Many of the manipulators and con men who called for the end of the world today cited this was the date we were going to pass through the galactic plane and some massive, energetic event would take place as a result. That being the winter solstice date. (I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.) And, that the Mayans predicted this. Well, even though the Mayans developed some level of numerology based on planetary cycles or astrology, I seriously doubt they realized what was going to happen in 12-21-2012.
First of all, we aren’t anywhere near the galactic plane. And, there isn’t ever going to be a “day” where we pass through some imaginary line. When the earth does pass through the galactic plane in some millions of years, it will take more than a day to traverse it. But, with a pleasantly powerful software program, we can view the sun today against the earth’s horizon and see that its ecliptic actually passes directly in front of the galactic plane as seen from earth. This wasn’t predicted by any Mayan texts that remain. But, it is part of much of the modern folklore associated with Mayans. In other words, people have the same type of software that I have and fast forwarded to this date to see this event. Then con men took the event and ignorantly manipulated it into a distorted reality that never existed. And, this was added to Mayan folklore created by modern-day charlatans in order to terrorize people for money.
The galactic plane (yellow line falling from left to right) and the earth’s horizon (green horizontal line) are labeled with the sun directly in the middle. Click for a larger view.