Die Nibiru of Planeet X Versinsel

In ons artikel oor die eindtyd en verwante gebeure, Profesieë oor 2011 en 2012 – Is Hulle Betroubaar? (http://www.bibleguidance.co.za/Afrartikels/Profesie2011.htm) het ons ook voorbeelde genoem van valse, buite-Bybelse profesieë wat versinsels is en slegs kan dien om mense te verwar en bang te maak. Sommige van hierdie voorspellings is ontleen aan samesweringsteorieë wat gebaseer is op hoogs twyfelagtige inligtingsbronne, en in die meeste gevalle is dit weinig meer as spekulasie of vrye verbeeldingsvlugte. Sommige van die teorieë het duidelik ‘n okkultiese oorsprong omdat hulle óf gebaseer is op die mistiese idees van heidense gelowe (bv. die Asteekse en Maja kalenders) óf kom van beweerde kontak wat spiritistiese kanaliseerders met vreemde wesens in die buitenste ruim gemaak het.

Die konkrete feite van die saak is dat daar nie ‘n Planeet X is wat na bewering die tiende planeet van ons sonnestelsel is, en wat op ‘n botsing met die planeet aarde afstuur nie. Die datum van Desember 2012 vir die einde van die wêreld het geen Bybelse of wetenskaplike geloofwaardigheid nie. Lees asb. meer oor hierdie onderwerp in die onderstaande artikel, waarin ‘n vooraanstaande NASA wetenskaplike die uiteenlopende vrae beantwoord wat hieroor aan hom gestel is.

Dit sal veel meer nuttig wees indien mense ‘n ernstige studie van Bybelse profesieë wil maak. Hierin sal hulle betroubare antwoorde oor die eindtyd kry. Daar is inderdaad ‘n groot verdrukking aan die kom, waarin daar groot aardbewings en ander natuurrampe sal plaasvind – ook tekens in die son, maan en sterre. ‘n Einde van die wêreldscenario word egter eers voorspel vir die tyd ná Christus se duisendjarige vrederyk, wat nog meer as ‘n duisend jaar van nou af is.

Die Bybelse rede waarom onheilspellende tekens van die tye bespreek word, is om duidelik die noodsaaklikheid om in die regte verhouding met die Here Jesus te kom, aan ons te stel. Christene moet geestelik reg voorbereid wees om heilig en sonder gebrek voor die hemelse Bruidegom te verskyn (Ef. 5:27; 1 Thess. 5:23). Onbekeerde sondaars word ook deur hierdie tekens aangespreek. Hulle moet duidelik verstaan dat die tyd vir goddelike oordele vinnig nader kom, en dit beklemtoon die noodsaaklikheid daarvan om die verlossing te aanvaar wat Christus aan alle mense bied. Tyd is egter besig om uit te loop, en binnekort sal die goddeloses hulleself in ‘n groot verdrukking bevind soos wat daar nog nooit op aarde was nie (Matt. 24:21).

Dit is die sake waarop ons ons aandag moet vestig. Vir diegene wat ter wille van hulleself, hulle familie en vriende, die Nibiru-spook wil begrawe, hier is die feite:

The Myth of Nibiru and the End of the World in 2012

Volume 32.5, September / October 2008

By David Morrison

Dr. David Morrison is the Senior Scientist at the NASA Astrobiology Institute. His primary interests are the new multidisciplinary science of astrobiology, the protection of Earth from asteroid impacts, and science outreach and education. Dr. David Morrison is the Director of the NASA Lunar Science Institute and Senior Scientist for Astrobiology at the NASA Ames Research Center. He is also the Director of the Carl Sagan Center for Study of Life in the Universe at the SETI Institute, in Mountain View CA. Dr. Morrison is internationally known for his research on small bodies in the solar system, and has more than 155 technical papers and has published a dozen books, including five university-level textbooks and several popular trade books on space science topics. In 2005 he received the Carl Sagan medal of the American Astronomical Society for communicating science to the public. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the California Academy of Sciences, and the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Asteroid 2410 Morrison is named in his honor.

