Real or not, Planet X has been around with us for a while - a persistent character in cartoons, movies, and conspiracy theories, often attributed to author Zecharia Stichin's book the 12th Planet.
Anyone who studies Planet X, however, will find a spiderweb of stories that well precede Stitchin's - one might give wonder to biblical stars like Wormwood, etc. Consider this - the Earth is spinning through space, and so its residents are always seeing a slightly different night sky; many Texans in fact have reported seeing a new red star in the sky.
Before this story, Planet X had been slowly staling into an un-sexy story. But in 2011, bloggers and forums and even some coworkers were outright panicking about Planet X bringing the end of the world. And Hollywood didn't help - Melancholia, a film about a planet headed toward Earth, came out. Even Google updated one of its April logos to show a red planet and 5 X's (a tribute to astronaut Yuri Gagarin... whose death was curiously enough part of many online conspiracies):
The truth is, though, actual real live scientists have been looking for a large planet lurking outside Neptune for decades. Because there's always been evidence suggesting it existed.
Well, it appears they found it.
Planetary scientists have announced that there is sufficient evidence to say there is a "Planet Nine" a bit beyond Neptune, orbiting the sun every 15-20,000 years (Stitchin, by comparison, claimed an orbit of 3,600 years).
NASA didn't confirm or deny the discovery, but instead posted a YouTube video about it. In the video, NASA's Director of Planetary Science Jim Green cautions viewers not to jump to conclusions so quickly. However, he ends on a high note with "if Planet X is out there, we'll find it together," a nice nod to all the amateur astronomers out there:
It seems fitting to include this in the "Disclosure" section of the site, because this is one of two giant space/alien-related stories to come out in a week!
Case in point: mainstream media has also been overtaken by KIC 8462852 - scientists announced that there is convincing enough evidence to claim an alien civilization is living on a star called KIC 8462852, which can be found in the constellation of Cygnus ("the Swan"). They've determined this partially due to the dimming light originating from the star, which has no natural pattern to it.
Have thoughts about these stories, or more? Join the conversation on the Facebook page.