! (Although the colours & apparent diameters would still be a bit wrong.)

    Oh well, I’m sure we’ll still see some great astrophotos out of it. One of a whole sub-genre of astrophotography is such conjunctions and wide angle shots showing spectacular skies along with landscapes including earthly wonders both human made and natural.

  29. Nikola

    Alignement of these planets are incredibly high and seen from all points of the Earth.
    Rights alignemet planet it when the same stand in one line to the Sun projected on the ecliptic.
    Then they can mean something, and the way they are outlined above, can only mean something for the uneducated.

  30. StarObs

    The best is to come back to the source: this is the website from where the picture is coming from : . As you see, the “viral” image is just the head of the article, to illustrate the point, but the Starry Night pro or Stellarium simulation is exactly the same as you obtained : quite a vertical alignment. The caption diffused with the viral picture is actually NOT associated with it in the original article, but with the simulation.

  31. Robb

    I don’t think you could ever get thehorizontal alignment in the picture. Egypt is fairly low latitude and mercury is only visible near the horizon near sunset or sunrise. That means the ecliptic is going to be at a fairly high angle.

    You’d have a better chance of getting that alignment over Stonehenge, or with Venus, Mars and Jupiter or Saturn.

  32. Tony D


    This is exactly what I was thinking, and yeah… it’s cool and all, however I wouldn’t put too much significance in it either…

  33. @ @Shanemuk:

    Indeed! For an excellent read on what is truly amazing about the construction of the Giza pyramids, read “How the Great Pyramid was Built” by Craig Smith.

    Smith explores the idea that effective project management was the most groundbreaking development of the pyramid project. Working with the huge stones was already a well-established skill. It was the management and planning of the construction that really stood out. Smart Egyptians!

  34. flip

    It only happens once in 2737 years… and here’s a photo of it. Yeah, that’s believeable…

    @John Ellis

    Anyone believing that stuff would have to be mad.

  35. Bill Gresho

    Thanks for the interesting article. Years ago I read a few books (?Serpent in the Sky, Footprints of the Gods..???) .. too long ago to remember. But I do remember one thing that was presented — the alignment of Orion’s Belt and that of the Pyramids of Giza — not a straight line, but the stars’ location and the pyramids’ location are similar.
    Then there is the Sphinx and it’s alignment with the rising of constellation Leo (or something of that speculation) at some specific time. The mystery of ancient Egypt continues. Thanks for being the Bad Astronomer!

  36. futura black

    Yep… found this one some days ago, and came to the same conclusions you share here. It IS sorta like the grim and the tea leaves in J.K.rowling stories: tilted one way,they did resemble a Grim, but tilted the other they looked more like a donkey! >_<!

  37. Erin

    OK you guys. I own an apartment in Giza (Hadayek el-Ahram, Giza, Cairo, Egypt), which is about 6 blocks west of the Giza Pyramids. In fact I bought the apt because of the fantastic view of the pyramids. And I know (because every day I wake up and look at my pyramid view) that my apt is to the WEST of the pyramids so I am looking east when I see the pyramids. This means that Menkaure’s pyramid is to the SOUTH in my view and Khufu’s pyramid is to the north. Check out your picture: you see Menkaure’s pyramid in the UPPER part of the picture and Khufu’s pyramid is in the lower part of the picture. That means that you are looking into the WESTERN part of the sky, not the eastern. And just before sunrise on 3 Dec 2012, Saturn, Mars and Venus RISE in this configuration. If these three planets RISE then they do so in the EASTERN part of the sky, not the west. Hello? Yup, Photoshop to the limit.

  38. Richard

    Agree with several of the early posters, the view is facing north-north-east. You can clearly see the silhouettes of the two “satellite” pyramids in front of (to the south of) Menkaure’s pyramid (the nearest), which are also visible in the satellite photograph. You can also see a faint central line down the centre of the nearest face of Khufu’s (the furthest). This is a known feature where the face is actually composed of two facets angled at slightly less than 180 degrees (like a very shallow valley). This is particularly noticeable in certain photographs where the lighting angle is just right.

