So, this month CalTech announced something that I am sure now has doomsday circles just spinning in morbid delight. In this article from CalTech, a 9th planet in our solar system is described:
Caltech researchers have found evidence of a giant planet tracing a bizarre, highly elongated orbit in the outer solar system. The object, which the researchers have nicknamed Planet Nine, has a mass about 10 times that of Earth and orbits about 20 times farther from the sun on average than does Neptune (which orbits the sun at an average distance of 2.8 billion miles). In fact, it would take this new planet between 10,000 and 20,000 years to make just one full orbit around the sun.
Why would this send the doomsdayers into an epic end-of-the-world frenzy? Well, perhaps you have heard of Planet X, or Nibiru. These theories have been around for decades, maybe centuries, about a large planet that is destined to collide with Earth, or at the very least pass by and cause catastrophic events to occur here. Of course, people said they were crazy, as most conspiracy theorists hear often. But now, I can imagine some of those hardcore wingnuts are feeling pretty vindicated at the moment.
Some recap, in case you have in fact NOT heard of the infamous planet that the ancient Sumerians called Nibiru.
The ancient Sumerians were the people who inhabited modern-day Iraq over 6,000 years ago. They believed that there were 12 planets in our solar system:
- The Sun
The theory suggests that the asteroid belt that stands between Mars and Jupiter was once another planet that was destroyed by one of Nibiru’s moons during a previous trip through on its elliptical orbit.
Nibiru is believed to be home to the Anunnaki, an advanced extraterrestrial race whom the Sumerians mentioned often in their writings. Its described in mythology as having the appearance of a great, fiery beast, appearing in the sky like a second sun. The magnetism from Nibiru supposedly causes Earth to tilt toward it as it passes. According to ancient texts, the planet is surrounded in a red dust cloud composed of iron oxide, which causes the water to take on a reddish tint.
It is largely believed that Nibiru would possibly slow or even stop the rotation of neighboring planets as it passes. The planet is associated with danger and many researchers believe that if a planet as large as this one supposedly is were to pass by close enough to Earth that it would cause devastating earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions that would result in an entirely new landscape and climate.
Read this article from Ancient-Code for some more info and mythology about this theory, which for a while was right up there with the Mayan Calendar apocalypse theory that went bunk when D-Day came and went on December 21, 2012.
From what I gather, this is what the newly hypothesized planet is being called for the time being. I hope they give it a better name if they do, in fact, confirm its existence.
There is an interesting infographic on Space.com that shows orbit paths in our Solar System.
I am not sure if this is going to count as a possible Armageddon 2016 scenario or not, but it has to have excited someone. I am sure we will see renewed interest in planetary destruction from space this year, since it is only January.
While the scientists who made the hypothesis are stressing the fact that it is just that and they have not yet confirmed the existence of this planet, just the fact that it is being talked about is likely to be enough for the apocalypse crowd.