updated 20th February 2004
One might expect that the astronomical community would be excited at the
prospect of discovering this planet/sub-brown dwarf in the Oort Cloud. On
the contrary, this subject lies on the very fringe of astronomy, and my own
speculations are still more 'out there' than
University of Lafayette team, consisting of Matese and Dr Daniel Whitmire et
al, attempted to interest NASA in a sky-search for
unsuccessful in even getting the idea seriously considered. Murray has
managed to obtain a scant amount of telescope time at Australia's Royal
Observatory (actually, one hour), and has gained a couple of detailed images
Delphinus constellation over a six month period in order to spot any
stars that are on the move in that tiny sky region
Remember... Planet X
may already have been catalogued as a faint star by astronomers, but its
nature not realized. Personally, I think he should look nearer
Murray and Matese each have their scientific critics, and there is quite
evidently a tremendous amount of work to do to convince the conservative
element in astronomy and astrophysics to take their ideas seriously.
Not everyone shares Murray's easygoing optimism.
"I think it's a silly
idea. If you tinker with his comet data, the effect just goes away," says
astronomer Harold Levison of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder,
Colo., an expert on
the Oort cloud.
He admits that Earth-sized planets could be
floating undetected in the Oort
cloud, but he doubts anything as big as Jupiter is hiding out there.
can't prove it's not true, but incredible claims like this require
incredible proofs," he says."
I think their case is strengthened greatly by the mythological evidence
available (incredible proof?), but my
own speculative research does not serve to help their case among the close-minded
mainstream science community.
Such is the wonderful world of science, folks...
Linda Moulton Howe interviews Dr Matese
Earthfiles.com web-site has published a rare interview with
John Matese, by the respected broadcaster Linda Moulton Howe, regarding the
possible existence of a brown dwarf in the Oort Cloud
discusses new evidence to back up his initial claims in 1999 about a small
brown dwarf potentially existing in the outer Oort Cloud, and discusses the
reasons why such a massive object would have escaped direct detection thus
far. He also describes his hopes for the next generation of infra-red
telescopes, SIRTF and SOFIA. Admitting that he is unable to pinpoint this
object to an area less than 5% of the entire sky, he concedes that only luck
could bring about an early discovery.
The interviewer, Linda Moulton Howe, also directly addresses the Sitchin
issue…a subject that evidently makes Matese inwardly groan. He stands by his
earlier dismissals of a tie-in between Nibiru and his
brown dwarf, mostly on
the grounds of the periods of the orbits, and the visibility of such an
object for an ancient civilization. He notes that he receives a tremendous
number of e-mails about
Sitchin’s 12th Planet theory, and that his brief
perusals of the alternative evidence proposed by supporting researchers
(such as myself) have failed to convince him of any possible connection.
On the face of it, of course, he is absolutely right. A brown dwarf ½ light
year away and revolving around the Sun every 4 million years could not be
one and the same as an object reappearing visibly in the solar system every
3600 years or thereabouts. If that’s all either object ever did. There is a
way that his distant brown dwarf might have recently ended up becoming
Sitchin’s object. And what’s more, Dr Matese proposed the idea himself!
his own initial paper in Icarus in 1999 Matese wrote the following:
“That is, under the action of the galactic tide
the perturber [his brown
dwarf] would pass relatively close to the
planetary zone every several hundred Myr [million years]… Hills (1985) has
determined that the objects of mass <10Mj [Jupiter masses] would not damage
planetary orbits even if they had passed through the planetary system.”
Matese gives a perihelion distance for such an ‘oscultation’, or natural
fluctuation in the brown dwarf’s orbit, as 125AU (which is about 2-3 times
the distance of Pluto from the Sun, well within anyone’s maximum orbital
The paper by Jack Hills, that Matese quotes, goes
further; providing scenarios where such ‘fly-bys’ by small
might undergo further orbital changes as a result of getting relatively
close to the Sun. Such changes tend to result in eccentric elliptical
orbits, according to the computer simulations run by Hills. So, if the brown
dwarf had acted as Matese himself proposed just a few million years ago,
then it could indeed have become a more tightly bound object, one with an
orbit of thousands, not millions, of years.
That would still be consistent
with the comet evidence because these objects were perturbed from their
great circular orbits half a light year away over the course of millions of
years. Indeed, the fact that Dr Matese cannot pinpoint the position of the Perturber shows how amorphous and flexible his data is.
The implications for our planet's own environment would have been
Indeed, the last Ice Age began suddenly 3.2 million years ago by a mechanism
still not understood by scientists.
A Massive, Massive Orbit! (25/5/02)
Zecharia Sitchin's hypothesis would place a rogue planet orbiting the Sun
within 500 astronomical units at aphelion, but the brown dwarf/massive
planet proposed by the astrophysicists Matese and Murray extends such a
range to around 30,000AU. In many ways, the former theory is more plausible,
simply because it is hard to explain how a planet might be located at tens
of thousands of astronomical units distance.