  39. sophia8

    Oh great – I got into an argument about this on a form just a couple of days ago. This person directed me to a couple of URLs in which a Charles Marcello claimed to have discovered this alignment while playing around with Stellarium.
    I’ve not kept the URLs; but one of them was a thread on the Above Top Secret forum. Here, Marcello not only claimed that he had just accidentally found this alignment but also claimed he had “run a couple of cycles” through Stellarium and discovered that this precise alignment of Mercury, Venus and Saturn hadn’t happened for 27 thousand years or somesuch. I have a copy of Stellarium and I have no idea how he achieved this; if the program has such a function, I’ve not been able to find it. Several of the ATS forumites had fun with him as it soon became obvious that he’s totally ignorant about astronomy. For instance, he had to have the mechanics of eclipses explained to him; he also had to be told that local time in his location (Oregon) isn’t the same as local time in Eygpt.
    But it seems he’s the origin of most of this, if not the picture.

  40. sophia8

    Bill Gresho@ 37: The Sphinx / Leo stuff is the work of Gaham Hancock and Robert Bouval. They claimed that the Sphinx was built to mark the rising of the Leo constellation in the East at the Spring Equinox, which was around 10,500BC.
    Party-pooping Egyptologists point out that it was built several thousand years later and that the Egyptians recognised a completely different set of constellations from us, one that didn’t include a lion.

  41. Nigel Depledge

    MTU (29) said:

    I’m kinda surprised too that Macchu Picchu or (Cambodia’s) Ankor Watt or the Taj Mahal weren’t larger / taller than the Great Pyramid too. It must be larger than I’d thought.

    Me too, kinda. I was suprised to find it is taller than the spire on Salisbury Cathedral.

    When it was built, and for a couple of centuries afterwards, Salisbury Cathedral was the largest man-made enclosed space in the world (in terms of greatest volume).

  42. Nigel Depledge

    @ Nikola (30) –

    Erm, what?

  43. Luis Correia

    The perspective of that picture is very similar to this on Google Maps:,31.125684&hl=pt-PT&ll=29.9695,31.125684&spn=0.013979,0.066047&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=56.987104,135.263672&t=h&z=15&layer=c&cbll=29.9695,31.125684&cbp=11,0,,0,0&photoid=po-29347625

    which is positioned at southwest of the pyramids facing northeast.

  44. Jannercide

    Sooooooo….you’re taking a blatantly obvious fake image (the event hasnt happened yet) and telling us why it is fake and telling is why the real thing wont look like the blatantly fake image. Thanks for that.

  45. sophia8

    Jannercide@ 49: When commenting on any blog article, it’s always a good idea to read the whole thing first.

  46. Bruce

    I’ve been teaching a friend stargazing, from the little I know. I’m proud to say she spotted the problem with the pic right away, with the line of planets being way too close to horizontal.

    If we did ever see that from 30 degrees north, it would be a cataclysm, indeed. Wouldn’t the Earth’s tilt need to change to about 50 degrees or so?

  47. Infinite123Lifer

    Hedin said:
    “14 and 17 The Hobbit premieres :)”

    I think the hobbit premiers 11 days after December 3rd. Not sure if this site is accurate but FWIW

  48. ryan

    Couldn’t you just move more to the north to get a camera angle so that all 3 planets are over the pyramids though?

  49. Steve

    The last time these 3 planets were in a similar relationship was Oct 19, 2009. Prior to that it occurred on Nov. 29, 1630 AD and also on Oct. 11, 949 AD. Next occurrence will be Nov. 23, 2335. It’s possible that it occurred many more times within the same above time frame, but the above dates are in keeping with similar parameters for Dec 3, 2012.

    ‘Similar’ means approx the same separation in zodiacal longitude and approx relative relationship in celestial latitude.

  50. Matt B.

    Even Saturn, Jupiter and Mars should line up decently more often than every 2,737 years. Saturn and Jupiter line up about every 20 years, and the odds of Mars being within, say, 5 degrees of that must be 1/36. So you’d get that good an alignment about every 360 years.

  51. Ahmed Fawzi

    I have Calculated the point where the planets projections will be aligned with each pyramid axis and this point is far away from the pyramids and between the pyramids and this point there is a high ground so it will be possible to view it like the image by any mean.unless from a plane or a balloon or something that can elevate above the high ground from the point calculated.

    The windows of this view will be just an hour before sunrise.

    The exact coordinates of the location :,31.041634&spn=0.010532,0.013797&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=39.371738,56.513672&t=h&hnear=%D9%85%D8%B5%D8%B1&z=16

    for the calculation method i used and a chart. contact me ,

  52. Charles Marcello

    Hello Everyone,

    For the record, I did not create the picture presented here, (shared with the world just days after it was fused to my blog after a full year quietly being viewed by hundreds of people a day….) however I am responsible for the information that will be found beneath that picture, and all subsequent responses below in the comments section that, as of this date August 28, 2012, bare my name.

