2012 Apocalypse via a Colliding Planet! / by Nathalie Ouellette

V838 Monocerotis, a variable star shrouded in a dusty halo. Image credit:  NASA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA).

V838 Monocerotis, a variable star shrouded in a dusty halo. Image credit:  NASA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA).

Peppered over the year, we will be looking at different scenarios brought forward by a variety of people as how the year 2012 will bring about our demise. This month, we’ll be discussing the supposed collision of our own Earth and a planet named Nibiru, also known as Planet X. The Planet X hypothesis has been kicking around for a long time. As far back as the 19th century, scientists thought an unknown planet in the far reaches of our Solar System larger than Pluto was necessary to explain certain discrepancies in the orbits of Uranus and Neptune. These were later solved without the need for such a planet, and the issue has mostly been laid to rest in the scientific community.

Enter one Nancy Lieder in 1995. Convinced she has been elected by a race of aliens inhabiting the Zeta Reticuli star system to warn us of our impending doom, she has been hard at work spreading the good word over the internet. Initially, she stated that the planet Nibiru, supposedly 4 times the size of the Earth, would be sweeping through our Solar System on May 2003 before finally colliding with Earth. She states that even a near collision could be deadly, as interactions with Nibiru’s magnetic field would stop our own planet from rotating for an extended period of time, causing terrible, horrible things like displacement of the Earth’s crust. Obviously, May 2003 came and went and nothing of the sort happened. Logically, Lieder opted to argue that she had lied about this first date to “fool the establishment”… whatever that means. But if you’ve always dreamt of witnessing a planetary collision from a particularly close vantage point, never fear! “Experts” now say this mammoth event should happen in December 2012. Lucky us!

Obviously, there’s no real proof that any such planet with any such malevolent intentions is out there in our Solar System. An object of such a size would have been visible by now, yet there have been no visual confirmations of Nibiru or Planet X or Kerplowksiker. Of course, if NASA is part of “the establishment”, then it might all be a coverup. Furthermore, the orbit of this planet as described by Lieder has been found to be highly unstable by credible astronomers, and it would have been ejected from our Solar System within a million years of its creation. There are basically a bunch of reasons why we shouldn’t worry about this scenario coming to pass. If you’re curious, you can read up a little more on this topic here.

If you’re worried about our 2012 scenarios, and just can’t wait for me to talk about them, go through this neat NASA FAQ to ease your mind.

Until next month! Just because the world isn’t ending this year doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make the most of it!