Andy Lloyd's

Dark Star Blog 2012

 

Planet X Return in 2012 - Not

Now it's 2012, I'd like to make a general point about the Return of Planet X.  Some years ago I criticised Marshall Masters, Jacco van der Worp and Janice Manning in my book review of their "Planet X Forecast and 2012 Survival Guide".  They argued that a Nibiru/Planet X/Dark Star object would be 'clearly visible at night as a bright, reddish object' to observers in the southern hemisphere from mid-2009, and would appear more generally as a second sun in 2012.  More specifically, they prophesized that Planet X would be just 6.4AU away by 15th May 2011, and thus by now should be at about the same distance as Jupiter, if not closer.  I disagreed and spelt out my reasons why Planet X was nowhere close to returning.  

 

My 2006 book review (darkstar1.co.uk/planetxforecast.htm) resulted in an angry reaction from Marshall Masters himself, who has had nothing to do with me since (regular readers of my book reviews know I'm not one to pull punches). 

Whether their book was based upon a solid set of scientific assumptions or not, it can now be seen to be seriously flawed.  Videos and other supporting evidence posted on the Internet over the last few years has claimed that images of sundogs and lens flares around the Sun prove that Planet X is upon us.  It does not.  They simply prove that some images taken of the Sun have lens flares and sundogs.   For their book to have been correct, we are now at the stage when a second sun should be clearly visible.  It is not.  There's no getting around this now.  A brown dwarf object closer than Jupiter would be a highly visible night-time object - certainly the brightest object in the night sky after the Moon.  So where is it?

Now is the time for an earnest debate on this subject.  There are many, many people who, influenced by the Planet X Forecast and other similar missives, still believe that the end of the Mayan Calendar augurs the catastrophic return of Nibiru.  They are anxious, even fearful of this outcome.   I want to put their minds at rest.  I don't know what the end of 2012 will bring, but I know what is not going to happen - we will not see catastrophe at the hand of a brown dwarf closing in on perihelion.  Those still arguing that this might happen risk creating unnecessary panic and anxiety in a public already rocked by economic turmoil.  They should recognise their error.   The 2012 scenario has, predictably, caused the Planet X debate severe damage.  NASA has been bombarded with questions from fearful members of the public, creating a feeding frenzy of scepticism that has damaged more considered arguments for the existence of another distant planet in our solar system.  The public now perceive the claim for a Planet X body as being the hallmark of cranks.  

I was right to argue against the 2012 scenario back in 2006, and I stand by the criticism I levelled at the Planet X Forecast book back then. That's my opinion as a researcher, but I also recognise that others have differing opinions.  If they want to share them with me then I'm happy to hear them and include their points here on my website.  I want the public to be able to access an honest, open debate on this subject as minds increasingly turn to this year's winter solstice.

 

Written by Andy Lloyd, 6th January 2012

Lee Tierney writes (8 January 2012):

"I have just enjoyed your latest post and I agree, the biggest immediate threat to people are the Global Government(s).  

However, I have probably trawled every image and video on the web searching for 'THE' dwarf star and I keep going back to the Google Sky image that was removed (2007 ?) and replaced with a dark rectangle.   If this was a hoax why would Google censor the area in question or do they like playing mind games....?"   Lee

 

 

 

 

Andy replied (8 January 2012):

"Thanks for sending these images through.  I'm not sure why Google left a gap in the full sky survey - it may be an artifact of overlapping plates that missed a bit, or it may be to cut out an overly bright object.  Or it may be to hide something they don't want anyone to see.  But I'm also not clear on the provenance of the image of Nibiru/Planet X and its moons, which are just as likely to have been created by someone in photoshop/paintshop. 

"They don't look authentic to me, and fakery here is a likely possibility.  Of course, just because someone might have opportunistically faked these images doesn't mean that there isn't something else genuine to see that's been censored.  But...if that's the case, it's a very, very long way out, and it is certainly the case that for Marshall Masters et al to be right we should all be able to see this object clearly in the night sky now.  That is self-evidently not the case." 

Andy

For more details see:

darkstar1.co.uk/googleearth.html

 

Lords of the Underworld

 

No one really knows what the Mayans thought would happen when their long-count calendar comes to the end of its 5,125 year cycle on 21st December of this year.  Even within academia there is a wide difference of opinion, from earlier Mayanists who considered the date to be an indication of the End of an Age, with apocalyptic undertones (1), to more modern commentators who are generally dismissive of it meaning anything beyond ritualistic significance.  The modern Maya themselves seem unworried, and no doubt welcome the global interest in their culture that this year will bring. 

