According to Gomes, presenting his findings Tuesday at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Timberline Lodge, Oregon, calculations show that about half a dozen Kuiper Belt objects are in strange orbits, that is, they are orbiting not where they are supposed to be, according to existing models of our solar system.
Gomes said that the the strange orbits have only few possible explanations. According to National Geographic
, he said: "I think the easiest one is a planetary-mass solar companion."
explains that, "a planetary-mass solar companion" is a planet that orbits very far out from the sun but that's massive enough to be having gravitational effects on Kuiper belt objects."
Kuiper belt objects
are small icy bodies—including some dwarf planets—that lie beyond the orbit of Neptune. They are too far to be easily seen with telescopes. Pluto, about 1,400 miles in diameter, once considered the ninth planet of our solar system, is now considered one of the largest Kuiper belt objects. Astronomers are discovering in the kuiper belt, dozens of other objects hundreds of miles across.
Gomes' theory is that the unseen planet he proposes is making its presence felt by disturbing the orbits of Kuiper belt objects.
According to National Geographic
, Gomes came to the conclusion that a rogue planet may be lying beyond Neptune after he analyzed orbits of 92 kuiper belt objects and compared the result to computer simulations of how the bodies should be orbiting if there were no additional planet.
Gomes said that in simulation models in which there was no distant rogue planet, no elongated orbits for six of the kuiper objects was observed.
Gomes then tried to estimate the size of the proposed rogue planet. Basing his speculation on calculations, he said that the rogue planet is probably a Neptune-size world about four times bigger than the Earth and it is orbiting at about 140 billion miles (225 billion kilometers) away from the Sun. This, according to National Geographic
, is 1,500 times farther away from the Sun than the Earth.
But the analysis is complicated by the fact that a Mars-size object that sweeps about 5 billion miles closer to the Sun in highly elongated orbit would have a similar effect as a Neptune-size world.
Gomes speculates that the planet could have been kicked out of its own star system and later captured by the Sun's gravity. Alternatively, the planet could once have been part of our solar system, but kicked out by gravitation interaction with other planets.
The astronomer says that locating the planet would be difficult because it would be a very dim astronomical object, and also because calculations give very little information of its possible location, so astronomers do not know where to point their telescopes.
reports that while his scientific colleagues are intrigued by Gomes's calculations, they say they need more proof before his theory can be incorporated into our scientific picture of the solar system.
Rory Barnes, astronomer at the University of Washington, said: "Obviously, finding another planet in the solar system is a big deal [but] I don't think he really has any evidence that suggests it is out there."
Barnes said what Gomes has done, instead, is that he "has laid out a way to determine how such a planet could sculpt parts of our solar system. So while, yes, the evidence doesn't exist yet, I thought the bigger point was that he showed us that there are ways to find that evidence."
reports that Douglas Hamilton, astronomer at the University of Maryland, agrees with Barnes. He said: "What he showed in his probability arguments is that it's slightly more likely. He doesn't have a smoking gun yet."
Planet Nibiru speculation revived on the Web
While scientists have greeted Gomes's calculations and conclusions with caution, Planet X/Nibiru doomsday
soothsayers are spreading the news that a Brazilian astronomer has discovered Planet Nibiru. According to Skeptical Inquirer
, Planet Nibiru 2012 doomsday prophets say that Planet Nibiru, "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. [According to the doomsday prophets] 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..."
The website Occupy Illuminati
, for instance, announces: "An astronomer at the National Observatory of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro, named Rodney Gomes (mark this name, he may be making history), affirms he found a rogue planet hidden behind Neptune, that by his calculations could just fit in the depictions of NIBIRU."
According to the website, the object "Nibiru" could even be an artificial object, that is a massive alien mothership. The websight gives its insight: "If he’s (Gomes) correct, this could be the astronomical find that finally corroborates the translations of Sumerians tablets made by Zecharia Sitchin. The intriguing part is how this object is keeping itself hidden from Earth telescopes... Perhaps it’s not really a planet… Perhaps it’s artificial in nature..."
A discussion on the site Above Top Secrets
follows: A contributor, Alfa1, says: "The proposed object has nothing at all in common with the alleged NIBIRU. The astronomer does NOT 'claim to have found' anything at all. He's saying something might possibly exist."
Just Chris responds: "But the article doesn't once mention that it may or may not be Nibiru, just a rogue planet with a size similar to Pluto. Doesn't exactly fit NIBIRU descriptions. With that in mind however, will be interesting to see what comes of this?"
But another commenter appears convinced this could be Nibiru: 1AnunnakiBastard, said: "YES it has to do with Nibiru, concerning the elongated orbit and the way it disturbs the objects in the Kuiper belt, and YES the astronomer claim have found something behind Neptune, and his speculation is only about the nature of the object." 1AnunnakiBastard, adds: It's my own reasoning that it COULD BE the same object from Sumerian genesis. And I assume you didn't read the whole article because he states the object could be 4 times bigger than Earth, was dragged into our Sun's orbit with a very elongated path. Well, IMO this has a big chance of being a candidate to Nibiru."
Another commenter on the website The Truth Behind the Scenes
is certain the Nibiru has been found at last: "And so we come back to Nibiru.The very topic which first brought me to this site.Yes, indeed, she’s out there. Thats not actually in doubt any more, there’s simply to much evidence to support the existence."