Asked by: Tony Sutcliffe, Leeds
Every so often rumours circulate on the internet about the reappearance of a ‘wandering planet’ called Niburu. Also known as Planet Nine or Planet X, Nibiru is supposedly mentioned on ancient Sumerian clay tablets and is said to have crashed through the early Solar System creating the asteroid belt and the Earth before vanishing again.
It’s true that beyond the Solar System lurk failed stars known as brown dwarfs that are barely bigger than the planet Jupiter. However, the chances of a disastrous encounter with one are mercifully small.
- Could there be materials on other planets that we don’t have on Earth?
- How would our Solar System be different if Jupiter had been big enough to be a star?
- Could two planets share the same orbit without colliding?