An astronomer tries to counter misinformation on the Internet about claims of a supposed rogue planet and an impending catastrophe, encountering troubling credulity, scientific illiteracy, and conspiracy thinking along the way. The following is one of the statements on the 2012 Nibiru hoax:

Skeptical Inquirer: Readers may not be aware that a rogue planet on a 3,600-year orbit is about to enter the inner solar system and visit a catastrophe upon Earth. This threatening planet was discovered by the ancient Mesopotamians, who named it Nibiru. It was known also to the Mayans, who associated it with the end - December 2012 - of their “long count” calendar. Although astronomers and space scientists are tracking Nibiru, this information is being kept from the public as part of a worldwide conspiracy. This official silence cannot be maintained for much longer, however, since by 2009 Nibiru will be visible to the naked eye from the southern hemisphere, and already Earth’s axis is tilting, changing the length of the day under its influence. As one aficionado recently wrote to me: “Why are you lying? It’s coming, and everyone knows it.”

Dr. Morrison’s reaction

I was introduced to this conspiracy theory in December 2007, when I began to receive questions about Nibiru submitted to NASA’s “Ask an Astrobiologist” Web site. I normally receive about a dozen questions per week from the public dealing mostly with life in the universe, but sometimes they include UFOs and visiting aliens. Nibiru seemed different, since it was claimed to be an actual planet that was being tracked by astronomers but hidden from the public. Knowing that the astronomers of the world, both professional and amateur, are a free-spirited group who couldn’t keep a secret even if ordered to, I assumed that Nibiru was the sort of Internet rumor that would quickly pass.

However, I also remembered that Nibiru had briefly been prominent among conspiracy buffs in 2003, when there was a similar rumor of the coming destruction of our civilization. The source of this information was a specific warning said to have been sent to the people of Earth by an advanced alien civilization on a planet orbiting the star Zeta Reticuli. A woman named Nancy Lieder claimed to be channeling this information from the Zetans, who warned that a worldwide cataclysm would strike the Earth in May 2003. Phil Plait described this situation in detail on his “Badastronomy” Web site. As it turned out, May 2003 passed with no pole shift or other cataclysms, so I figured that would end the Nibiru interest. Yet here it was again, the same story recycled with an end-of-the-world date reset to December 2012.

In the six months since I first mentioned Nibiru on my Web site, this topic has threatened to take over “Ask an Astrobiologist.” I now receive at least one question per day ranging from anguished (“I can’t sleep; I am really scared; I don’t want to die”) to the abusive (“Why are you lying; you are putting my family at risk; if NASA denies it then it must be true”).

This article is based on more than one hundred questions submitted in the first four months of 2008, only a few of which were actually answered online. Except for some condensing, I’ve left the questioners’ text as it was originally submitted.

Initial Questions: The Distinction between Nibiru, Planet X, and Eris

Although the name of the Sumerian god Nibiru is most often given to this object, I quickly learned that some Web sites were also calling it Planet X or Eris. Planet X is a generic term used by astronomers over the past century for any unknown or hypothesized planets beyond Pluto. Eris is an actual, newly discovered dwarf planet, a little larger than Pluto but much farther away. By conflating these, some were claiming that NASA had found Nibiru or that Eris was going to fly past Earth in 2012.

Q: I was on the NASA home page and searched Planet Nibiru. Come to find out there actually is a planet beyond Pluto and they are calling it Nibiru. Some said Planet Nibiru didn’t exist but now we know it does! There haven’t been many straight answers on this subject so I don’t really expect to get the total truth, but here I go. Is there ANY chance of a Nibiru flyby in 2012? And if there is why don’t the public have a right to know so that we can prepare ourselves?

