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Sunday, December 20, 2020

Decemystery (2020) 20: Planet Nine

In space, no one can hear you scream, snore, breathe, lose at poker, or realize that your insurance doesn’t cover interplanetary vehicle collisions with Greys.

You see, dear reader, in space: many mysteries reside there. The Wow! Signal, ASASSN-V J213939.3-702817.4, Supermassive Black Holes, Ultramassive Black Holes, Theia, and more are just waiting to have their truths uncovered. Indeed, space is a limitless sandbox where we can find the truths to so, so, so much, yet we’ve barely even touched the surface of it all.

It’s because of these limitless possibilities (haha, roll credits and all that CinemaSins nonsense) that I opted to cover a mystery today. I had two ideas for today’s story—both of which involved something in outer space. One of them was a star in the form of the aforementioned ASASSN-V J213939.3-702817.4, and the other was Planet Nine. I guess it’s no mystery which I opted for if you read the title. So let’s dive into the cockpit of a space shuttle and go blast off into outer space!

The Story

Planet Nine is a hypothetical planet that resides past Neptune. It’s never been observed (naturally), but its existence is proposed in order to help explain some of the bizarrely lengthy orbits of dwarf planets like Sedna (which takes 11,392 years to circle the Sun). That’s really all there is to Planet Nine if you want to take out the fancy, schmancy sciency talk that I don’t understand. Though if you do want to read about it, I recommend checking out the Wikipedia article on Planet Nine. It’s surprisingly thorough!

However, this is Limitless Possibilities and over in these here parts, we… actually do try to be thorough. At least, I do. However, given that a lot of the history about Planet Nine—beyond the fancy science talk—is rooted in science-based papers that argue back-and-forth about its existence, writing about this will go something like this:

“It exists!”

“No it doesn’t.”

“Prove it!”

“If c=32k (+39.1229934z=ae3), then my eyeball is a firecake.”

It’s something that would make Reddit want to urinate in my chest cavities in other words.

Because of this, allow me to give an abridged version of the history of how Planet Nine came to be something of a popular hypothesis. It comes  thanks to two men: Konstantin Batygin and Michael E. Brown, though the actual concept of another sizable planet can be dated back to when Neptune was discovered. However, it wasn’t until the mid-2010s (at least from what I can tell) that there was a considerable resurgence in the belief of Planet Nine.

Exactly what this planet is is up for debate, but the most popular idea is that it’s something of a super-Earth planet that resides considerably far from the Sun—billions upon billions of miles/kilometers from it. It would be a frigid wasteland if it wasn’t a gas giant—and even then, it would still be frosty.

How exactly Planet Nine would have gotten so far from the Sun is up for debate too, but some believe that Jupiter ejected it from where it originated or that it was a Rogue Planet at one point and later found its way into our Solar System. This would’ve brought Planet Nine into our little happy home and now it resides in an extremely eccentric orbit—potentially with another star too. It’s an adulterous buffoon! Except it’s with stars and in space.

Theories as to how lengthy Planet Nine’s orbit range from 10,000 to 20,000 years. This would mean that its orbit is not only eccentric, but the longest in the Solar System (should it north of 11,000 years). However, if we can observe Sedna, why haven’t we found Planet Nine? Well, that’s a question I cannot answer. While I had aspirations to be an astronomer, I’ve never quite figured out the difficulty in observing Planet Nine—though from what I know, its orbit could render it difficult to observe if it were to have an extremely eccentric orbit. It’s also possible that it doesn’t exist, but that’s something I personally doubt.

As for the type of planet Planet Nine (boy, that sounds weird) is, it’s possibly either a rocky one or a gas giant. The header image shows it as looking like a smaller Neptune, though the naming of a “super-Earth” makes me think it could be a rocky one. If anyone knows if I’m wrong in assuming this, do let me know and I will leave an edit here.

[Edit Goes Here; Look Professional and Remove This]


As for how big Planet Nine would be, it would have a smaller mass than Uranus and Neptune. This would more or less mean that it wouldn’t be big enough to screw up the quasi-stability of the Solar System and because of this, I really want you to remember this aspect for when we get to the theories section. If it’s accurate and Planet Nine does exist, it would make everyone who subscribes to theory numero tres have egg on their face until they become more omlet than man.

There are many, many other aspects to Planet Nine’s purported influence and existence that exist. The clustering of dwarf planets beyond Neptune is a big one; if you look at the pathing of them, they almost all swing away from the Solar System, only to return and cluster up like chickens coming home to roost. This is a big one and perhaps the most commonly used aspect to validate Planet Nine’s existence. However, is it accurate? Does it truly exist? Well, I want to go into the theories section now because if I’m to be honest, a lot of the other bits of evidence mystify me and I don’t want to plagiarize other sources. I genuinely cannot reword what I’ve read because I’m too stupid to do so. Because of that, I’m sorry if this write-up was rather barebones.


