Planet X or Planet 9 Threatens to Destroy Earth-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
Reports that Planet X or Planet 9, a planet orbiting the outer edge of the solar system, will send comets and asteroids hurtling toward Earth have gone viral.
Don’t believe Armageddon warnings about Planet 9 or Planet X ushering in Armageddon in the coming months.
These warnings seem to have started as a tongue-and-cheek in a video posted by the New York Post. The 30-second video talks about the discovery of Planet 9 (also known as Planet X) and casually mentions “some believe” that it could send asteroids and comets toward Earth, causing mass extinction, by the end of April.
However, the video isn’t a doomsday warning — it’s a poorly executed joke about how Armageddon won’t stop the IRS from collecting taxes. The video’s subtitles read:
“When closest to us, (Planet 9) pushes asteroids and comets toward Earth. Some scientists believe this is what caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. They also believe it’s going to happen again… as early as this month. So if you haven’t paid your taxes yet, you should hurry up and do them because the IRS will still find you even if the world ends.
And there has long been talk about a Planet 9 on the outer edge of the solar system. It’s supposedly 10 times the size of Earth and orbits the sun about 600 times farther away — but it’s never actually been discovered, Space.com reports:
…Astronomers Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown, both of whom are based at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, inferred the planet’s existence based on the strange orbits of a half dozen small objects in the Kuiper Belt, the ring of icy bodies beyond Neptune.
Astronomers are now actively hunting for Planet Nine — which Batygin and Brown think is about 10 times more massive than Earth, and orbits about 600 times farther from the sun than our planet does — but to date, it has not been detected.
After the Post’s video went viral, one of those astronomers, Mike Brown, even responded directly to claims that Planet 9 could bring Armageddon before the end of April:
So, reports about Planet 9 or Planet X causing a doomsday scenario for Earth are false. They started as a bad joke about the inevitably of paying taxes that some people took literally.