A: I’m sorry if the NASA web page confused you. I just checked, and there is no mention of Nibiru other than recent statements that it does not exist and is a hoax. The web site does include a 2005 news story on the discovery of one of the transneptunian dwarf planets, 2003UB313. UB313 was subsequently given the name Eris, and there is plenty of information about Eris on the web, including a good introduction in Wikipedia. But this has nothing to do with Nibiru. Nibiru is a hoax, linked to a religious cult, and having nothing to do with science.

Q: How can you call Nibiru a hoax when your own IRAS detected it and you issued a press release in 1982 which made it to eight major newspapers?

A: When looking into this sort of thing, you need to read past the first paragraph, since new data are always coming along in science. IRAS (the first infrared survey satellite, which flew more than 20 years ago) cataloged 350,000 infrared sources, and initially many of these were unidentified (which was the point, of course, of making such a survey). All of these observations have been followed up by subsequent studies with more powerful telescopes both on the ground and in space. The rumor about a “tenth planet” erupted in 1984 after a scientific paper was published in Astrophysical Journal Letters titled “Unidentified point sources in the IRAS minisurvey,” which discussed several infrared sources with “no counterparts.” But these “mystery objects” were later found to be distant galaxies. The bottom line is that Nibiru is a myth, with no basis whatever in fact. To an astronomer, persistent claims about a planet that is nearby but invisible are just plain silly.

Q: I have been reading the questions and answers about Nibiru. I am glad you say it does not exist. However Eris does exist and I see they were going to call it Xena . . . Planet X. On this Website when you type in Nibiru Eris comes up and it clearly states it is the 10th planet. Will Eris do a flyby since it is considered a planet and the 10th one? Is Eris coming toward us? Could this even be possible that we would be thrown off our axis? Are Pluto and others really slightly of their normal gravitational paths because of this planet that is supposedly coming toward us? Why do they say time is speeding up because of the magnetic pulse this planet is creating? Is this true that there are only really 16 hours a day now because time is moving faster? Is that possible? Why do the days seem so much shorter? I am scared about this whole 2012 thing. Eris seems to be in the position that everyone says Nibiru is and the same size. Maybe we are asking the wrong question. Maybe we should be asking about Eris and not Nibiru. Thank you for your time as I am scared to death!

A: There is no factual basis for the many Nibiru stories. This Internet chatter originated from the claim by Nancy Lieder that she was warned about this planet by aliens from the star Zeta Reticuli. In the absence of real information, however, people speculate and embellish this fictional story. One such addition is to link Nibiru with “Planet X,” a term used for many years by astronomers to refer to any unknown planet that might exist beyond Pluto. Far from being a real object, this term indicates an unknown or undiscovered object (that is why it is called “X”). Another false link is with Eris, the largest of the dwarf planets recently found beyond Neptune, designated 2003 UB313 when it was discovered in 2003. Before Eris was given its formal name, its discoverer, Mike Brown of Caltech, informally referred to it as Xena, a word play on “Planet X.” The name Eris was officially adopted by the International Astronomical Union in 2006. However, this has nothing to do with Nibiru. Nibiru is supposed to be a large planet on a highly elliptical orbit with a period of 3,600 years, which comes onto the inner solar system and will disrupt Earth in 2003 (the original claim) or 2012 (the current claim). Eris is a dwarf planet (smaller than the Moon) with a period of 557 years, currently far beyond Neptune or Pluto at a distance of about 10 billion miles. Its orbit will never bring it into the inner solar system; the closest it will come, in about 2255, is 4 billion miles. Eris does not match the fictional object Nibiru in distance, orbit, size, or any other property, and it does not threaten Earth in any way. The other items you mention from the Internet are untrue. Neither Pluto nor any other transneptunian object is deviating from its normal path. Time is not speeding up, and the days are not shorter. You know as well as I do that there are still the usual 24 hours in the day, not 16! Please don’t be scared; the entire Nibiru story, as well as any concerns about Eris threatening Earth, are a hoax, nothing more.

