Astronomy circles are all abuzz over speculation that a potential ninth planet – a Jupiter-sized super-planet –has been discovered in our solar system, with some sources reporting that its irregular orbit may have triggered the meteor shower that wiped out the dinosaurs, and may even induce the same level of disaster later this month.
The following report appeared in the New York Post, via a particularly disreputable UK tabloid:
“Planet Nine — a new planet discovered at the edge of the solar system in January — has triggered comet showers that bomb the Earth’s surface, killing all life, says Daniel Whitmire, of the University of Louisiana. The astrophysicist says the planet has a 20,000-year orbit around the sun and, at its closest to us, it knocks asteroids and comets toward Earth.
Fossil evidence has suggested most life on Earth is mysteriously wiped out every 26 million to 27 million years.
Whitmire claims Planet Nine’s passage through a rock-laden area called the Kuiper Belt is responsible for the “extinction events.””
So, could planet nine really destroy the Earth this month? Unlikely. Reports of our imminent destruction have been exaggerated, at worst. Online debunker Snopes contacted Whitmire to verify that the ninth planet poses a danger to our planet. His response? ” No truth to the story at all. That’s quite impossible.”
It seems that Plan(et) Nine From Outer Space won’t be troubling the Earth any time soon. If we really do have a ninth planet again – following the sad demotion of Pluto – we should be far more worried about Mondas…