There is no known mechanism to
help us understand how a planet could form so far away from a star, and many
think it unlikely that a 'free-floating' planet might be captured into such
an extended orbit. While I suspect that our small data-base of planets dulls
us to the potential variety of orbits and inter-stellar dark objects, others
remain to be convinced.
Interesting, then, that researchers have imaged a young, bright planet in a
star-forming region whose distance from the nearest star is over 100, 000
"If the newly spotted object, called
SOri70, is in fact a planet, it would
be a strange one, sitting 36,000 times farther away from any its nearest
stellar neighbor than Jupiter is from our Sun. There is an unresolved debate
among experts as to whether an object so far from a star can be called a
planet or not. And no one is sure how it might have formed our how it could
end up in such a location"
Is this Jupiter-sized planet
orbiting the star, or simply free-floating
through the region? It's hard to say right now, but imagine this star was
the Sun, and the bright planet
SOri70 Nibiru/Marduk. The latest finding
could set a precedent for a quite extraordinary orbit, in keeping with Matese and
Murray's theories. Of course, that doesn't mean that their
indirectly detected 'planets' are the same as Sitchin's, but I think it
places their proposals on more solid ground.
NASA have declined the opportunity to image this new object with the
Telescope. A pity.
We could have captured a glimpse of how our solar system
might have looked 4 billion years ago.
Dust Discs around Brown Dwarfs
Infra-Red Space Observatory run by the European Space Agency completed
its work some years ago, before brown dwarfs were being found in reasonable
As such, it had been difficult to obtain data on planet-forming
discs that may or may not exist around young brown dwarfs. Thanks to new
observations, we can now be fairly certain that planets do indeed form
around brown dwarfs, as around young stars.
Thus, any wandering interstellar brown dwarf that chanced its way into the
solar system would likely have come with its own contingency of
planets/moons, all warmed by the dim light and heat of the dwarf.
The new data concerns Cha HA 2, a young brown dwarf located in the southern
constellation Chamaeleon, and the much closer, but older
brown dwarf LP
944-20, located in the southern constellation Fornax.
"The first ground-based detection of mid-infrared radiation from two Brown
Dwarfs has been achieved by a team of European astronomers, using the
Thermal Infrared Multimode Instrument (TIMMI2) on the ISO 3.6-m telescope at
the La Silla Observatory (Chile)...The ISO observations hinted at the
presence of a dust disk around [one of the] objects - this is fully
confirmed by the new TIMMI2 observations.
Moreover, the mid-IR radiation
measured with this instrument interestingly shows the absence of a strong
emission feature from silicates (at about 10 micron wavelength). According
to the astronomers, this indicates that the disk around Cha HA 2 is
comparatively dense and flat, and without a heated outer layer."
The discs featured in this image are suggestive of a winged appearance for a
young brown dwarf system. But older brown dwarfs would presumably lose such
discs as orbiting planets/moons are accreted from them. The TIMMI2 data
regarding LP 94420, believed to be about 500 - 650 million years old, shows
no disc, just infra-red emissions from the dwarf itself.
Of course, that's
not to say that LP 94420 doesn't have planets orbiting it.
A Binary System's Surprise Planet
Astronomers have been left with no choice but to propose that a planet
orbits the main star in the
Gamma Cephei binary. They've eliminated every
other possible explanation that could account for the star's 2.5 year
systematic light variability. No great shakes, you might think, as new
planets seem to be popping up everywhere.
What's different here is that the
binary is a very close one, with the companion star orbiting at about the
same distance as Uranus from out Sun. Its gravitational influence should
have removed planets from the system long ago. Instead, the planet, bigger
than Jupiter, is doggardly orbiting the main star at a distance just greater
than that of Mars.
This is an unusual finding:
"But planets would be expected to be much rarer in systems like
that have close companion stars. With nearby stars tugging furiously at one
another, they could easily disrupt the orbit of a neighboring planet,
according to astronomers."(5)
When a binary system is more loosely bound, astronomers would not be
surprised to find planets in either system, of course. If our star has a
small companion that is very loosely bound, then the other planets in the
solar system would not be affected.
But this new finding surely goes further
still. If a small star came as close as Uranus, then the planetary orbits
nearer to the Sun would not be adversely affected by its tug. This precedent
has now been set. It's not predicted, but there we go. Astronomers will have
to adjust their assumptions.
If you then take into account that the Sun's proposed companion, Nibiru, is
a much less massive entity altogether, of the order of a small brown dwarf,
then its perihelion need not have any substantive effect upon the solar
Planet X is sweeping out the
Kuiper Belt - Official!
Astronomers from Britain and Argentina have speculated that Kuiper Belt
Object irregularities may point to an Earth-sized planet located at about
60AU. 'Dr Stern told
New Scientist the discovery was probably only the first
"There are more likely 900 planets in the solar system than nine. And all but eight are in the Kuiper Belt."
"There's something funny going on out there."