The date signifies the calendar round of the 13th Baktun (13.0.0.0.0 in Mayan's complex long-count system). Seemingly, only one inscription from ancient Mayan culture concerning this date, now imminent, survived the purges of the Conquistadors.  This partially defaced inscription is found on Monument 6 at Tortuguero, Mexico.  Here are two translations of the same inscription:

 

"It will be completed the 13th b'ak'tun. It is 4 Ajaw 3 K'ank'in and it will happen a 'seeing'[?].  It is the display of B'olon-Yokte‘ in a great [investiture].” (2)                  

“At the next creation, the Bolon Yokte Ku, or Nine Support Gods, will [return].” (3) 

 

So, it's clear that the ‘Bolon Yokte K’uh’ are scheduled to make an appearance on 21st December 2012.  They are the Nine Lords of the Underworld and - depending on who you think is closer to the truth with their interpretation - they will return/descend/be invested as a deity in a Mayan ceremony on the date of the completion of the 13th Baktun. Is this good or bad, or just myth?  The Nine Gods of the Underworld (sometimes considered to be a single deity) will apparently conquer the Thirteen Gods of Heaven. The victorious Nine will then decide on the fate of the next (Fifth) Age. 

Perhaps many years ago one might have reasonably argued that the Bolon Yokte K’uh referred to a returning planet or planetary system, like the Dark Star Nibiru achieving perihelion in its long elliptical orbit around the Sun.  Then this conflict might have referred to some kind of celestial battle within the solar system.  But, as we can see in my next article below, that has not been possible for some years now:  Planet X simply has not made an appearance. 

Others wonder whether the Bolon Yokte K’uh are linked with another 'Nine'.  Channellers and psychics claim contact with powerful extraterrestrial entities known as "The Nine" - notably the maverick researcher Dr Andrija Puharich and his co-workers (4).  He equated 'The Nine' with the Nine Principles in ancient Egyptian belief, known as the Ennead.  The ancient Egyptians referred to them as "Nine that are One" (5), eerily reminiscent of the Mayan 'Bolon Yokte K’uh' whose plurality/singularity is also ambiguous.

Now compare the rather scant description of the Mayan Nine Gods of the Underworld with the Sumerian deities, the Anunnaki:  “those who from heaven came to earth”.  In Middle Babylonian times the term Anunnakku (Anuna) also referred to the Gods of the Underworld.  Are we talking about the same extraterrestrial entities, the descriptions of which vary over three ancient cultures? According to Zecharia Sitchin, the Anunnaki were flesh-and-blood gods who colonised the Earth in the ancient past (6).  They come from the planet Nibiru, which is synonymous for many with Planet X, and Sitchin argued that they had a significant impact on the emerging cultures of South and Meso-America (7). 

Just because their planet (in whatever guise it takes) has not turned up as some predicted, it does not mean to say that the Anunnaki themselves might not drop by - thus fulfilling their promise to the ancient Maya? 

 

Written by Andy Lloyd, 17th January 2012

 

References:

1)  Michael D. Coe  "The Maya. Ancient peoples and places series" 52 London: Thames and Hudson 1966

2)  Inscription translation by Sven Gronemeyer and Barbara MacLeod, "What Could Happen in 2012: A Re-Analysis of the 13-Bak'tun Prophecy on Tortuguero Monument 6", University of Copenhagen: European Association of Mayanists, 34: 1–68, 2010

3)  Philip Coppens "The Ancient Alien Question" p255, New Page Books 2012

4)  Andrija Puharich, "The Sacred Mushroom: Key to the Door of Eternity" Gollancz 1959

5)  Lynn Picknett & Clive Prince "The Stargate Conspiracy", p182,  Warner 1999

6)  Zecharia Sitchin "The Twelfth Planet" Avon 1976

7)  Zecharia Sitchin "The Lost Realms" Avon 1990

 

Planet X Nibiru Conference, Rome 29th January 2012

Andy Lloyd was the keynote speaker at the "Planet X Nibiru Conference" in Rome, on Sunday 29th January 2012 - organised by Massimo Fratini.  Devoted to the subject of Planet X Nibiru and 2012, Andy had been invited to return to Rome to discuss the very latest news about the hunt for Planet X, as well as whether the end of the Mayan Calendar will bring forth catastrophe from the sky.  Other speakers included Massimo Fratini, Enrico Baccarini, Mauro Biglino and Ivan Ceci. 

Here's Andy's review, with images from the conference and Rome:

darkstar1.co.uk/roma.html

 

A Steppenwolf Planet?

 

Could life exist on a planet in the outer solar system that is not warmed by a brown dwarf?  This is a critical question for Zecharia Sitchin's "12th Planet Theory". Even towards the end of his life, he maintained that it was possible: That the atmosphere of Nibiru would be warmed internally by geothermal and radioactive activity within the planet.  I argued against this possibility - the Nibiruan atmosphere would simply become mile-high sheet of volatile ices spread evenly across the planet's surface. Which, of course, would be incompatible with life.

