Planet X – Is there Scientific Evidence?
In 1976, in his book “The 12th Planet”, the late author Zecharia Sitchin (1920-2010) introduced the controversial hypothesis that modern humans did not evolve naturally, but instead they were genetically created by a race of anthropomorphic beings whose home is another planet in our solar system, one yet to be discovered.
Mr. Sitchin, or better yet the ancient Sumerians (as he always insisted that his writings were based on Sumerian accounts) claimed that this planet with its highly elliptical trajectory, cuts through the plane of our solar system at a 90-degree angle (between Mars and Jupiter) every 3600 years. The Sumerians called this planet Nibiru (it means "the planet of the crossing".)
Zecharia Sitchin ( Public Domain )
Nibiru and the Cosmic Collision
According to Sumerian accounts (or Sitchin’s if you prefer) Nibiru—once a wandering planet—was ultimately caught by the gravity of our newly formed solar system roughly four billion years ago. Around that time, planet Earth (referred to by the Sumerians as Tiamat) was a larger, watery planet that revolved around the Sun in an orbit farther out in the solar system, between Mars and Jupiter.
During one of the early crossings of Nibiru, a moon orbiting Nibiru collided with Tiamat. That collision was said to have not only broken Tiamat in two pieces, but ultimately pushed the fractured planet, with what was left to become its moon, into a new orbit around the Sun. In its brand new orbit, Tiamat became the Earth and the Moon we know today. Sitchin further noted that if the debris left behind by the cosmic collision was not absorbed by the exoplanets, it was either scattered in the vacuum of space or became the Asteroid Belt.
Artist's depiction of a collision between two planetary bodies. ( Public Domain )
A farfetched hypothesis, many will say. Is it though? Is it possible that Sitchin's original story on Nibiru was solely based on scientific speculations from his own time, or as he claimed he found a message in the Sumerian scripts, one that the mainstream academia chose to ignore because of its "fantastic" content? Let's not ignore that the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians similarly mentioned of this renegade planet which, according to them, devastates Earth every time it passes by. If so, can this planet be accountable for the Earth's alleged cosmic collision, and can such an event be supported scientifically?
In 2001, after an eight-year extensive study held by Robin Canup of the Southwest Research Institute, she pointed out that a planetary collision with Earth not only created the Moon, but in fact, may have helped to jumpstart the Earth’s rotation! Prior to the completion of her study and that conclusion, Canup extensively worked with William Ward and Alastair Cameron, who represented one of two separate research groups that helped develop the original impact theory during the 1970s.
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Unlike earlier studies though, where researchers thought that the moon was debris left behind from the colliding planet, today—as scientists discovered that the isotopic compositions of the Earth and the Moon are nearly identical—they have concluded that the Moon was a piece off the Earth and not debris from the colliding planet.
The primary objective of the new study was not only to demonstrate that a collision had taken place, but also to better explain how, in the aftermath, both bodies ended up in their present geological condition. For example, scientists already know that in contrast with Earth, which is loaded with iron (especially deep in its core), the Moon contains very little iron. This fundamental difference between the two objects led scientists to conclude that if the Moon was created from a past cosmic collision, it was pieced together out of the Earth’s crust, which contains much less iron.
Planets and dwarf planets of the Solar System. Compared with each other, the sizes are correct, but the distances are not. ( Public Domain )
Of course, the latest hypothesis contradicts an earlier theory where the Earth and Moon were pieced together after the Earth was completely demolished in a planetary crash. The new research focused on a lighter impact. Backed by several computer simulations, the study established that about four billion years ago, and shortly after the creation of the solar system, the Earth collided with another unknown planetary object in our solar system which, as previously suggested, revolved around the Sun. The scientists further concluded that the trajectory of this unknown planet caused it to cross with Earth’s orbit on a regular basis.