August: The Traditional Planet X Silly Season

I’ve noticed that August usually brings with it a significant uptick in Planet X-related stories in the mainstream media.  Lots of people go on holiday, companies go quiet, governments tick along and seek only to bury bad news this month, and no one’s playing much attention anyway.  So, bored journalists stuck in their offices when everyone else is having fun scrabble around to produce stories, sometimes from nothing at all, other times re-hashing previous material.  More often than not, they simply nick each other’s ideas.  This year, the traditional August silly season has been marred by the rather unfortunate possibility of nuclear war.  This kind of serious topic has no place in August, so most people seem to be consigning it to the desperate summer news schedule.  I’m sure that if the threat of war on the Korean peninsula continues into September, then people will start to sit up and take notice, with the commensurate impact on stock markets, prospects of mass annihilation, etc.

Anyhow, within that context, it’s little surprise to see a story outlining the fears people have about Planet X, and how there may actually be an underlying reality behind the conspiracy theories (which there often is, in one form or another).  The celestial ball gets rolling by an online article in the Daily Star (1) which outlines the most recent nightmare scenario from the heavens, and then includes a family-friendly Planet X rebuttal on a YouTube video by NASA scientist David Morrison.  Some of the detailed points he makes are arguable (about ‘Nibiru’ being a ‘minor god in the Babylonian pantheon’, and about how great an effect a perihelion transit by a Planet X object might have upon the solar system’s architecture, for instance) but his general thrust is sound.  Don’t panic! 

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Recent updates on the Search for Planet Nine

It’s a year since proposed the existence of Planet Nine (1).  Despite the fact that its discovery remains elusive, there have been a great many academic papers written on the subject, and no shortage of serious researchers underpinning the theoretical concepts supporting its existence.  Many have sought evidence in the solar system which indirectly points to the perturbing influence of this mysterious world; others have provided data which have helped to constrain the parameters of its orbit (by effectively demonstrating where it could NOT be).  Throughout 2016, I have been highlighting these developments on the Dark Star Blog.

RedPlanetX_1

At the close of 2016, two further papers were published about Planet Nine.  The first of these delves more deeply into the possibility that Planet Nine (Brown’s new name for Planet X, which seems to have caught on among astronomers keen to distance this serious search from, well, the mythological planet Nibiru) has a resonance relationship with some of the objects beyond the Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt which it is perturbing.  These kinds of resonance relationships are not unusual in planetary orbital dynamics, so such a suggestion is not that odd, even given the eccentricities of the bodies involved here.  The new research, from the University of California, Santa Cruz, bolsters the case for this kind of pattern applying to Planet Nine’s orbit:

“We extend these investigations by exploring the suggestion of Malhotra et al. (2016) (2) that Planet Nine is in small integer ratio mean-motion resonances (MMRs) with several of the most distant KBOs. We show that the observed KBO semi-major axes present a set of commensurabilities with an unseen planet at ~654 AU (P~16,725 yr) that has a greater than 98% chance of stemming from a sequence of MMRs rather than from a random distribution.” (3)

Their randomised ‘Monte Carlo’ calculations provide a best fit with a planet of between 6 and 12 Earth masses, whose eccentric orbit is inclined to the ecliptic by about 30 degrees.  They are unable to point to a specific area of the sky to search, but provide a broad-brush region which they favour as most probable.  Dr Millholland has also helpfully provided a 3D manipulable 3D figure of the cluster of extended scattered disk objects allegedly affected by the purported Planet Nine, alongside their extrapolated orbit for it (4).  Read More…

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Hillary Clinton, Her Campaign Manager and Nibiru

It is well known that Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Manager, John Podesta, has more than a passing interest in Ufology (1).  He has gone on record calling for UFO disclosure, and arguing that the American people can handle the truth (2).  in the run-up to the U.S. Presidential election, WikiLeaks has made public thousands of Mrs. Clinton’s emails, including emails from Mr Podesta.  Some of these emails contain references to UFOs and/or aliens, although it has been noted that some of these are simply chance references by association, or to make a point (3).  Nevertheless, given John Podesta’s clear interest in the subject, some of these emails likely genuinely reflect his interest in UFOs and the possible existence of extra-terrestrial life.  As we shall see, Hillary Clinton appears to share this unusual passion, and so arguably is likely to be ‘in the loop’ with her campaign manager’s personal interest in UFOs and related subjects.

One of the emails from Mr Podesta to Mrs Clinton, sent 7th September 2014, originated from a correspondent, named Don Smalter, arguing that global warming could be attributable to Planet X/Nibiru (4), and warning of a possible “near-term worldwide cataclysm ahead” (5).  This appears to have been a generic email routinely sent out by campaigner Mr Smalter, which ended up in Hillary Clinton’s inbox (5). Read More…

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Could Subaru Spot Nibiru?

Almost nine months after the release of their paper about the likely existence of Planet Nine (1), Drs Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin have secured a sizeable chunk of valuable time on the Subaru telescope, based in Hawaii. If they’re right about where it is, and luck is on their side, then they may detect the elusive planet within weeks. Brown and Batygin think they’ve narrowed it down to roughly 2,000 square degrees of sky near Orion, which will take approximately 20 nights of telescope time to cover with the powerful 8.2-meter optical-infrared Subaru telescope at the summit of Maunakea, Hawaii, which is operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (2).  Mike Brown is quite gung-ho about it, as can be gleaned from these extracts from a recent interview with the L.A. Times:
“”We are on the telescope at the end of September for six nights. We need about 20 nights on the telescope to survey the region where we think we need to look. It’s pretty close to the constellation Orion…We’re waiting for another couple of weeks before it’s up high enough in the sky that we can start observing it and then we’re going to start systematically sweeping that area until we find it.

