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Space & Astronomy

Could Planet Nine cause mass extinctions ?

By T.K. Randall
March 31, 2016 · Comment icon 25 comments

Has Planet Nine been flinging comets in our direction ? Image Credit: NASA/JPL
A new theory has suggested that the new planet could be responsible for periodic mass extinction events.
Earlier this week we reported on how planetary scientists Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin from the California Institute of Technology had discovered new evidence pointing to the existence of a previously undiscovered Neptune-sized world in the outer solar system - the enigmatic Planet Nine.

Now in a new paper by retired astrophysics professor Daniel Whitmire, the existence of this ninth planet has been linked to something rather sinister - periodic mass extinction events.
According to Whitmire, these extinctions, which occur every 27 million years or so, may be caused by comets being flung towards us by Planet Nine's eccentric orbit through the Kuiper Belt.

Like with the asteroid that brought about the extinction of the dinosaurs, these heavenly bodies could easily be responsible for global disruptions capable of wiping out a multitude of species.

While at the moment it is practically impossible to prove that this is actually the case, if astronomers can determine once and for all if this enigmatic world really does exist out in the far reaches of the solar system then Whitmire's theory - and others like it - are likely to hold a great deal more weight.

Source: Independent | Comments (25)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #16 Posted by Derek Willis 8 years ago
I'm calling it planet X because it's only a matter of time before Pluto gets promoted to a planet again :-) And before anyone jumps on me for saying it I mean X as in it's the 10th planet and not a doomsday planet named Nibiru. This has been mentioned before but the "X" refers to the "unknown" and not to "ten", as written in Latin. Clyde Tombaugh was asked by Percival Lowell to look for "Planet X", meaning the hypothesized unknown planet beyond Neptune. As there were eight known planets at the time, Planet X would have been the ninth planet. And indeed, from its discovery in 1930 and up until ... [More]
Comment icon #17 Posted by grimsituation6 8 years ago
the difference between ceres and other "moons" from pluto is that they are satellites around a planet, pluto oribits our sun directly, therefore it is special case.
Comment icon #18 Posted by grimsituation6 8 years ago
i mean you have to admit this is giving more and more credibility to those that fueled the nibiru story. they predicted that there was another sizable planet in our solar system, and that its orbit was different and much longer than our known planets. now that research shows that this along with the relation to periodical extinction events, maybe we should give those doomsday provokers a little more merit. what bothers me is that anyone who wants attention from "predicting" a doomsday event, if they are wrong they get laughed at, but if they are right and nobody listened well it wouldnt matter... [More]
Comment icon #19 Posted by grimsituation6 8 years ago
i myself would get "feelings" or "images" of a great comet like body passing by earth and causing all kind of chaos. i feel like this thing would be made of something that we couldnt detect until it got too close. this was 10 years ago, now scientist think this is a very real probability, and i also got the "feeling" that it would show up around 2020, now they know that the math says that this planet/body is out there, they dont know where...
Comment icon #20 Posted by shadowsot 8 years ago
the difference between ceres and other "moons" from pluto is that they are satellites around a planet, pluto oribits our sun directly, therefore it is special case. What planet does Ceres orbit?
Comment icon #21 Posted by DieChecker 8 years ago
What planet does Ceres orbit? I thought it was counted as an Asteroid previously? Isn't it in the Asteroid belt? It certainly isn't a moon. None of the dwarf planets are moons, I believe.
Comment icon #22 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 8 years ago
I thought it was counted as an Asteroid previously? It was (and arguably still is, it is now both an asteroid and a dwarf planet) although when first discovered in 1801 it was classified as a planet and was only reclassified as an asteroid in the 1850's. Isn't it in the Asteroid belt? It most certainly is. It is the largest object in the asteroid belt. It certainly isn't a moon. None of the dwarf planets are moons, I believe. One of the definitions of both planets and dwarf planets is that they can't be moons.
Comment icon #23 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 8 years ago
the difference between ceres and other "moons" from pluto is that they are satellites around a planet, pluto oribits our sun directly, therefore it is special case. NONE of the dwarf planets are satellites around other planets. ALL of them orbit the sun directly. That is exactly why Pluto ISN'T a special case,
Comment icon #24 Posted by Picsel1111 8 years ago
I recommend listen a bashar (channeler) hi probably will explain everything on this site. lol
Comment icon #25 Posted by shadowsot 8 years ago
I thought it was counted as an Asteroid previously? Isn't it in the Asteroid belt? It certainly isn't a moon. None of the dwarf planets are moons, I believe. I know, which is why I asked him that.


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