Trying to Contain the Topic

At the beginning of February, I combined several similar questions in the hopes that I could lay this topic to rest and get back to writing about real science.

Q: Recent questions about Nibiru: (1) I have found a lot of stuff about a so called planet. Planet X or Nibiru. If anything they say [is] possible like revolving around the sun clockwise and it has been said that its orbit is way far out past Pluto. Also there are statements that it has a 3600-year orbit around the sun and that [it] is supposed to return in the near future. Is this possible at all? It sounds fishy to me, but there are supposed pics of it and a lot of scientist talk about it. I even Wikipedia searched it. I would just like to find out some info please. (2) Nibiru does exist and I can prove it. Nibiru is in the Old Testament ,in Exodus 6:4, and you are watching Nibiru from a lab on the south pole. Also I have images from a telescope of Nibiru, and people from the southern hemisphere can see Nibiru in the daytime. Is that proof enough for you? (3) Many signs tell that something big is out there coming and why wouldn’t it be true about Nibiru / Planet X? This reddish dwarf star is moving fast. In 1983 it was 50 billion miles away and 10 years later it is a lot closer. Is it hiding behind the sun? I know you all don’t want to start a world wide panic. (4) I read where you said that Nibiru is a hoax. My question to you is: why would anyone let the American population know about such a catastrophy? Isn’t it the government’s job to keep the population at ease? (5) What is this a picture of? http://www.greatdreams.com/nibiru-possible.jpg It’s said to be Nibiru, but as you say Nibiru is a hoax, so what is this really a photo of?

A: I hope this is my last comment on the Nibiru hoax, but questions like the above five keep coming in. Most of the entries on the Internet about Nibiru are false. Wikipedia has it correct when they write that “Nibiru is a name in Sumerian, Babylonian astrology associated with the god Marduk, generally accepted as referring to the planet Jupiter.” The rest is a hoax, including all the “stuff” questioner #1 found on the Internet. Questioners #2 and #3 mention the astronomical observatory at the South Pole, but I assure you these astronomers are not looking at Nibiru. The Antarctic is a great place for infrared astronomical observations, and it also has the advantage that objects can be observed continuously without the interference of the day-night cycle. Questioners #3 and #4 seem to think that the government would hide information about Nibiru and the catastrophe coming in a few years, but I can’t imagine why. My experience is, in fact, that sometimes parts of the government do just the opposite, as in the frequent references to various terrorist threats. In any case, the job of NASA scientists is to discover and tell the truth! Finally, questioner #5 asks me to identify two pictures. I can only guess that these might be images of an expanding gas cloud (nebula) ejected by a star in its old age. They are obviously very distant, since we see stars in the foreground superposed on the nebula. [A sharp-eyed reader later identified these photos as an expanding gas shell around the star V838 Mon].

Questions Become Angry and Threatening

Having called Nibiru a hoax on a NASA Web site, I had opened myself to a growing series of abusive emails (which I did not answer). Here is a sample:

Q: I can’t believe this!, you still have the gall to lie to the hole world about Planet X Nibiru. How dare you do that, yet you keep on calling yourself a Senior Scientist, shame on you, people must keep on knocking hard on your door until you give up and come clean.

Q: Sorry but you say Nibiru is a Hoax? Doesn’t Exist? So maybe the Sumerian people doesn’t exist also! Nibiru does exist and it’s the new Planet discovered in 2005, size of Pluto. It was talked about centuries ago in Sumerian Civilization. Stone Plates with the planet were found! It’s possible to say that this planet giant orbit passes between Sun and Earth and causes the Glaciar Eras to happen. I talk about the facts! Like science usually does! So how can you say it’s a hoax?

Q: I hope I can get an honest answer and not a lie. I would like to know more about this Nibiru thing. Not that you are really going to tell me the truth here are you? I have been told that by May 2009 it will be seen by the average person - is this true? I will not be kind to someone endangering my family because they want to keep a secret.