“”It makes me think of the solar system differently than I did before. There’s the inner solar system, and now we are some of the only people in the world who consider everything from Neptune interior to be the inner solar system, which seems a little crazy.”” (3)

An Artist's impression of Planet Nine. Image credit: Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC)

An Artist’s impression of Planet Nine. Image credit: Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC)

Let’s hope they’re on the money. They have quite a lot to say about some of the correspondence that comes their way from members of what might loosely be termed ‘the Planet X community’.

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Dust in the Winged

I’ve been hinting in recent blogs that I have been developing a new idea about the Planet X phenomenon. I’ve held off writing about it for a while because I wanted to try to present the idea at a conference and gauge the reaction to the idea.  That opportunity presented itself at the ‘Il Ritorno di Planet X Nibiru’ conference held in Rome on 29th May 2016, at which I was the keynote international speaker (1).  I presented two one-hour talks, and during the second one I discussed the arguments behind this new idea, complete with some explanatory slides.  There were some light-bulb moments among the delegates, I’m happy to say, and so I think it’s a good time to present part of this thesis in a very concise way here, for general consideration.  A more detailed examination of this idea may be the subject of a future book.

winged planetx_conference_rome2016

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Nibiru and the Younger Dryas Boundary

I’m really enjoying Graham Hancock’s new book “Magicians of the Gods” (1), which is a rather belated sequel to his bestseller “Fingerprints of the Gods” (2) – a book which steered my interest in the direction of ancient cataclysms and their impact on Ice Age peoples and their (possible) lost civilisations.  The incredibly ancient site of Göbekli Tepe in Turkey strongly indicates how far humanity had already come as the Ice Age drew to a close, and other (often submerged) archaeological sites offer similar tantalizing evidence of Ice Age civilizations.

gobekli_tepe_pillar43

Those interested in archaeo-astronomy have been quick to discern sky markers to constellations at Göbekli Tepe, perhaps indicating that these ancient post-Ice Age folk were trying to tell us something about what had taken place.  The famous Pillar 43, for example, seems to clearly show the constellation of Scorpius, with an enigmatic central disk lying within the non-zodiacal constellation of Cygnus (represented here by a vulture) (3,4).  The central belt of Orion also seems to feature heavily in the monument’s ancient alignments (3).
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Early Solar System Catastrophism

The two moons of Mars have always presented planetary scientists with something of a mystery. These tiny moons, Phobos and Deimos, whizz around Mars at no great height at all: Phobos whips around the red planet in less than 8 hours, at a height of only 3,700 miles – the closest of any moon to its parent planet. I say ‘parent’ advisedly because a new theory of the origin of these peculiar little moons suggests that they emerged from a major impact between mars and a dwarf planet. It has generally been assumed that they were captured asteroids, but the relative circularity of their orbits argued against such a capture. Work on the possibility of a catastrophic origin was carried out last year by two separate teams of researchers, after decades of battling intense scepticism within the scientific community (1). An important finding of the modelling at that time was that the resultant debris would circulate around the red planet at a relatively low altitude, which is in keeping with the orbits of the two extant moons.
More recently, further computer modelling of various impact scenarios carried out by one of those teams has narrowed down the range of masses of an impactor to about the size of Pluto. The resultant debris field was initially far more extensive than the two moons left today:
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The Most Eccentric Planet Yet

A recent discovery of a new exoplanet has revealed a Jupiter-sized world which whizzes around its parent star as if it were a comet.  The planet, dubbed HD 20782b, is located some 117 light years away, and was discovered initially from the a signal of reflected light as the planet made its closest approach to the star.

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Caesar’s Star

I received some correspondence recently from an anonymous writer who was discussing the length of Nibiru’s orbit with respect to the Babylonian Sar (1). In his/her email, Caesar’s comet came up – an event which is said to have taken place in 44 BCE, shortly after the assassination of the Roman dictator, Julius Caesar. The appearance of this star, thought to be a very bright, daytime comet (indeed, possibly the brightest comet in all recorded history), was recorded by the Romans and the Chinese – although there are actually very few descriptions of such a remarkable comet at the time it took place, which has led some scholars to doubt that this was really an historical event (2). it is said to have appeared for about 7 days, and may have had a magnitude as high as -4, similar to Venus at its brightest. This comet, if such it was, is not a short-period comet, and may have either disintegrated during its perihelion passage, or returned back to the outer solar system (at which point it may be about 800 AU away by now.

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Sun-dogs and Englishmen – revisited

A couple of times a month, I receive emails containing photos, or with links to YouTube videos, purporting to show the presence of Planet X near to the Sun.  Usually, although not always, these images are taken by a camera looking directly at the Sun at sunset or sunrise.  When I thank the sender, but provide a note of skepticism, I generally find that my comment (which has been sought by the correspondent in the first place) does not tend to go down too well.  In most cases, I think the correspondents are simply seeking publicity for their images/videos and don’t really care too much for what I have to say about them.  The forum on this website will offer an opportunity for readers to post and comment on these images and videos which I’ll set up later today.  In the meantime, I wanted to re-post a blog piece I wrote in December which clarifies my position on this, and why I think that the widespread thinking about these images and videos is fundamentally flawed.  Many will disagree, of course:

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