    I found the picture in question on another website that was mirroring my ‘2012 and the Pyramids at Giza’ blog, and down in the comments section I wrote, “…here is an artist’s idea of what December 3, 2012 planetary convergence will look like one hour before sunrise. …”

    Before the posting of that comment that picture was not fused with my blog. I was not even asked if that picture should be placed within my blog… truth is if the people at had asked, I would’ve said, “why not… it’s an awesome picture.” For you see, if you actually take the time to read my entire blog, and my comments below, you will learn the planetary alignment on December 3, 2012 is just the beginning. Its up to the reader to decide if they want to see or not… I’m not interested in making anyone believe or disbelieve what I had to say. I’m only interested if they’re willing to see. What I do find interesting however, is how the rest of the information found within that blog has been completely ignored by all and only the “new header picture” is being torn apart all across the Internet while internet news site after internet news site keeps calling me a hoaxer. Very interesting indeed. Perhaps, just perhaps using the picture in question is an attempt to harden people from looking just below the surface by some… for if a person is willing to do just a little bit of work… the information that they will in fact find… it just might force the whole world to re-examine everything we’ve ever been told to believe in.

    Outside of that, thank you for taking the time to share my blog with your readers and your concerns.

    edited to add: A personal thank you to poster StarOrb’s for actually going to my blog and reading/seeing the bigger picture (pun intended) just below the surface.

    –Charles Marcello

  53. Drunk Vegan

    @Charles Marcello:

    I read your page and yes, it’s clear that your arguments are not regarding this ridiculous artist’s conception/Photoshop picture.

    However, I have to point out that your arguments are equally invalid because of the simple fact that you are trying to overlay a 3D object (the sky) over a 2D object (maps of the layout of the ground at the Pyramids of Giza.)

    This simply can’t be done, and the way you’re showing each planet mapping directly to the peak of each pyramid is patently ridiculous because you can’t just pull the sky down and lay it flat across some stone objects. Geometry just doesn’t work that way.

  54. nefertiti atunson

    The sooner we accept Aliens fingerprints on this planet the better.

  55. conan pietrobono

    also im not sure but i dont think the pyramids would be lit up like that

  56. Anubis

    I am the Great God Anubis and I have a free weekend towards the end of November if any of you mortals want me to re-align any planets (or stars) or move the pyramids by a few metres, please let me know before the end of October.

  57. S. Rohde

    The “stars” represent the association with “Cygnus” in Astronomy, which lines up with the Giza Pyramid area layout. See “The Secret Caves of Giza”. These stars at certain times line up and appear to “touch” the peaks of the three pyramids.

  58. Sean

    Do you think this is a triple exposure of the moon rising over the pyramids? I’m guessing round about Winter Solstice.

  59. I doubt anyone thinks the photo shows the real alignment obviously. It is a graphic to demonstrate the alignment.

    Secondly, the fact that it is not exactly aligned with the ecliptic plane is also not the point. The point is that the planets are in the same formation as the pyramids and above them.

    It seems like this site will go to any extreme to disprove anything they possibly can rather than take an objective look at substantial claims.

  60. Tony B.

    Snookie’s due date for her baby is 12/12/12. Well played Mayan’s, well played.

  61. Mike C

    I followed all the advice of the author, being swayed by the argument. Obviously the original photo in question is quite stupid. However, as I said, I followed all the advice from the sound logic in the article here. I did this using google earth, a pyramids map from wikipedia, and the planetarium screenshot here. Some neat things come to light. First look at the location of the the sphinx and the width of Khufu. This creates a line that is the inverse angle of the ecliptic. Follow the line to the conjunction and go there in Google Earth. Voila, an alignment. This is where we’re supposed to BE, not what you’re supposed to SEE. Who said anything about seeing the stars? What you get is an elegantly fail safe map of a specific location. The map would still function even if some items on the map ceased to exist. The stars are just a piece, not the conclusion. Now, am I saying any significant thing will happen on that spot at that date? Of course not! But the Egyptians may have thought something might happen there and then and mapped it anyways. Give the builders some credit even if their ends were fantasy, they were clearly up to something.

  62. Dazzle McRazzle

    Of course this picture is real! my great great great great great grandfathers cousins milkman took this photograph with his digital camera 2737 years ago.

  63. Rosana A. P. Bastiaens

    My Professor of Ancient History talked about this alignment. Magnificent.


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