 

Well, scientists have recently become interested in this very question, and have modelled circumstances in which a sub-glacial ocean might exist on a 'rogue' planet too far from the Sun to be warmed by it.  Here's the abstract of a paper by Dr Abbot (a geophysicist) and Dr Switzer (an academic astrophysicist):

"We investigate the possibility that a rogue planet could maintain a liquid ocean under layers of thermally insulating water ice and frozen gas as a result of geothermal heat flux. We find that a rogue planet of Earth-like composition and age could maintain a subglacial liquid ocean if it were ≈3.5 times more massive than Earth, corresponding to ≈8 km of ice. Suppression of the melting point by contaminants, a layer of frozen gas, or a larger complement of water could significantly reduce the planetary mass that is required to maintain a liquid ocean. Such a planet could be detected from reflected solar radiation, and its thermal emission could be characterized in the far-IR if it were to pass within O(1000) AU of Earth." (1)

This would have given Mr Sitchin some succour, I think. However, I think it's fair to point out that were life to exist on such a world, it would be living beneath 8 kilometres thickness of ice!  Which is not exactly the scenario he had in mind for his Anunnaki.  But, the bigger the planet, the less of an icy shield would be required to create this Europa-type world in the outer solar system.  And Sitchin's planet, as we know, is supposed to be very massive.  So, food for thought.

 

Written by Andy Lloyd, 14th February 2012

 

1) D. S. Abbot and E. R. Switzer "The Steppenwolf: A Proposal for a Habitable Planet in Outer Space"  The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 735: L27, July 10 2011, with thanks to Lorenzo

iop.org article

 

The Free-Floating Planet Solution

 

It has become apparent in recent years that interstellar space contains a very large number of free-floating planets, or FFPs (unfortunately, the same acronym as Fresh Frozen Plasma, which will only serve to befuddle my health professional brain!) These FFPs are not orbiting around stars, but are plunging through the depths of inter-stellar space, and many of them are giant planets - Dark Stars using my obscure nomenclature. Where did they come from? Likely, they were expelled from the fledgling stellar system they first formed in, knocked out of their planetary nest by a gravitational thrust, perhaps caused by a near-miss with a neighbour, for instance.


Now, scientists are tying these objects up with the additional discovery of wide binary objects - massive planets, sometimes brown dwarfs, which are found orbiting their companion star at such a great distance that it seems unlikely that they could have formed at that position in the first place by the standard model of planet-formation. They have to have got there somehow, though, and capture is now considered an increasingly likely possibility, despite the immense distances between stars.


It seems as though the galaxy is a lot more dynamic than astronomers first thought. Where initially they thought all the galaxy's planets would have formed alongside their stars, and been protected by them, it is now realised that things are a lot more complex. Planets seem to come and go, migrating out of one system and finding themselves then migrating into another. Consequently, for the first time, astronomers have started trying to put some numbers to these events - to come up with some probabilities. Work done by Hagai Perets of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Thijs Kouwenhoven of the Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Peking University, Beijing indicates that the chances of any star capturing an FFP is reasonable (1), and not, as previously thought, vanishingly small.


"In recent years several planets have been discovered at wide orbits (>100 AU) around their host stars. Theoretical studies encounter difficulties in explaining their formation and origin. Here we propose a novel scenario for the production of planetary systems at such orbits, through the dynamical recapture of free floating planets (FFPs) in dispersing stellar clusters." (2)


The implication is that even a star like our own Sun might have captured a massive FFP - one that, perhaps even now, might be found orbiting among the comets in the Oort Cloud.

 

 

Water Planet May Hold the Secrets of Tiamat

 

Scientists have discovered an extra-solar planet, larger than Earth, almost entirely made up of water. They were able to look at the spectrum of light from the planet's atmosphere - a planet which lies very close to its parent red dwarf star. That spectrum showed water - lots of it. And because the astronomers have good data on the planet's other properties, they were able to discern that this was indeed almost entirely a watery world:


"Since the planet's mass and size are known, astronomers can calculate the density, of only about 2 grams per cubic centimetre. Water has a density of 1 gram per cubic centimetre, while Earth's average density is 5.5 grams per cubic centimetre. This suggests that GJ 1214b has much more water than Earth does, and much less rock. As a result, the internal structure of GJ 1214b would be extraordinarily different from that of our world.


"The high temperatures and high pressures would form exotic materials like 'hot ice' or 'superfluid water', substances that are completely alien to our everyday experience," [Zachory] Berta [of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics] said. Theorists expect that GJ 1214b formed further out from its star, where water ice was plentiful, and migrated inward early in the system's history. In the process, it would have passed through the star's habitable zone, where surface temperatures would be similar to Earth's. How long it lingered there is unknown."
(1)


The last part of the above quote is particularly interesting to me. Those of us interested in Zecharia Sitchin's theories are familiar with his proposition that Earth was once a larger, more watery world lying where the Asteroid Belt is now.