Q: The question isn’t why are you lying to the people about the existence of Nibiru, the question is do you think you will be spared when its effects come to pass?

Q: Why are we (the people) not informed of a possible catastrophe, especially one of this magnitude to take into consideration. I really don’t expect the truth from you guys.

Q: So if you all are watching Eris and it’s trajectory, why can’t you tell us about how it’s going to come between the sun and the earth? Where is the info on your webpage of the true trajectory which will cause the perturbing of all our solar system heavenly bodies? If this is nothing to worry about, then why don’t you talk about its trajectory? Why don’t you have people partnering to watch it, track it and be actively talking about this huge new planet that is coming? Why are you so quiet about this new discovery? Your behavior is suspicious and your actions will be discovered soon so I would suggest a full disclosure.

Q: I know for a fact that Nibiru is a planet; the Sumerians knew this. We discovered Pluto in 1930 but the Sumerians knew it existed in 4500 B.C. Voyager 2 made the first close-ups from Neptune and Uranus in 1986 and we saw how the planets looked like up close. The Sumerians in 4500 B.C. knew that already. How is it that their info is so accurate and NASA with all this technology cannot find Nibiru? Is NASA keeping this planet from us?

Q: Why do you continue to claim this is a hoax? What is the heavenly body that you discovered in 1983, then covered up by saying it was nothing? Why is it that closer to 2012 we see increased volcanic activity, earthquakes, tsunamis, flooding, droughts, and much more? It’s not from global warming! This activity is happening on other planets as well.

Q: I think NASA is trying to cover up the upcoming of Planet X or Nibiru in year 2012. Is it because this world is over-population and some of us need to die? Why is NASA being fishy about this?

Q: Why would you people rather die than warn people and prepare for this kind of thing?!

Q: Don’t play stupid with me because you are obviously not going to answer my question with truth; not like its your fault but the government’s and higher powers.

Q: I understand you don’t want to loose your job. So I know your answer about Nibiru. You, NASA, the USA government and whoever else will keep on denying till it will be undeniable. Mankind is going to disappear and nothing will change this truth. I hope you couldn’t live with this lie over your shoulders anymore.

Q: Everybody knows that Planet X and Nibiru exist, when is NASA and the government going to come clean and stop bold face lying to the American people? People have a right to survive this calamity. No wonder everybody says NASA stands for Never A Straight Answer!

The Questions Keep Coming

Following are a few of the questions from March and April, which I (perhaps foolishly) have continued to try to answer. These include some new twists, such as the claim that the Sun will be in the center of the Milky Way Galaxy in December 2012, and this is what will cause “pole shifts” and other cosmic catastrophes.

Q: Now if the Nibiru topic is a hoax, then what are the infrared images of the alleged Nibiru??? And I also heard that NASA saw it with IRAS and reported it and all that. Why does NASA deny anything about it instead of telling the public so (if Nibiru is in fact a hoax) they don’t take drastic measures such as my family was planning on doing? I need more proof that Nibiru is a hoax because the government and NASA are keeping too much from us for us to make full judgment on it. . . .

A: I really am sorry that you have taken the Nibiru hoax seriously, and that this hoax is causing you and your family distress. This Nibiru stuff is all pure fiction, without any core of fact or truth. Specifically (1) There are no infrared images of Nibiru-period. (2) IRAS (the Infrared Astronomy Satellite, which carried out a sky survey for 10 months in 1983) discovered many infrared sources, but none of them was Nibiru or Planet X or any other objects in the outer solar system. (3) NASA scientists tell the truth. There is no reason why we would not do so, and besides truth-telling is a fundamental value of scientific research. (4) It is unreasonable to ask us to prove that Nibiru is a hoax. Your questions should be to Nibiru proponents to prove to you that what they are saying is true, not for NASA to prove it is false. The burden of proof falls on those who make wild claims. Remember the often-quoted comment from Carl Sagan that extraordinary claims demand extraordinary levels of evidence if they are to be believed.