1. A planet

The first theory is that Planet Nine is a real planet and is a planetary body. Planet, planet, PLANET!

With the oddities in trans-Neptunian objects, many have come to subscribe to the idea that the Planet Nine is a planet. Why? Well, some people just like the idea of a ninth planet. Others are convinced by the ideas put forth involving the gravitational/orbital oddities with Sedna and other dwarf planets. Then there are those who think that Planet Nine is Nibiru. I’ll be revisiting that topic some time next year, so I’m refraining from going on a 7,000 word rant about how insipid and insane Nibiru is. Next!

2. A black hole

This is a relatively new theory and a fascinating one. It puts forth the idea that there is no Planet Nine, but instead Black Hole Nine. Indeed, a primordial black hole may lay beyond Neptune and its gravitational pull may be affecting some of the outer planets! Now, while that may seem scary, you need not worry that we’re all going to be sucked into the all-consuming maw that is a black hole’s singularity. No, this isn’t Sagittarius A*. Rather, it’d be a much, much, much smaller black hole that would pose no threat to us.

Black holes, scary as they may be—and by God are they scary—aren’t all massive and destructive. It’s likely that this black hole has resided on the outer rim of our Solar System and has simply affected the orbit of the outer planets by swinging them around a bit. However, because of how difficult it is to detect one, it’s possible that this one won’t be detected for some time. It’s also possible it doesn’t even exist, so there’s that !

3. A star

Excuse my language, but holy crap, this theory is beyond absurd. It sometimes finds itself being blended in with the Nemesis theory (which had been debunked, disproven, and all but brought out behind a shed and shot until the shooter was caked in blood, guts, and plasma) and is generally regarded as one of the most insipid theories to ever grace the realm of astronomy.

The idea that Planet Nine is a brown dwarf or any sort of star is generally seen as a monumentally ridiculous notion given that any star still radiates a considerable level of heat, let alone light. If there was another star beyond Neptune, a planet like Pluto should be orbiting that star, not our Sun. Gravitational pulls of brown dwarf stars are in-between that of Jupiter and the Sun—and I believe that the closer Pluto, Eris, Sedna, or whatever else was to the brown dwarf, it would be orbiting that. Though I could be wrong on this and if I am, do correct me.

The point is: if Planet Nine were a brown dwarf, let alone any kind of star, it would destroy our Solar System. End of discussion. No ifs, ands, or buts. It simply doesn’t work with what we know as fact in our current model structure of gravity and every other bloody concept of physics. Stop pushing it as fact—and for God’s sake: stop subscribing to the theory of Nemesis. It’s utter nonsense and Newton is rolling in his grave so quickly, I could use it to power the entire state of New York for the next 5,000 years.

4. Nibiru

Hah, no.

5. It doesn’t exist

The fifth and final theory is that Planet Nine doesn’t exist. Due to the lack of observation years out and with no real solid evidence beyond the claims put forth by some astronomers—amateur and professional—many have denounced the idea that Planet Nine is a real planet. Not really much else to say there.

My Take

Well, as I stated during the story section, I think that Planet Nine does exist. Given the ridiculously strange and elongated orbits of trans-Neptunian objects, I think that there is likely something with a strong gravitational pull residing beyond Neptune. I don’t believe it to be a star, but I do think it’s a planet of some sort or perhaps a primordial black hole. Why do I think this? Well, Sedna’s orbital path is beyond bizarre and I think that most dwarf planets simply exhibit strange orbits in general.

With that said, I do think it’s perfectly within the realm of reason for there to be no planet. My understanding of physics isn’t exactly the most incredible and I will freely admit that I’m a dink when it comes to things like this. So it’s possibly I’ve been deluded by my poor understanding of such a topic and have been misinformed by confirmation bias. Not really much else I can say beyond that before I make a fool of myself.

Also, given I went on a tangent above about Nemesis: I will never understand the appeal of it. Like Tyche (a hypothetical gas giant that could be considered the predecessor to Planet Nine), Nibiru, and so many other rogue celestial bodies, Nemesis’ existence simply doesn’t work with what we know about how the Universe works. While some may say that NASA pushes Satanic knowledge that invalidates the Bible (it doesn’t), I cannot fathom how on Earth a rogue star could function without effectively burning the Earth into oblivion. Unless, of course, you interpret the Book of Revelation literally and believe Nemesis to be Wormwood, but that’s another can of worms that is best not touched (yet).

My point is: Nemesis is nonsense. It’s complete and total garbage that’s packaged as sounding good because of some words strung together that appear to make sense. In reality, they mean nothing and only cause people to fear something that is impossible. It’s just like Nibiru, except instead of being a planet with the Annunaki, it’s a brown dwarf that would’ve destroyed Earth long ago. Stop believing in it if you do; it’ll help your mental health considerably.


See you all tomorrow when we return to the surface of the Earth for something more earthly. Also, seriously: stop subscribing to the Nemesis theory. Please!

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