 

Sitchin proposed that this primordial planet, the mythological Tiamat of the Babylonian Epic of Creation the Enuma Elish, was battered by a moon of Marduk (the rogue interloper, or Dark Star) and migrated in to a closer orbit around the Sun (an event likely to be during the Late Heavy Bombardment 3.9 billion years ago (2)). The remains of Tiamat were thus distributed as Earth and the Asteroid Belt.


What a fascinating parallel with the extra-solar planet GJ 1214B! This planet is also made up primarily of water, and migrated in towards its star, passing through the star's habitable zone.

 

Andy Lloyd, 29th February 2012

 

References:

1)  "In distance space [sic], a water world: Hubble reveals a new class of extrasolar planet" 21 February 2012,  with thanks to Theo, et al

phys.org news

2) "Asteroids Smacked Moon Stronger & Faster 4 Billion Years Ago" 28 Feb 2012,  with thanks to Lee

space.com article

 

 

Scientists Also Now Think the Earth Migrated

 

Migration of planets is the new zeitgeist.  Academic astronomers and science commentators are fighting an increasingly rearguard action to fend off the accusation that new theories of solar system formation are sounding ever more Sitchinite.  Why?  Because the solar system appears to be a far more complex beast than the old theories allowed, and discoveries in other extra-solar planetary systems indicate the central importance of catastrophism.  Many astronomers now believe that star systems kick out planets routinely during their formation, and also, due to the subsequent abundance of free-floating planets, draw new planets in.

 

Well, that whole concept is equal in every way to Sitchin's theory from 1976.  And now we're moving one step closer towards a union of science and Sitchin, as Earth's origins themselves are considered:

""Planets don't like to stay still, they like to move," said David Minton of Purdue University at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md., on April 10. This is proven by the discovery of hundreds of extrasolar planets that reinforce a radical new idea that would have never even been considered in the 1950s: Planet migration seems the rule rather than the exception among the stars. This explains the estimate of billions of "hot Jupiters," which are predicted to have moved to orbits precariously close to their stars - to the point of evaporating away. More recent discoveries find pure water planets that must have migrated in toward their sun as ice balls." (1)

As my friend Lee succinctly put it, "This fella has it ass-backward, but it shows they're trying to understand why Earth is where it is" (2).  What he means by this is that the David Minton thinks the Earth migrated from a more inner location, whereas we think there is strong evidence that the opposite is true, i.e. that Earth migrated after a catastrophic event from the region of the asteroid belt.  But the underlying principle is the same.  And if the conservatives in the science community feel uncomfortable with all this, then it's tough.  If facts move us in the direction of Sitchin's Nibiru being a real possibility, then they should be open to that, no matter what their prejudices may allow.

 

Andy Lloyd, 21st April 2012

 

References


1) Ray Villard "Was Earth a Migratory Planet?" 18 April 2012, with thanks to Lee

seeker.com article

2) Correspondence from Lee Covino, 20 April 2012
 

 

Astronomers Consider a Massive Planet X Solution

 

The anomalous orbits of several Kuiper Belt Objects have caused another prominent astronomers to speculate on the existence of a massive Planet X:

"An as yet undiscovered planet might be orbiting at the dark fringes of the solar system, according to new research. Too far out to be easily spotted by telescopes, the potential unseen planet appears to be making its presence felt by disturbing the orbits of so-called Kuiper belt objects, said Rodney Gomes, an astronomer at the National Observatory of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro.

"What's intriguing, Gomes said, is that, according to his new calculations, about a half dozen Kuiper belt objects—including the remote body known as Sedna—are in strange orbits compared to where they should be, based on existing solar system models. The objects' unexpected orbits have a few possible explanations, said Gomes, who presented his findings Tuesday at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Timberline Lodge, Oregon.  "But I think the easiest one is a planetary-mass solar companion"—a planet that orbits very far out from the sun but that's massive enough to be having gravitational effects on Kuiper belt objects."

Other astronomers are intrigued but say they'll want a lot more proof before they're willing to agree that the solar system—again—has nine planets. (1)

Gomes is sticking his head on the block with this.  I suspect the general position for astronomers interested in the outer solar system is this:  the evidence is shifting fairly rapidly towards there being a massive outer planet in a strange, elongated orbit around the Sun.  The two major factors increasing the probability of this are (a) anomalies in the outer solar system which indicate the presence of a perturbing object and (b) the increasing evidence of a vast swath of rogue, dark planetary objects in interstellar space, to the extent that these old, cold brown dwarfs might even account for the galaxy's missing mass (2).  Given the statistics of this kind of scenario, in my opinion, it would now be odd if the Sun didn't have a companion object.  I suspect the vast majority of stars have binary companions, whether stellar or dark.
 
