The Search for Planet X
The legend of Nibiru, the rogue Planet X, is both intriguing and chilling. From a scientific perspective we now know there are planets on the fringes of our solar system, and they are closer and more numerous than we’d ever imagined.
However, given the array of cosmic dangers lurking out there in space, is it reasonable to believe an extra-solar planet is going to become dislodged from its orbit and cause havoc here on planet Earth?
In this article you’ll read about the compelling reasons to expect the mysterious Planet X is really out there. In the end, you yourself will have to decide if you believe Nibiru is a real concern, or if it is nothing but a myth.
Second only perhaps to the Nemesis Hypothesis, Nibiru is among the most terrifying cosmic threats our planet faces. But is it really worth worrying about, and where did this idea come from anyway?
We start way back in the 19th century. At the time, Saturn was the farthest known planet from the sun, but astronomers knew there had to be at least one more large celestial body in our solar system. Because of a strong gravitational pull on the ringed giant, they believed another planet must exist.
After searching for a while they found Neptune, but according to their calculations this didn’t really solve the problem. Something was perturbing the obits of both Saturn and Neptune. There had to be yet another planet out there. The search began for Planet X.
Back then they had no idea how many wayward objects there are in our solar system. Astronomers had never even witnessed the collision of extra-terrestrial objects until Shoemaker-Levy 9 bombarded Jupiter in 1994.
They could not have had a clue that this Planet X they sought might spell doom for the planet, and all of the human race.
The X in Planet X did not mean the tenth planet. At the time it would have only been the ninth planet. The designation of X simply meant an unknown variable, something science believed existed but had no proof of. Finally, in 1930, a researcher would discover Pluto.
Of course we now know Pluto isn’t Planet X, and in fact has been demoted from full-fledged planetary status altogether. But looking at the story of Pluto gives us some compelling reasons to speculate on the possible existence of a rogue Planet X.
The Story of Pluto
Pluto is much smaller than the Earth, only about .6% of the Earth’s volume. In fact, Pluto is less massive than many moons in the solar system, including our own. Pluto’s small size means it has only a fraction of the gravity we feel here on Earth. It is theoretically composed of frozen nitrogen and ice, with a rock core.
Pluto even has its own moons: Charon, Hydra, Nix and S/2011 P 1. It takes Pluto 248 years to orbit the Sun, and a day on Pluto spans a little over 6 Earth days. Temperatures on Pluto can dip down to 400 degrees below zero.
As tiny and remote as it is, for seventy-five years Pluto was our ninth planet, until astronomers made some interesting discoveries that demoted it down a notch. How did this happen?
In January of 2005 Mike Brown’s team at the Palomar Observatory discovered what was first referred to as the tenth planet. Later named Eris, this new celestial object would launch a firestorm in the astronomy community. Slightly larger than Pluto, Eris too had its own satellite. But many believed Eris was not a planet at all, and if Eris wasn’t a planet, what did that mean for Pluto?
Dwarf Planets and the Kuiper Belt
In 2006 the International Astronomical Union put an end to the debate when they published an official definition for a planet. To be a planet, an object must:
- Orbit the Sun.
- Have enough mass to be a sphere by its own gravitational force.
- Have cleared the neighborhood around its orbit
Pluto met the first two points, but failed on the third. Therefore, Pluto, Eris, and several other recently discovered objects, were reclassified as dwarf planets.
Many people objected to this new classification. Some disagreed on a scientific basis, while others protested from a purely sentimental point of view. But Pluto was gone from the official discussion of planets, and we were down to eight.
Dwarf planets like Pluto are Eris are now believed to be the largest known bodies of the Kuiper Belt, an array of icy objects orbiting the sun beyond Neptune. Other notable dwarf planets discovered throughout history include Ceres, Haumea and Makemake.
What else lurks in the Kuiper Belt? Could the legendary Planet X be among the objects yet to be discovered?
What Will We Find in the Kuiper Belt?
The Planet X Nibiru DoomsdayTheory
We now know that the theory of the Planet X early astronomers so eagerly searched for was based on a calculation error. And, we know poor Pluto isn’t even a planet anymore. The existence of another large planet in our solar system seems extremely unlikely. However, if the above video is correct, and there really are as many as a thousand dwarf planets in the Kuiper belt, is there a chance one of them could become dislodged and head for Earth?
Objects can and do leave the Kuiper Belt. Some comets originate from there, and the moons of the gas giants may have once been small dwarf planets or objects in the Kuiper Belt. It’s an alarming thought, but from our pretty blue planet the solar system often seems like a much safer place than it really is.
As if that isn’t enough to worry about, consider this: Nemesis is a theoretical “second sun” in our solar system. Some believe Nemesis travels through our neighborhood every 26 millions years, disturbing comets and other objects and sending them crashing toward the Earth.
This hypothesis is semi-supported by fossil records of mass extinctions every 26 million years. So we have to ask ourselves: If Nemesis exists, and it passes close enough to one of the dwarf planets, could it be knocked from its orbit and come flying toward Earth, fulfilling the Nibiru prophecy?
Dwarf Planet vs Earth
Is Nibiru Real?
While this all sounds quite menacing, the fact is nobody knows if Nibiru, Planet X, really exists or not. If it does, it is most likely a small dwarf planet like Pluto. But this is exactly the kinds of celestial body that could be dislodged from its orbit and sent hurtling toward the inner planets, and plenty big enough to cause major issues should it come close to Earth. With any luck it would be sucked into Jupiter’s massive gravity field. If not, the Earth is as good a target as any.
But most astronomers say not to lose too much sleep over any of these circumstances. While all kinds of weird things can happen out in space, there is no real evidence that we should be concerned about Nibiru or Nemesis. Both Nibiru and Nemesis are based more on theory than fact, and you probably have more to worry about when you drive to work every day.
Planet X – Nibiru – may or may not be out there, but most experts say, even if it does exist, the odds that it will cause a doomsday scenario are extremely small. Still, if the world were to end in the form of a massive burning sphere barreling at us from the depths of space it would be a pretty spectacular way to go out. The good news is there is not a darn thing we can do about it.
Is Nibiru Coming?
Do you believe there is any truth to the Nibiru doomsday legend?