Will Nibiru collide with Earth?
We have had several enquiries about ‘Nibiru’ or ‘Planet X’, the planet or ‘brown dwarf’ rumored to be on a collision path with earth in December 2012. For instance, Jane P. from Australia asked:
Can you tell me if Creation Ministries has any articles which address the question of the Nibiru planet? If not, where does the ministry stand on the issue?
For some people, this may seem like a ridiculous issue, but it is one that causes a lot of people serious concern, primarily due to the writings of a very prominent UFOlogist by the name of Zecharia Sitchin (see also our review of the movie The Fourth Kind where Sitchin’s influence could be seen). But there is no need, as there is no indication that Nibiru or anything else will destroy the earth in December.
What is Nibiru?
Nibiru, also commonly known as ‘Planet X’ was supposedly discovered by the Sumerians. Originally, it was supposed to collide with earth in 2003, but when the (literally) earth-shattering event failed to take place, the date for Armageddon was pushed back 9 years.
All of this is, of course, nonsense. While Sumer was a great ancient civilization that made substantial advances in agriculture and literature, they knew very little about astronomy, and would not have had the technology to discover such a distant planet, even if it had existed—they were unaware of the existence of any planets beyond Saturn.
Who is behind the Nibiru scare?
Zecharia Sitchin was a self-proclaimed scholar of Hebrew and Sumerian texts.1 His books have taken on almost legendary proportions among the UFO movement. They are so voluminous and detailed that they cannot fail to impress and give the idea that he knows what he is talking about. He believes that some Sumerian tablets refer to God or the gods as Anunnaki, meaning “those who from heaven to Earth came,” and believes that these are the same as the biblical Anakim—who, he claims, came from a planet called Nibiru. He also promoted the idea that the visitors were the ‘sons of God’ described in Genesis 6. But see our comprehensive document on this passage (extracted from Gary Bates’s book Alien Intrusion: UFOs and the Evolution Connection. Sitchin says:
“It took additional decades of research and study, of both ancient and modern astronomy, to reach a startling conclusion: There is one more planet in our solar system, a post-Plutonian planet with a large elliptical orbit that brings it into our vicinity (passing between Mars and Jupiter) every 3,600 Earth-years; it is then that the comings and goings between Nibiru and Earth take place.”2
Is there any evidence to back up these grand claims? In a word: no. A quote from a NASA page states:
“There is no known Planet X or tenth planet in our solar system. Scientists have been looking for about a hundred years. It was believed that such a planet was required to explain the orbital characteristics of the outer planets Uranus and Neptune. Many searches have been performed and, to date, no evidence of such a planet has emerged. In addition, better information about the masses of outer planets has also now shown that no other planets are necessary to explain the planetary orbits.”3
Is there a grand conspiracy to keep the truth hidden?
The rumors about Nibiru erupted after a 1984 NASA Infrared Astronomy Satellite (IRAS) scan came up with unidentified infrared sources. These were later found to be distant galaxies, not planets. In short, Nibiru does not exist. Searching the NASA site for “Nibiru” brings up many articles.
But these facts aren’t enough to satisfy some, who are convinced that the government/NASA are simply keeping things quiet to prevent worldwide panic at our impending doom. But it would be impossible to keep it quiet at this point if we really were expecting to be wiped off the map in December, because Nibiru would be plainly visible by now, and every professional and amateur astronomer, well over 100,000 people, would be plotting its course as it hurtled towards Earth. In the age of the Internet, social media and Wikileaks, who could keep such a thing quiet?
Why is this important?
Doomsday ‘prophecies’ are nothing new, and when they inevitably fail to come true, there is usually a new one to take its place. For instance, last year there was much ado about the comet Elenin, none of which had a factual basis.
But those of us who hope in Christ know some things about the end (although the timing isn’t one of those things—please don’t write to us on this ) and that there will be humans alive when Jesus returns. So we don’t need to be concerned about humans going extinct through whatever disasters people may conjure up, because God has told us otherwise.
Update, 17 May 2017: Nibiru is in the crosshairs of the conspiracy theorists yet again! According to the tin foil hat brigade, supposedly Nibiru is to collide with Earth in September 2017, and the global elite are said to be preparing to survive the catastrophe in underground bunkers. We are reposting our 2012 article on Nibiru which refuted these ideas 5 years ago, as the arguments still hold true (and to remind everyone that the last ‘Nibiru apocalypse’ was an utter nonevent). To summarize why Nibiru won’t collide with Earth in 2017, or at any other time:
- A planet-sized object set to collide with Earth in 4 months would be visible to the naked eye. There would be no way to conceal the impending disaster.
- Nibiru doesn’t exist. NASA hypothesizes the possible existence of a completely unrelated ‘Planet X’ located at least 200 AU away from the sun (compared to the farthest known planet, Neptune, which is 30 AU from the sun). See footnote below.4
- If a planet-sized object were to collide with earth, a network of underground bunkers would do precisely nothing to save the people inside from total annihilation.
To help Christians think through these issues using a biblical lens, we’ve written several articles:
- Incidentally, recognized scholars of both the Hebrew and Sumerian languages roundly criticize Stichin’s interpretations as ignorant of both the languages and the meaning of the various writings in the context of their cultures. Sumerian scholar John A Halloran and Hebrew scholar Michael Heiser are only two examples. Return to text.
- Ronald D. Story, The Mammoth Encyclopedia of Extraterrestrial Encounters, in an article by Zecharia Sitchin. Return to text.
- “Is there a Planet X or 10th Planet?” starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov, 11 June 2003. Return to text.
- solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/planet, 16 May 2017. Note, the abbreviation AU stands for astronomical unit, which is a unit of length roughly equal to the distance from Earth to the Sun. Return to text.