Astronomers still don't want to be associated with the Planet X/Nibiru debate, for fear of destroying their academic reputations.  Dr Gomes is breaking away from the pack, as several other astronomers have done before him.  I applaud that, but it's also interesting to see the measured, sceptical response levelled at him by his peers.  They haven't exactly ripped into him, but they're clearly reticent about supporting this move without a great deal more direct evidence of this unseen companion.  But instead of a knee-jerk wholly negative reaction to this new claim for a massive Planet X, I sense that they're hedging their position, which is very encouraging...

 

Andy Lloyd, 15th May 2012



References

1) Richard Lovett "New Planet Found in Our Solar System?" 11 May 2012, with thanks to David who submitted this article to the Dark Star Discussion Group.

nationalgeographic.com article

2) Eddie Wrenn "Could billions upon billions of free-floating 'nomadic' planets in the Milky Way be seeding our galaxy with life?" 11 May 2012, with thanks to Mart

dailymail.co.uk article

 

 

WISE spots less neighbouring Brown Dwarfs than hoped

 

The first findings of WISE's search for brown dwarfs near to the Sun have been released.  They appear to show less than expected within 26 light years, although that's still a fair few at over 30. 

"Astronomers are getting to know the neighbors better.  Our sun resides within a spiral arm of our Milky Way galaxy about two- thirds of the way out from the center. It lives in a fairly calm, suburb-like area with an average number of stellar residents.  Recently, NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has been turning up a new crowd of stars close to home: the coldest of the brown dwarf family of "failed" stars.

"Determining the distances to these objects is a key factor in knowing their population density in our solar neighborhood. After carefully measuring the distance to several of the coldest brown dwarfs via a method called parallax, the scientists were able to estimate the distances to all the newfound brown dwarfs. They concluded that about 33 brown dwarfs reside within 26 light-years of sun. There are 211 stars within this same volume of space, so that means there are about six stars for every brown dwarf.

""Having fewer brown dwarfs than expected in our celestial backyard just means that each new one we discover plays a critical role in our overall understanding of these cold objects," said Chris Gelino, a co-author of the new research who is also at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center. "These brown dwarfs are fascinating objects that are bridging the gap between the coldest stars and Jupiter." Kirkpatrick emphasized that the results are still preliminary: it is highly likely that WISE will discover additional Y dwarfs, but not in vast numbers, and probably not closer than the closest known star, Proxima Centauri. Those discoveries could bring the ratio of brown dwarfs to stars up a bit, to about 1:5 or 1:4, but not to the 1:1 level previously anticipated." (1)
 

I guess if we're honest, on the face of it this isn't terribly good news - statistically, at least, the potential for a solar system sub-brown dwarf companion is a little lower than it was, say, 6 months ago. 
 
But... spotting these objects is more complex than the article perhaps allows for, although it's clear that Dr Kirkpatrick is entirely aware of this.  There are a great many objects out there with IR signatures that WISE will have picked up.  Finding a BD very close to us involves both the discovery of a signature heat source, but also, and more importantly, the perception of movement of that source over a six month period.  Given the short shelf-life of the WISE telescope, then making those parallax measurements consistently for all data points is bound to be a less than perfect procedure.  Matese et al have already alluded to this potential for a short-fall in BD discoveries with WISE, effectively raising the possibility of a false negative (2).
 
Also bear in mind recent speculation by some serious astronomers that BDs might be extremely numerous across the galaxy, particularly as dark interstellar objects, and we have an inconsistent picture emerging - both a high number generally, but a low number locally.  This paradox may indicate that WISE has not picked up everything out there that it should have, and not just the Y-Dwarfs as described above.  If the Sun has a companion object, it is likely to be one of these ultra-small sub-brown dwarfs - the so-called Y-dwarfs.  So WISE may yet come up with the goods, even if the statistics are leaning against it.

Andy Lloyd, 12th June 2012
 

References

1) "WISE finds few brown dwarfs close to home" 8 June 2012, with thanks to David and Mart

http://phys.org/news/2012-06-wise-brown-dwarfs-home.html 

2)  John Matese & Daniel Whitmire "Searching the WISE Preliminary Catalog for Massive Planets in the Solar System" EPSC-DPS Joint Meeting 2011, Nantes, France, 2-7th October 2011, 

http://www.ucs.louisiana.edu/~jjm9638/Nantes.pdf 

 

The Syrian Connection

 

Author and Sitchinite researcher Michael Tellinger has written extensively about the mystery of the ancient stone enclosures spread widely across the southern African landscape (above left).  He has made connections with Sitchin's description of this area's importance to the Anunnaki, particularly in terms of gold mining. 

