Planet X

From Academic Kids

Planet X (or Transpluto) is a hypothetical planet beyond Pluto. Its existence was argued for on the basis of apparent discrepancies in the orbit of Neptune. A common name for this hypothetical planet is Persephone.


Reasons for Planet X's existence

Many astronomers, at the end of the 19th century, speculated about the existence of a Planet X. The reason for this enthusiasm was that, less than 50 years before, the planet Neptune had been discovered following the direction of the mathematicians Adams and Le Verrier, who based their calculation on discrepancies on the orbits of Uranus, Saturn and Jupiter. If a planet was so spectacularly found just by calculating the differences from theoretical and real orbitals of already known planets, they reasoned, there was a real possibility that the errors in Neptune's orbit could be explained by a new, unknown planet.

The search for Planet X

Percival Lowell, who is most well known as a proponent for canals on Mars, called this hypothetical planet "Planet X" (X for unknown, not the Roman numeral for "ten," as only eight planets were known at the time). He performed two searches for it, without success, the first ending in 1909, and the second started in 1913 after revising his prediction for where it should be found. This search ended in 1915, after which Lowell published his theoretical results parameters for Planet X. Ironically, at his observatory that very same year, two faint images of Pluto were recorded, but not recognized as a planet until after the discovery of Pluto in 1930.

Search conclusion

Pluto was originally thought to be Planet X, but Pluto's mass was not sufficient to explain Neptune's orbit, so the search continued. However these apparent discrepancies were resolved when the Voyager 2 space probe discovered that Neptune's mass had been miscalculated; with Neptune's newly discovered mass taken into account, there was no longer a need for any new planet to explain Neptune's orbit.

Possible other Planets X

Our most powerful detection techniques are capable of detecting an Earth-sized planet 70 AU from the Sun, a Uranus-sized planet 90 AU away, and a Jupiter-sized planet up to 120 AU away (neglecting its gravitational effects on the Sun). Of course, the sky is very big and the most powerful telescopes can only look at a very tiny fraction of it at a time. Pluto, for comparison, is around 30 AU away at the moment.

If a tenth planet exists, it is unlikely to be native to the solar system: comprehensive surveys of the ecliptic have been undertaken, concluding that no planet of Earth size or greater exists in the ecliptic plane closer than 60 AU. Thus, any tenth planet would have to be in a highly inclined orbit, and so likely to be a captured object and not one that was formed with the solar system. Several large objects (smaller than Pluto, but larger than 1 Ceres) such as 90377 Sedna and 90482 Orcus have been discovered, but these are not the target of the search, and nearly all astronomers consider them too small to be considered planets.

Planet X in Myth

The Sumerian scholar, Zecharia Sitchin, in his book The 12th Planet discusses the planet Nibiru on a long, elliptical orbit, reaching the inner solar system every 3600 years and causing pole shifts and various other dramatic earth changes. From his knowledge of Sumer, the Semitic and other ancient languages and his research and study of the archaeological and Biblical data which has been acquired over the last one hundred and fifty years he put forth his thesis that the transcultural gods known to all the ancient cultures were not mythological but real flesh and blood humanoid aliens, very much like humans, who had come here from the tenth planet in our solar system, Planet X in the popular press, called Nibiru by the Sumerians. According to Sitchin they subsequently genetically engineered our species, originally as slave animals to work in their gold mines, by crossing their genes with those of Homo erectus.

The events involving the “gods” of ancient times and the technology attributed to them, has been considered myth and naive legend for most of human history, and this continues to be the mainstream view. Sitchin and others however claim confirmation for their theories from artifacts and documents from the great library of Ashurbanipal at Nineveh and other sources, claiming they show technology and advanced scientific knowledge out of place for their time period. Sitchin claims that these ancient records report that a human civilization in Sumer of Mesopotamia was set up under the tutelage of these "gods" and human kings were inaugurated as go-betweens, foremen of the human populations answering to the Annunaki. It should be noted that the ancient civilizations did not call the Anunnaki “gods” but rather they referred to them as masters, lords, in the sense of rulers.

The return of Planet X is still considered pseudoscience by mainstream scientists and historians although theories of Apocalypse and/or Spiritual Transformation which are said to mark the passage remain popular. The PX bandwagon gathered momentum in the mid 1990s when Nancy Lieder, a retired lady in Wisconsin, USA claiming to be a contactee of aliens named the 'Zetas', launched a web site called ZetaTalk. The site warned of a Planet X passage in May 2003. The proposed passage would induce a pole shift, causing worldwide cataclysms. Following the no-show of that date, ZetaTalk claimed it was deliberate 'white lie' to teach selfish elites that a date could not be given for their advantage. The future date will remain undisclosed. Although this discredited PX and associated cataclysms as an apparent hoax in the eyes of some, this particular "End of Civilization" scenario seems to have gained steam among many channelers and mediums after the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. Some see this scenario as fitting their understanding of end times prophecy found in the Book of Revelation, although most Christian views of end times prophecy do not involve any Planet X.

Zecharia Sitchin himself has recently put forth his own date for the next passage of Nibiru in the year 2085, but the date most talked about is 2012 which marks the end of the Maya calendar. Also interpreted as a change in human consciousness: the end of the world as we know it but the start of a new one.

While most astronomers consider comets to be passive "snow-balls" in space, one physicist named James McCanney openly opposes NASA's traditional view advancing his own scientific theory about the electrical nature of comets and their perturbing effects on our Solar System. McCanney also claims to be one of first Americans granted access to a collection of ancient maunuscripts known as the Kolbrin bible. Among other things, the Kolbrin warns of a massive red comet that orbits our Sun, called "The Destroyer" said to have percipitated the flood referred to in Genesis. In addition to providing a detailed description of a massive cataclysmic event from long ago, and describing terrible events to come, the Kolbrin offers hope by telling us how humanity survived and evolved beyond the last flyby of “The Destroyer.”

Planet X in Fiction

  • In Larry Niven's Known Space universe, Persephone is a small gas giant with a single moon, Kobold.
  • In Douglas Adams's novel Mostly Harmless, Planet X is officially called Persephone, but nicknamed Rupert, and is inhabited by the crew of a spaceship who have forgotten almost everything about their mission, except that they are supposed to be "monitoring" something.
  • In the sixth Godzilla film, Monster Zero, aliens known in Japan as X-seijin and in America as Xians hail from Planet X, between Jupiter and Saturn.
  • In Doctor Who, the tenth planet of the solar system is called Mondas, home of the Cybermen. Mondas is/was a twin planet of Earth.
  • In some Looney Toons cartoons, while in space a there is usually a planet X. This usually consists of a planet with a bland sign sticking out saying PLANET X. Also Planet X in some cartoons is followed by planets Y, and Z.

See also

External links

de:Planet X fr:Plančte X it:Pianeta X nl:Planeet X sl:planet X


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