Q: I understand that you said Nibiru is a hoax but why on this website http://www.detailshere.com/niburu.htm they have live picture of Nibiru.

A: The website you sent me is pretty funny. For example, the statement that the Earth’s axis had tilted and the Sun had shifted from its correct place in the sky; anyone with eyes can see this is not true. Or the comment about building observatories at the south pole to observe Nibiru. There is no celestial configuration possible that could be seen only from the Antarctic and not from the whole southern hemisphere. And they ask why no observatories have been built near the North Pole. The last time I looked, the North Pole was in the middle of the Arctic Sea, not exactly the sort of place to build a telescope. I am also bemused by the claims that Nibiru has remained hidden behind the Sun for years. The impossibility of such an orbit has been clear since Johannes Kepler published his first two laws of planetary motions in 1609. Anyway, thanks for a good laugh.

Q: When most of the planets align in 2012 and planet earth is in the centre of the Milky Way, what will the effects of this be on planet earth?

A: There is no planet alignment in 2012 or any other time in the next several decades. As to the Earth being in the center of the Milky Way, I don’t know what this phrase means. If you are referring to the Milky Way Galaxy, we are rather far toward the edge of this spiral galaxy, some 30,000 light-years from the center.

Q: I was wondering what the conclusions were about the possibility of a polar shift, and if that happened what the effects would be to everyday living.

A: Quite a few people have been asking me about the danger of a polar shift, and I must confess that I don’t know what you mean by the term. “Polar shift” seems to have become a buzzword on websites that promote catastrophist ideas and various conspiracy theories, and so this phrase gets passed on from one blog to another without ever being defined. If this means some sudden change in the position of the pole (that is, the rotation axis of the Earth), then that is impossible. There is no point in speculating about the consequences of something that has never happened and never will. Before geologists discovered the role of plate tectonics (about 60 years ago), there was some speculation that a polar shift was involved in transforming the Antarctic from a warm to a cold climate, but now we know it was the Antarctic continent that moved, not the rotation pole. The very small and gradual changes that do take place in the position of the pole are responses of the Earth to changes in the distribution of mass on the surface, for example due to freezing or thawing of glaciers. The bottom line is that there is no possibility of a “polar shift” and no danger associated with one.

Q: How can you say that a pole shift is impossible? The geological record shows repeated reversals of the Earth’s magnetic field.

A: Thanks for pointing out an ambiguity concerning the term “pole shift”. As I wrote in my previous answer, everything I have seen predicting destruction from an alleged pole shift concerns the rotational pole of the Earth. There is no chance that this rotational pole will shift to a significant degree. The magnetic pole is different; it regularly shifts position by a small amount, and as you note, the polarity of the Earth’s magnetic pole reverses roughly once per million years (on average). This magnetic reversal appears to be generated internally and not to be influenced by any outside events. There is no indication that it will happen anytime soon, but more to the point, a magnetic reversal would not cause any of the horrible consequences that you find associated with “pole shift” on the catastrophist Internet sites.

Q: If the world was going to end would you tell us?

A: The short answer is “of course I would tell you.” Science is about discovering and communicating the truth about nature, not keeping secrets.
Verkondig die woord; hou aan tydig en ontydig; weerlê, bestraf, vermaan in alle lankmoedigheid en lering; want daar sal ‘n tyd wees wanneer hulle die gesonde leer nie sal verdra nie, maar, omdat hulle in hul gehoor gestreel wil wees, vir hulle ‘n menigte leraars sal versamel volgens hulle eie begeerlikhede, en die oor sal afkeer van die waarheid en hulle sal wend tot fabels. Maar wees jy in alles nugter; ly verdrukking; doen die werk van ‘n evangelis; vervul jou bediening.