 

 

Well, it appears that these same mysterious structures appear elsewhere, this time in the Middle East's Syrian Desert (above).  Read more about the connection here, accompanied by the usual mind-wrenching dose of speculation:

The Syrian Connection

 

 

Late, Great Bombardment Event Seen Affecting Nearby Star System

 

NASA have discovered evidence for a massive comet swarm causing trouble in the nearby star system of Eta Corvi. I'm struck by the magnitude of the comet swarm discussed, and how it equates with the Sun's Late, Heavy Bombardment around 3.9 billion years ago - which occurred some time after the formation of the solar system.  This event is likely to have been Sitchin's great Celestial Battle between the watery planet Tiamat (Earth's precursor) and Marduk (the rogue Dark Star, which crashed through the solar system). 

Here's what NASA have to say about their astonishing discovery:

 

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

 

"This artist's conception (right) illustrates a storm of comets around a star near our own, called Eta Corvi. Evidence for this barrage comes from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, whose infrared detectors picked up indications that comets were recently torn to shreds after colliding with a rocky body.

"Yellow-white Eta Corvi is shown to the left, with comets streaming toward it. Spitzer detected spectral signatures of water ice, organics and rock around Eta Corvi -- key ingredients of comets.  

"This is the first time that evidence for such a comet storm has been seen around another star. Eta Corvi is the right age, about one billion years old, to experience a bombardment of comets akin to what occurred in our own solar system at 600 to 800 millions years of age, termed the Late Heavy Bombardment.

"Scientists say the Late Heavy Bombardment was triggered in our solar system by the migration of our outer planets, which jostled icy comets about, sending some of them flying inward. The incoming comets scarred our moon and pummelled our inner planets. They may have even brought materials to Earth that helped kick start life." (1)

The question remains - what causes comet swarms such as these?  In the history of the solar system, bombardments of this intensity were thankfully rare. One can only surmise that something extraordinary triggered them. As noted above, the prevalent view at the moment in the scientific community is that such an event was caused by the migration of the Sun's outer planets Neptune and Uranus.  But in turn, what actually triggered that event? 

Another explanation might be the perturbing influence of a massive binary companion whose own orbit is not as stable as those planets nearer to the parent star.  What would be remarkable indeed would be if Eva Corvi were found to have such a companion object - perhaps a sub-brown dwarf in a wide, elongated orbit. If so, it would lend credibility to the idea that the Sun's Late, Great bombardment was caused by a rogue Dark Star of its own.

 

Andy Lloyd, 23rd July 2012

Reference

1) NASA "A Storm of Comets" 23 July 2012, with thanks to David.

nasa.gov imagefeature

 

 

Planets form around Binary Systems

 

One of the arguments levelled against the possibility that our Sun might have a distant binary companion is that the planetary system would not have formed under such conditions.  Simply put, the dual 'star' system would be too complex to allow a relatively stable system of planets to form, like that observed in our own solar system.  Part of the reason for that position is the traditional model of how planets form in the first place.  But there's also the question of the dynamics of such a complex system, and how the orbits of planets would be perturbed by such complexity over time.  That issue includes the 'Kosai' effect, which might limit the parameters for a binary sub-brown dwarf companion. 

 

Well, that whole position is now brought into question by the discovery of a planetary system around a distant binary star system in the Cygnus constellation.  Remarkably, one of the planets discovered there, orbiting two suns, is in their 'habitable zone'.  But amazing as that is, that is not the main repercussion of this discovery.  Instead, the whole theory of planet formation - already rocked by so many bizarre extra-solar planet discoveries - finds itself in urgent need of reformation:

"The presence of a full-fledged circumbinary planetary system orbiting Kepler-47 is an amazing discovery," said Greg Laughlin, professor of Astrophysics and Planetary Science at the University of California in Santa Cruz. "These planets are very difficult to form using the currently accepted paradigm, and I believe that theorists, myself included, will be going back to the drawing board to try to improve our understanding of how planets are assembled in dusty circumbinary disks." (1)

Further, the potential for our own Sun to have had a brown dwarf companion at some point in its history - as hinted at by many experts on the outer solar system - is enhanced by this finding.  Indeed, I wonder whether the perturbing influence of a double stellar system is actually required to create the lumps of accreting matter in the proto-planetary disks from which planets form.  I wonder whether one day we might consider the traditional model of massive planets somehow forming out of a unperturbed, uniform disk to have been a rather quaint concept, but one that was, in hindsight, totally misguided.  Instead, it is the influence of the companion, notable in most star systems, that allows for the creative tension in the planet-forming disk of matter common to both 'stars'.  And by stars, we can mean stellar bodies right down to the sub-brown dwarf companion that might be our own Dark Star.

 

Written by Andy Lloyd, 5th September 2012

 

Reference:

1) "Binary Star Systems may be 'Hot Zones' for Life - New NASA Discovery" 4 September 2012, with thanks to Lee (article no longer available online)

 

 

Rogue Planet Identified

 

Astronomers have confirmed the existence of a distant rogue planet moving through interstellar space.  Although it does not appear to be attached to a star system, it is accompanied by a cluster of stars moving in a similar direction. Yet, it is independent of them, leading to a number of question about its provenance (1).

 

This is the first concrete discovery of a rogue planet drifting through space, in gas giant/brown dwarf category.  In itself, it confirms the potential for many such objects moving pretty much independently through interstellar space.  This is important for people considering the likelihood of Sitchin's Twelfth Planet theory because it confirms that not only do rogue planets of great size exist, but that they perhaps exist in sufficient numbers to make the chances of an incursion into a star's planetary zone a non-negligible possibility.  In other words, it boosts the chances that he was right when he proposed back in 1976 that a rogue planet might find its way into the solar system - up until very recently astronomers discounted this as practically impossible.  They were wrong.
 
I heard about this discovery on the news last night on BBC radio.  I knew that this must be a sub-brown dwarf, of the category of a 'Dark Star'.  Yet, the term brown dwarf was not used at all (2).  They ended up calling it a 'Lonely Planet'.  Rather poetic, to be sure, but it did make me wonder whether the term brown dwarf has become toxic among astronomers, who fear immediate association with Nibiru/Planet X etc.

 

Written by Andy Lloyd, 15th September 2012

 

References:

1) ESO "Lost in Space: Rogue Planet Spotted?" eso1245 Press Release, 14 November 2012 with thanks to David

eso.org news

2) "The World Tonight" BBC Radio 4, 13 November 2012

 

Sun's Sibling Tilted the Earth's Orbit

Anomalies in the orbits of the planets, including Earth, have been one of the main arguments for a second sub-stellar body in the solar system.  Potentially helpful to these arguments is the paper just published by astronomer Konstantin Batygin, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts (1) which proposes that companion stars might be responsible for the way planetary orbits are often titled away from the stellar equator.  In the Sun's case,  its planetary system is misaligned to its own plane of spin by 7 degrees.

Astronomers have been studying extra-solar planetary systems containing Hot Jupiters, and it was initially thought when these strange planets were first discovered that their migration patterns caused the entire planetary systems they moved through to tilt.  But that argument has become more complicated by the discovery of even weirder Hot Jupiters, which themselves exhibit tilted and even retrograde orbits (2).  Something else is evidently causing these remarkable tilts.  And given that the Sun's own system is also tipped, then that mechanism has repercussions for our own system (3).

The new theory recently offered brings to bear the gravitational influence of sibling stars born alongside the star in question. As stars are often born in clusters, the proximity of a nearby star in the cluster can cause the tilting of a star's fledgling planetary system.

""Misaligned orbits are actually a natural outcome of disk migration—once you take into account the fact that planetary systems are usually born in multistellar environments," [Batygin] says, noting that many stars have stellar companions..."I think somewhere in the Milky Way, there's a star that's responsible for tilting us." He suspects the sun once had a companion star that tipped the solar nebula by 7, then fled the scene after the planets arose." (4)

Once again, we are confronted with the need for a massive companion combined with the lack of companion itself.  While it remains quite plausible that a companion star has indeed moved away from the Sun long ago, it is also surely possible that the same effect might have been achieved through the action of a sub-stellar companion, like a sub-brown dwarf.  Indeed, the very notion that Hot Jupiters might have had sufficient influence to have tipped distant planetary systems lends credibility to such an idea. 

When we consider clusters of stars forming together, we also have to allow for many of those stars being dwarf stars, right down to just a few Jupiter masses.  Therefore, the tipped orbits of the planets around the Sun might also have been caused by a rogue brown dwarf object.  And, given how difficult these things are to detect, its possible that the fellow responsible is still hanging around out there...

 

Andy Lloyd, 18th November 2012

 

References:

1) Konstantin Batygin "A primordial origin for misalignments between stellar spin axes and planetary orbits" 15 November 2012

nature.com article

2) Daily Mail, "Backwards galaxy: First planet found that orbits in opposite direction to its star", 14 August 2009,

dailymail.co.uk article

3) Damien Gayle "Did a lost star knock the Earth off its orbit? New theory to explain why our planet circles the sun at an angle to the solar equator?" 16 November 2012, thanks to David

dailymail.co.uk article

4) Ken Croswell "Did a Lost Star Torque Earth's Orbit?" 14 November 2012,  with thanks to Lee

science.org article

 

Bond vs Bainbridge

One or two scenes from the new Bond movie Skyfall are eerily reminiscent of scenes from my novels, and Bond has transmuted towards Bainbridge.  Judge for yourself:

Skyfall and my novels

 

Rocky Worlds can form around Brown Dwarfs

 

Naysayers in the astronomical community who have doubted that rocky planets like Earth and Mars can form around brown dwarfs have been forced to reconsider.  The minute building blocks of planets appear in protoplanetary disks around normal suns, in the form of millimetre-sized grains orbiting en masse around the fledgling star. 

 

They are then thought to accrete together, coalescing into planets as the developing clumps take on sufficient gravitational power to sweep up the matter around them.  But scientists were doubtful that the building blocks for this process could form around much smaller 'stars', like brown dwarfs.  But now a new study has revealed a protoplanetary disk around a brown dwarf which resembles that of regular stars (1). 

""We were completely surprised to find millimetre-sized grains in this thin little disc," said Luca Ricci of the California Institute of Technology, USA, who led a team of astronomers based in the United States, Europe and Chile. "Solid grains of that size shouldn't be able to form in the cold outer regions of a disc around a brown dwarf, but it appears that they do. We can't be sure if a whole rocky planet could develop there, or already has, but we're seeing the first steps, so we're going to have to change our assumptions about conditions required for solids to grow," he said.

"In the near future, the completed ALMA telescope will be powerful enough to make detailed images of the discs around Rho-Oph 102 and other objects. Ricci explained, "We will soon be able to not only detect the presence of small particles in discs, but to map how they are spread across the circumstellar disc and how they interact with the gas that we've also detected in the disc. This will help us better understand how planets come to be."" (2)

For me, this is an exciting prospect, offering us the first real glimpse of how planets might form around dwarf stars like brown dwarfs, and perhaps in time even smaller objects, like sub-brown dwarfs.  This might then provide insight into how a binary object orbiting the Sun could have developed its own rocky planet system at such a great distance from the heat of the Sun itself.

 

Written by Andy Lloyd, 1st December 2012

 

References:

1)  L. Ricci, L. Testi, A. Natta, A. Scholz and I. De Gregorio-Monsalvo. "ALMA observations of ρ-Oph 102: Grain growth and molecular gas in the disk around a young brown dwarf" Astrophysical Journal Letters, 761(2): L20, November 2012

iop.org article

2)   European Southern Observatory  "Even brown dwarfs may grow rocky planets: Sizing up grains of cosmic dust around failed star" 30 November 2012 with thanks to Scott and Lee

sciencedaily.com article  

 

 

Beyond 2012

As widely predicted, the world did not come to an end on 21st December 2012.  Yay.  While I'm sure that many a modern-day Mayan will be enjoying the festivities of welcoming in the 14th Baktun, there will be many New Age folk wondering what happened.  Just as the end of the second millennium after the birth of Christ did not herald an apocalypse, or even a technological meltdown, so did the turning of the Mayan calendar not bring forth the fires of hell for humanity.  This much we know.  What we still don't know is why the beginning of the Mayan calendar was set over five millennia ago, long before the Mayan civilisation itself got into its stride.  What event in their own prehistory set forth that great rolling stone of time that has now successfully completed its 13th revolution?

Perhaps we may never find out.  But given the lack of an obvious astronomical event to coincide with this year's winter solstice, it does not appear to reflect a prediction of a return of anything, certainly not Nibiru.  Indeed, it has to be said that amalgamating the Mayan calendar and the return of Nibiru was always problematic.  After all, the concept of Nibiru is to be found in the early writings of Mesopotamian cultures, whereas the Mayans appear to have been a purely American civilisation, untouched by the Old World.  Only if they were influenced by a common precursor could one really connect the two, and the evidence for that is scant (although, controversially, it may actually exist).

More likely, then, the connection between Nibiru and 2012 was one of 'common sense' - at least within an alternative, New Age context.  The connection brought together the ending of a long Age and the return of a long-period planet, both of which might ring the alarm bells of imminent destruction.  It is clear why such a concept captured so many people's imaginations.  The problem was always the lack of any kind of evidence underlying this connection, beyond reference to an ancient Celtic text whose own provenance is, at best, questionable. 

Has the hunt for Planet X been damaged by the 2012 connection over the course of the last decade?  Undoubtedly - although that should be balanced against the clear raising of awareness of the issue of a rogue, returning planet among the general population who might never have heard of Nibiru otherwise.  Whether any might go on to ponder the merits of the case for a significant undiscovered planet in the solar system remains to be seen.  I hope they do, because there is still a case to answer.

 

Written by Andy Lloyd, 21st December 2012

 

 

All articles written by Andy Lloyd, 2012, author of

 

 'The Dark Star' (2005),  'Ezekiel One' (2009),  'The Followers of Horus' (2010),  'Darker Stars' (2019)

 

 

Dark Star Blog 2006-7

 

Dark Star Blog 2008

 

Dark Star Blog 2009

 

Dark Star Blog 2010

 

Dark Star Blog 2011

 

Dark Star Blog 2013