Marc Buie of the Lowell
Observatory in Arizona is talking about a strange feature at the far edge of
our solar system beyond Pluto, among the swarm of small worlds called the
"It's a wild, uncharted place out there, teeming with icy
celestial bodies that may give us essential clues to how the planets formed.
It may even be a breeding ground for life.
But what's intriguing Buie at the
moment is the very edge, about 50 times further out from the Sun than the
Earth's orbit. Here, at the "Kuiper Cliff", the number of astronomical
objects drops off precipitously. Buie won't be drawn too far but, when
pressed, he speaks of the possibility that some 'massive object has swept
the zone clean of debris...'"
Heather Couper and Nigel Henbest
Brunini and Melita's 2002 paper
(7) explores a range of possibilities for a
planetary body embedded in the Kuiper Belt.
Yet this body should have been
readily detected by now. They argue that an inclined orbit creates the best
fit, but this still seems to be a mismatch with the lack of evidence for a
perturber within 80AU. Instead, an inclined orbit for a most distant object
with a highly eccentric orbit could explain the data while being consistent
with its current absence within the Kuiper Belt.
Discussions with Dr Melita indicate that he is working on models whereby the
hidden planetary object shows a more elliptical path, and his findings thus
far have been encouraging.
I will be including material on this research in
my second book 'Nibiru's Kingdom'.
Brown Dwarf at the Right Distance
Only 12 light years away, the star Epsilon Indi has been found to have a
surprise brown dwarf companion, which was spotted by examining various
photographic plates to the star's immediate vicinity. The star experienced
no tell-tale wobble because the brown dwarf is orbiting at a whooping 1500
Astronomical Units. This is a promising development because I think it
likely that the Sun's own smaller and darker companion achieves aphelion
between 500 and 2000AU.
Given the evidence of
Epsilon Indi B, this does not
appear to be all that unreasonable.
"The failed star and its companion form a wide binary system, separated by
more than 1,500 times the distance between the Sun and the
was first identified from archived photographs and later confirmed with
observations with the European Southern Observatory 3.5-metre New Technology
Telescope at the La Silla Observatory in South America. Astronomers estimate
that Epsilon Indi B has a mass just 45 times that of Jupiter, the largest
planet in our Solar System, and a surface temperature of only 1,000
Early Stellar Fly-by Considered for the Sun
"A ROGUE star" may have ploughed through our solar system in the distant
past. It would have shaken up the outer reaches and could explain the
peculiar properties of the icy bodies which orbit in the Kuiper belt. These
balls of ice, up to a few thousand kilometers across, inhabit the region
between Uranus and Neptune. Most of the planets orbit in the same plane,
that of the proto-planetary disc from which they were formed.
But many Kuiper belt objects, including Pluto, travel in "high-inclination" orbits,
at a sharp angle to the plane of the planets.
"Alice Quillen and
Eric Blackman of the University of, Rochester, New York,
and David Trilling of the University of Pennsylvania speculated that the
orbits could be explained by another star passing through the solar system,
wreaking havoc as it went, so they investigated the idea using computer
They found that if a star about a fifth of the sun's mass
approached the sun roughly perpendicular to the plane of the planets, and
within 50 times the distance of the Earth to the sun, then about 30 per cent
of the Kuiper belt objects would be scattered into high-inclination orbits.
The rest of the solar system would be relatively undisturbed.
"In a paper submitted to
Astronomical Journal, the researchers suggest that
the interloper probably came from the star cluster in which the sun was
formed, and that the close encounter would have occurred within a billion
years of the birth of the solar system."
This story appeared in the
New Scientist in February 2004.
of the article is that a close passage of a low mass star past the Sun
billions of years ago may account for observed anomalies in the
Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt. This isn't quite the case however, as the
calculations carried out only partly explain the nature of the EKB, as it is
The potential reality is actually far more
1) Kathy A. Svitil "Dogged scientist looks for 'Planet X'" from Discover
Magazine 5/12/01 With thanks to Lloyd Pye
2) J.J. Matese, P.G. Whitman and D.P. Whitmire, Icarus, 141, 354-336 (1999)
Dr John Matese
3) R. Britt "Mysterious Object Might be First Extrasolar Planet
May 2002 Thanks to Theo
4) European Southern Observatory News release "Disks around failed stars: A
question of age" Spaceflight Now 5th August 2002. Thanks to Jeffrey
5) Richard Stenger "Surprise planet discovered in twin star system" CNN
October 9, 2002
thanks to Brant McClaughlin
6) H. Couper & N. Henbest “The Hunt for Planet X” New Scientist, pp30-4,
14th December 2002
7) A. Brunini & M. Melita “The Existence of a Planet beyond 50AU and the
Orbital Distribution of the Classical Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt Objects” Icarus, 160, pp32-43 (2002) Planet X in 'The
D. Whitehouse "'Failed star' found nearby" 15th January 2003
9) New Scientist "Rogue star smashed up the solar system" Vol
18, 2433, 07 February 2004, p19, Here's
the paper's on-line abstract: