The Constellation  Eridanus
Is it connected to Eridu

the first city on Earth?







To find Eridanus, look to Rigel in Orion, and follow the meandering line of stars to Achernar.
The Southern Cross points towards Achernar, and about halfway between Achernar and the Cross is due south.

(alpha) Eridani (Achernar, the End of the River) is a magnitude 0.5 blue-white star 85 light years away.

(beta) Eri (Cursa, the footstool, referring to its position under the foot of Orion) is a magnitude 2.8 blue-white star 91 light years away.

(epsilon) Eri is a magnitude 3.7 star and the most like the Sun of the nearby stars. This yellow dwarf star was one of the first stars to be sent radio signals in case there is life there. It is only 10.5 light years away, so radio signals would take this long to reach it.

(theta) Eri (Acamar), is a striking pair of blue-white stars of magnitudes 3.2 and 4.4, 55 light years away. The two stars are only separated by just over 8 arc-seconds, so would need a small telescope to be seen separately.

Eri is a beautiful double star for small telescopes, consisting of a magnitude 5 yellow star and a blue-green magnitude 6.3 companion 220 light years away. Their separation is just under 7 arc-seconds, slightly closer than the two stars forming Acamar.

(omicron2) Eri (also known as 40 Eridani) is a remarkable triple star 15.9 light years away. A small telescope shows that the magnitude 4.4 yellow primary, a star similar to our Sun, has a widely separated magnitude 9.6 white dwarf companion, being the most easily seen white dwarf star in the sky. The separation is about 83 arc-seconds. Bigger telescopes reveal that the white dwarf has a 11th magnitude red dwarf companion, at present about 9 arc-seconds from the white dwarf.

In addition the whole system is relatively quite close to us and has a large proper motion of just over 4 arc-seconds per year. This means the star would move a distance equal to the diameter of the Moon in "only" 450 years compared to more distant background stars.

NGC 1535 is a small 9th magnitude planetary nebula 2150 light years away, appearing in a nice field of scattered stars. While the central star cannot be seen, an OIII filter helps to find and see this dying star remnant.


Eridanus ranges over almost 60° of declination from Archenar in the south to the equator near Cursa. Archenar is sufficiently for south for it to be always visible from New Zealand, although rather low to the south in winter evenings. In December, Archenar is at its highest early evening when it has an altitude of about 75°, to the south.

As is fitting for a river flowing north, Eridanus then winds its way as a narrow constellation northwards before broadening out as it approaches the equator. The equatorial portion of Eridanus precedes Rigel in Orion into the sky and is to the north later in the evening in December and soon after the sky becomes dark in January.


Brian Scott, in his book 'Transformation of a Common Man - on page 383 states that his contact 'Voltar' comes from Epsilon in Eridanus, the fifth brightest star.

He also states that this constellation was important to the civilization of Sumer in Mesopotamia. The most ancient town in Sumer is Eridu - built about 5,000 B.C. Eridu is located about 196 miles southeast of Baghdad, Iraq.

Historically, Eridu, the first city mentioned, is the city of the water god Enki/Ea (one of the top three deities in the Sumerian pantheon). It is situated in the extreme south of Mesopotamia near the sea or a lagoon. It is said that the 'principle of agriculture' was revealed by a god to the first king of Eridu: Emmeduranki.

Mesopotamian Proto-history

Cuneiform Language

Eridu Genesis


The Eridu Genesis is a Sumerian text. It covers the creation of the world, invention of cities and the flood. After the universe was created out of the chaos of the sea, the gods evolved and they in turn created mankind to farm, herd and worship them.

From Zechariah Sitchin's book 'The Cosmic Code', we find on page 42, "There was a time, the Sumerians told, when civilized Man was not yet on Earth, when animals were only wild and undomesticated and crops were not yet cultivated. At that long-ago time there arrived on Earth a group of fifty Anunnaki. Led by a leadere whose name was E.A. (meaning "whose home in water"), they journeyed from their home planet NIBIRU ("Planet of crossing") and reaching Earth, splashed down in the waters of the Persian Gulf. A text known to scholars as the 'myth" of EA and the Earth describes how that group waded ashore, finding themselves in a marshland. Their first task was to drain the marshes, clear river channels, check out food sources (found to be fish and fowl). They then egan to make bricks from the clay of the soil and established the first ever settlement on Earth by extraterrestrials. They named the habitat ERIDU, which meant "Home in the Farawa" or "Home away from home." That name is the origin of the name "earth" in soem of the oldest languages. The time: 445,000 years ago.

The astronauts mission was to obtain gold by extracting it from the waters of the gulf - gold needed for survival on Nibiru; for there the planet waslosing its atmosphere and thus also its internal heat, slowly endangering continued life on Nibiru. But the plan proved unworkable, and the leaders back home decided that gold could be obtained only the hard way - by mining it where it was in abundance, in southeastern Africa.

The new plan called fora substantial increase in the number of Anunnaki on Earth, and in time they numbered six hundred.

Eventually, the workers got tired of the backbreaking labor and they revolted. That was when Man was created - to do the hard labor.

Zechariah Sitchin, in his book 'The Stairway to Heaven', on page 296 states: "Somewhere along the 'Line of Jerusalem', the central flight line that was anchored on Mount Ararat, the Spaceport itself had to be located. There too, the final beacon had to be located. "Mount Sinai, in the center of the desert."

It is here, we suggest, that the dividing line which we now call the Thirtieth Parallel (north) had come into play.

We know from Sumerian astronomical texts that the skies enveloping Earth, were so divided as to separate the northern 'way' (allotted to Enlil) from the southern 'way' (allotted to EA) with a wide central band considered the 'Way of Anu'. It is only natural to assume that a dividing line between the two rival brothers should also have been established AFTER the deluge when the settled Earth was divided into the Four Regions, and that, as in pre-Diluvial times, the Thirtieth Parallels (north and south) served as demarcation lines.

Was it mere coincidence, or a deliberate compromise between the two brothers and their feuding descendants, that in each of the three regions given to Mankind, the sacred city was located on the Thirtieth Parallel?

The Sumerian texts state that "When Kingship is lowered from Heaven" after the Deluge, "Kingship was in Eridu."  Eridu was situation astride the Thirtieth Parallel as close to it as the marshy waters of the Persian Gulf permitted. While the administrative-secular center of Sumer shifted from time to time, Eridu remained a sacred city for all time.

The sanctity of the Thirtieth Parallel must be traced back to the Sacred Grid, when the divine measurers determined the location of the pyramids of Giza, also on the Thirtieth Parallel. Could the gods have given up this 'sanctity' or neutrality of the Thirtieth Parallel when it came to their most vital installation - The Spaceport - in their own Fourth Region, in the Sinai peninsula?

On page 76 of Sitchin's book 'The Wars of Gods and Men', he states: "In all these writings, be it long epic tales or two-line proverbs, in inscriptions mundane or divine, the same facts emerge as an unshakable tenet of the Sumerians and the peoples that followed them. In bygone days, the DIN.GIR - "The Righteous Ones of the Rocketships," the beings the Greeks began to call 'gods' - had come to Earth from their own planet. They chose southern Mesopotamia to be their home away from home. They called the land KI.EN.GIR - "Land of the Lord of the Rockets" (the Akkadian name, Shumer, meant "Land of the Guardians"), and they established there the first settlements on Earth.

The statement that the first to establish settlements on earth were astronauts from another planet was not lightly made by the Sumerians. In text after text, whenever the starting point was called, it was always this: 432,000 years before the Deluge, the DIN.GIR ("Righteous Ones of the Rocketships") came down to Earth from their own planet. The Sumerians considered it a twelfth member of our Solar System - a system made up of the Sun in the center, the Moon, all the nine planets we know of today, and one more large planet whose orbit lasts a 'Sar' (3,600 Earth years). This orbit, they wrote, takes the planet to a 'station' in the distant heavens, the brings it back to Earth's vicinity, crossing between Mars and Jupiter. It was in that position - as depicted ina 4,500 year old Sumerian drawing that the planet obtained its name NIBIRU ('Crossing') and its symbol, the Cross.

The leader of the astronauts who had come to Earth from Nibiru, we know from numerous ancient texts, was called E.A. ("Whose House Is Water"); after he had landed and established Eridu, the first Earth Station, he assumed the title EN.KI ("Lord of Earth").

A text that was discovered in the ruins of Sumer records his landing on Earth as a first-person report:

When I approached Earth
there was much flooding.
When I approached its green meadows,
heaps and mounds were piled up at my command.
I built my house in a pure place ...
My house - its shade stretches over the Snake Marsh.

The text then proceeds to describe Ea's efforts to build extraordinary waterworks in the marshlands at the head of the Persian Gulf. He surveyed the marshlands, cut canals for drainage and water control, built dykes, dug ditches, and built structures of bricks molded from the local clays. He joined the Tigris and Euphrates rivers by canals; and at the end of the marshlands he built his Water House, with a wharf and other facilities.

On page 87, we are told: As more Anunnaki landed on Earth - their number rose in time to 600 - some were assigned to the Lower World to help Enki mine the gold, others manned the ore ships; and the rest stayed with Enlil in Mesopotamia. There, additional settlements were established in accordance with a master plan laid out by Enlil, as part of a complete organizational plan of action and clear-cut procedures.

He perfected the procedures, the divine ordinances;
Established five cities in perfect places,
Called them by name,
Laid them out as centers.
The first of these cities, Eridu,
He granted to Nudimmud, the pioneer.

Each of these pre-Diluvial settlements in Mesopotamia had a specific function, revealed by its name.

First was E.RI.DU - "House Faraway Built" the gold extracting facility by the water's edge, which for all time remained Ea's Mesopotamian abode.

Next came BAD.TIBIRA - "Bright Place Where the Ores Are Made Final" - the metallurgical center for smelting and refining.

Next LA.RA.AK - "Seeing the Bright glow" - was a beacon-city to guide the landing shuttlecraft.

SIPPAR - "Bird City" - was the Landing Place

SHU.RUP.PAK - "the place of Utmost Well Being" - was equipped as a medical center; it was put in charge of SUD ("She Who Resuscitates") a half-sister of both Enki and Enlil.

Another beacon city, LA.AR.SA ("Seeing the Red Light"), was also built, for the complex operation depended on close coordination between the Anunnaki, who had landed on Earth and 300 astronauts, called IGI.GI ("Those Who See and Observe"), who remained in constant Earth orbit. Acting as intermediaries between Earth and Nibiru, the Igigi stayed in Earth's skies on orbiting platforms, to which the processed ores were delivered from Earth by shuttlecraft, thereafter to be transferred to proper spaceships, which could ferry the gold to the Home Planet as it periodically neared Earth in its vast elliptical orbit. Astronauts and equipment were delivered to Earth by the same stages, in reverse.

On page 192, we are told:  "It is no accident, we have maintained, that mankind's advancement from the Stone Age to the high civilization of Sumer occurred in 3,600 year intervals - circa 11,000, 7,400, and 3800 B.C.  It was as though 'a mysterious hand' had each time 'picked Man out of his decline and raised him to an even higher level of culture, knowledge and civilization', Each instance, we hold, coincided with the recurrence of the time when the Anunnaki could come and go between Earth and Nibiru.

There were cities prior to the deluge and after.  Sitchin tells us further:  When the reconstruction of Sumer began, first to have been rebuilt on its soil were the Olden Cities but no longer as exclusive Cities of the Gods; for mankind was now allowed into these urban centers to tend the surrounding fields, orchards, and cattlefolds in behalf of the gods, and to be in the service of the gods in all conceivable manner, not only as cooks and bakers, artisans and clothiers, but also as priests, musicians, entertainers, and temple prostitutes.

First to be reestablished was Eridu. Having been Enki's first settlement on Earth, it was given to him anew in perpetuity. His initial shrine there - a marvel of architecture in those early days - was in time raised and expanded to a magnificent temple-abode, the E.EN.GUR.RA ("House of the Lord Whose Return Is Triumphant"), adorned with gold, silver, and precious metals from the Lower World and protected by the "Bull of Heaven". For Enlil and Ninlil Nippur was reestablished; there they raised a new Ekur ("Mountain House") - this time equipped not as Mission Control Center, but with awesome weapons: "The Lifted Eye which scans the land", and "the Lifted Beam", which penetrates all. Their sacred site also housed Enlil's "Fast-stepping Bird" whose grasp no one could escape."

A "Hymn to Eridu" edited and translated by A Falkenstein (Sumer, vol. VII) describes how enki traveled to attend a gathering of all the great gods; the occasion was a visit by Anu to Earth, for one of those deliberations that determined the fate of gods and men on Earth every 3,600 years.

The Deluge - (Noah and the Ark)

In Zechariah Sitchin's book, 'When Time Began', he tells us on page 81, "... there were Cities of the Gods in Mesopotamia before the Deluge, and that when the Deluge had occurred, there had already been 'demigods' (offspring of "Daughters of Man" by male Anunnaki Gods"), but also that the worship took place in consecrated places (we call them temples) They were already, we learn from the earliest texts, 'Temples of Time'.

The two sons of Anu - were the half brothers Enlil ("Lord of the Command") and Enki ("Lord of Earth"). Enki was assigned the gold-mining operations in Africa. The workers (created through genetic engineering)  mutinied.  These 'Primitive Workers' were charged with excessive conjugations, especially with the Anunnaki. There was a great Council meeting of the Anunnaki and it was decided to wipe Mankind off the face of the Earth.

Cities and kingship was created but the gods decided to destroy mankind with a flood. Ziusudra (Upnapishtim) from Eridu was instructed by Enki (Ea) to build a boat to survive the flood blown up by Enlil. After the flood he worshipped (prostrated) himself before An (Anu) and Enlil (Bel) and was given immortality for his godly life.

Nintur was paying attention:
Let me bethink myself of my humankind,
all forgotten as they are;
and mindful of mine,
Nintur's creatures let me bring them back
let me lead the people back from their trails.

May they come and build cities and cult places,
that I may cool myself in their shade;
may they lay the bricks for the cult cities in pure spots
and may they found places for divination in pure spots!

She gave directions for purification and cries for clemency,
the things that cool divine wrath,
perfected the divine service and the august offices,
said to the surrounding regions: "Let me institute peace there!"

When An, Enlil, Enki and Ninhursaga
fashioned the dark-headed people
they had made the small animals that come up from out of the earth,
come from the earth in abundance
and had let there be, as it befits it, gazelles
wild donkeys, and four-footed beasts in the desert.

...and let me have him advise;
let me have him oversee their labor,
and let him teach the nation to follow along
unerringly like cattle!

When the royal scepter was coming down from heaven,
the august crown and the royal throne being already
down from heaven,
he (the king) regularly performed to perfection
the august divine services and offices,
laid the bricks of those cities in pure spots.
They were named by name and allotted half-bushel baskets.

The firstling of those cities, Eridu,
she gave to the leader Nudimmud,
the second, Bad-Tibira, she gave to the prince and the sacred one,
the third, Larak, she gave to Pabilsag,
the fourth, Sippar, she gave to the gallant Utu.
The fifth, Shuruppak, she gave to Ansud.

These cities, which had been named by names,
and had been allotted half-bushel baskets,
dredged the canals, which were blocked with purplish
wind-borne clay, and they carried water.
Their cleaning of the smaller canals
established abundant growth.

That day Nintur wept over her creatures
and holy Inanna was full of grief over their people;
but Enki took counsel with his own heart.
An, Enlil, Enki, and Ninhursaga
had the gods of heaven and earth swear
by the names of An and Enlil.

At that time, Ziusudra was king
and lustration priest.
He fashioned, being a seer, the god of giddiness
and stood in awe beside it, wording his wishes humbly.

As he stood there regularly day after day
something that was not a dream was appearing:
a swearing of oaths by heaven and earth,
a touching of throats
and the gods bringing their thwarts up to Kiur.

And as Ziusudra stood there beside it, he went on hearing:
Step up to the wall to my left and listen!
Let me speak a word to you at the wall
and may you grasp what I say,
may you heed my advice!
By our hand a flood will sweep over
the cities of the half-bushel baskets, and the country;
the decision, that mankind is to be destroyed
has been made.

A verdict, a command of the assembly cannot be revoked,
an order of An and Enlil is not known
ever to have been countermanded,
their kingship, their term, has been uprooted
they must bethink themselves of that.

What I have to say to you...

"The 'Eridu Genesis'...described the creation of man by the four great gods [the Anunnaki]: An ['Sky', the source of rain and most powerful of the gods], Enlil ['Lord Wind', the power in 'Growing Weather', creator of the hoe], Ninhursaga ['Lady of the Stony Ground', mother of wildlife], and Enki [rival of Ninhursaga]. After Nintur [Ninhursaga] had decided to turn man from his primitive nomadic camping grounds toward city life the period began when animals flourished on earth and kingship came down from heaven. The earliest cities were built, were named, had the measuring cups, emblems of a redistributional economic system, allotted to them, and were divided between the gods. Irrigation agriculture was developed and man thrived and multiplied. However, the noise made by man in his teeming settlements began to vex Enlil sorely, and, driven beyond endurance, he persuaded the other gods to wipe out man in an great flood. Enki, thinking quickly, found a way to warn his favorite, one Ziusudra. He told him to build a boat in which to survive the flood with his family and representatives of the animals." - Thorkild Jacobsen, The Treasures of Darkness

"Tear down the house, build a ship!
Give up possessions, seek thou life!
Forswear belongings, keep soul alive!
Aboard ship take thou the seed of all living things.
That ship thou shalt build;
Her dimensions shall be to measure."

- Sumerian Text

"Ziusudra wisely followed Enki's instructions and after the flood had abated Enki was able to persuade the other gods not only to spare Ziusudra but to give him eternal life as a reward for having saved all living things from destruction."

Enki "persuades, tricks, or evades to gain his ends. He is the cleverest of the gods, the one who can plan and organize and think of ways out when no one else can. He is the counselor and adviser, the expert and the trouble-shooter, or manipulator, of the ruler; not the ruler himself. He organizes and runs the world, but at the behest of An and Enlil, not for himself; he save mankind and the animals from extinction in the flood, but does not challenge Enlil's continued rule. His aim is a workable compromise, avoiding extremes." Thorkild Jacobsen, The Treasures of Darkness

All the evil winds, all stormy winds gathered into one
and with them, then, the flood was sweeping over the cities of
the half-bushel baskets
for seven days and seven nights.
After the flood had swept over the country,
after the evil wind had tossed the big boat
about on the great waters,
the sun came out spreading light
over heaven and earth.

Ziusudra then drilled an opening in the big boat.
And the gallant Utu sent his light
into the interior of the big boat.
Ziusudra, being king,
stepped up before Utu kissing the ground
before him.

The king was butchering oxen,
was being lavish with the sheep
Barley cakes, crescents together with...

...he was crumbling for him
juniper, the pure plant of the
mountains, he filled on the fire
and with a ...clasped to
the breast he...

You here have sworn
by the life's breath of heaven
the life's breath of earth
that he verily is allied with yourself;
you there, An and Enlil,
have sworn by the life's breath of heaven,
the life's breath of earth.
that he is allied with all of you.
He will disembark the small animals
that come up from the earth!

Ziusudra, being king,
stepped up before An and Enlil
kissing the ground.
And An and Enlil after honoring him
were granting him life like a god's,
were making lasting breath of life, like a god's,
descend into him.

That day they made Ziusudra,
preserver, as king, of the name of the small
animals and the seed of mankind,
live toward the east over the mountains
in mount Dilmun.

(Sumerian Text taken from

In the text of Atra-Hasis, Enki, swore to keep the decision a secret, but his conscience bothered him so much, he couldn't keep it to himself. He decided to tell Mankind of what was going to happen through his faithful worshipper Ziusudra, a son of Enki by a human mother.  In other words 'Noah' was actually Enki's son.

There were worsening climatic conditions during the period prior to the Deluge, and Enki told Ziusudra to stop worshipping the gods. The situation got continually worse and the catastrophe neared, Ziusudra persisted in his intercession with his god Enki. He wept, begged, brought gifts, seeking Enki's help to avert Mankind's demise. Finally, Enki told him that he had seven days left before the catastrophe happened.  There was a temple in Eridu with a water-clock and Enki set the clock in motion so Ziusudra knew how long he had left before Mankind would be destroyed by water.

Here is the key to the destruction and how it happened.  In the Sumerian King lists, it lists the first ten leaders before the Deluge as 'Sars', the 3,600 year cycles that it took Nibiru to make the round trip . According to the texts 120 Sars had passed, which equals 432,000 earth-years.  It was on the 120th orbit that the gravitational pull of Nibiru was such that it caused the ice sheet that accumulated over Antarctica to slip off into the souther ocean, creating the immense tidal wave that engulfed the Earth - the great flood or Deluge, recorded in the Bible from much earlier and much more detailed Sumerian sources.

[Ed Note: In the years 2002/2003 - there is a great melting going on in Antartica with huge glaciers falling off the coastlines once again. Nibiru is being predicted to return May 15, 2003. Whether it is or not, is up for debate.]

See:  Genesis 6 - 7  

That event brought a sudden end to the ice age 13,000 years ago, and was thus recorded in Earth's cycles as a major geological and climatic change. It also ended what was called the Pleistocene Age. Because of this event, there were sea-level changes as well as climate changes. We are also told that the 'Heaven's' came undone, which meant that they looked different from Earth than they did before, which might indicate that the Earth tilted differently than it had before because of the release of weight of the ice in Antarctica.

After the Deluge

On the eve of the Deluge, the Anunnaki took to their craft to escape the calamity, watching the havoc and total destruction from Earth's skies. Not only Mankind perished: All that the Anunnaki had built in the past 432,000 years was wiped off the face of the Earth or buried under miles-thick layers of mud; and that included the spaceport they had in the E.DIN.

As soon as the tidal wave began to recede, they could bring their Earth-orbiting craft down on the Near East's highest peaks, the peaks of Ararat. As more of the dry land appeared, they could use the Landing Place - a vast stone platform that had been erected before the Flood in the Cedar Mountains of what is now Lebanon. But to resume the space operations they needed a spaceport; and the decision was made to erect it in the Sinai peninsula. The Landing Corridor, as before the Flood, was anchored on the conspicuous twin peaks of Mount Ararat; the Landing Place was incorporated; a new Mission Control Center (to replace the one that had been in pre-Diluvial Nippur) was selected; and two artificial twin peaks, to anchor the Landing Corridor's terminus, were erected - the two still-standing great pyramiids at Giza in Egypt.

See:  Giza Pyramid and the Null Zone

Excavators of the ancient temples of Enlil in Nippur's sacred precinct, found five successive constructions between 2200 B.C. and 600 B.c., the latter having its floor some twenty feet above the former. The report also noted that the five temples were "built one above the other on exactly the same plan."

The discovery that later temples were erected upon the foundations of earlier temples in strict adherence to the original plans was reconfirmed at other ancient sites in Mesopotamia. The rule applied even to enlargement of temples - even if ore than once, as was found in Eridu.  In all instances the original axis and orientation were retained. Unlike the Egyptian temples whose solstitial orientation had to be realigned from time to time because of the change in the Earth's tilt. Mesopotamian equinoctial temples needed no adjustment in their orientation because geographic north and geographic east, by definition remained unchanged no matter how the Earth's tilt had changed, the Sun always passed over the equator at "equinox" times, rising on such days precisely in the east.

War of Gods and Men

Unfortunately, the gods were not a peaceful bunch, and they warred with each other. The Sinai peninsula contains a blackened scar from a nuclear blast that can still be seen today with satellite photographs.

The wars can be read about in the Bible, in the book of Lamentations.  Here is an example

Lamentations 4:  

5 They that did feed delicately are desolate in the streets: they that were brought up in scarlet embrace dunghills.
6 For the punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the punishment of the sin of Sodom, that was overthrown as in a moment, and no hands stayed on her.
7 Her Nazarites were purer than snow, they were whiter than milk, they were more ruddy in body than rubies, their polishing was of sapphire:
8 [but now] Their visage is blacker than a coal; they are not known in the streets: their skin cleaveth to their bones; it is withered, it is become like a stick.
9 They that be slain with the sword are better than they that be slain with hunger: for these pine away, stricken through for want of the fruits of the field.
10 The hands of the pitiful women have sodden their own children: they were their meat in the destruction of the daughter of my people.
11 The LORD hath accomplished his fury; he hath poured out his fierce anger, and hath kindled a fire in Zion, and it hath devoured the foundations thereof.
12 The kings of the earth, and all the inhabitants of the world, would not have believed that the adversary and the enemy should have entered into the gates of Jerusalem [parallels S.L.C., even geographically].
13 For the sins of her prophets, and the iniquities of her priests, that have shed the blood of the just in the midst of her,
14 They have wandered as blind men in the streets [compare Isa. 28:7; 56:10-12], they have polluted themselves with blood, so that men could not touch their garments.
15 They cried unto them, Depart ye; it is unclean; depart, depart, touch not [Isa. 52:10; Alma 5:57]: when they fled away and wandered, they said among the heathen, They shall no more sojourn there.
16 The anger of the LORD hath divided them; he will no more regard them: they respected not the persons of the priests, they favoured not the elders.

Let us hope and pray this is never repeated.  On page 336 of 'The Wars of God and Men' Sitchin tells us:

Invasion, war, killing - all those evils were well known to mankind by then, but as the Lamentation texts clearly state, this one was unique and never experienced before.

On the Land (Sumer) fell a calamity,
one unknown to man.
One that had never been seen before,
one that could not be withstood.

The death was not by the hand of an enemy; it was an unseen death, "which roams the streets, is let loose on the road; it stands beside a man - yet one can see it; when it enters a house, its appearance is unknown." There was no defense against this "evil" which has assailed the land like a ghost ... The highest wall,t he thickest walls, it passes as a flood; no door can shut it out, no bolt can turn it back, through the door like a snake it glides, through the hinge like a wind it blows in." Those who hid behind doors were felled inside; those who ran to the rooftops died on the rooftops; those who fled to the streets were stricken in the streets: "Cough and phlegm weakened the chest, the mouth was filled with spittle and foam ... dumbness and daze have come upon them, an unwholesome numbness ... an evil curse , a headache ... this spirit abandoned their bodies." As they died, it was a most gruesome death:

The people, terrified, could hardly breathe;
the Evil Wind clutched them,
does not grant them another day . . .
Mouths were drenched in blood,
heads wallowed in blood . . .
The face was made pale by the Evil Wind.

"The source of the unseen death was a cloud that appeared in the skies of Sumer and "covered the land as a cloak, spread over it like a sheet." Brownish in colour, during the daytime "the sun in the horizon it obliterated with darkness." At night, luminous at its edges ("Girt with dread brilliance it filled the broad earth") it blocked out the moon: "the moon at its rising it extinguished...."

"It was not, however, a natural phenomenon. It was "a great storm directed from Anu . . . it hath come from the heart of Enlil." The product of the seven awesome weapons....were launched from the skies, there was an immense brilliance: "they spread awesome rays towards the four points of the earth, scorching everything like fire,"  "The two valiant sons - Ninurta and Nergal - unleashed "in a single spawning" the seven awesome weapons created by Anu.

Another text states, "the storm, in a flash of lightning created," An atomic mushroom - "a dense cloud that brings gloom" - then rose to the sky, it was followed by "rushing wind gusts ... a tempest that furiously scorches the heavens." spread toward Mesopotamia: "the dense clouds that  bring gloom from the sky, that bear the gloom from city to city."

Not one, but several texts attest that the Evil Wind, bearing the cloud of death, was caused by gigantic explosions on a day to remember:

On that day
When heaven was crushed
and the Earth was smitten,
its face obliterated by the maelstrom-
When the skies were darkened
and covered as with a shadow ...

"Though the people were baffled, the gods knew the cause of the Evil Wind:

An evil blast heralded the baleful storm,
An evil blast the forerunner
of the baleful storm was;
Mighty offspring, valiant sons
were the heralds of the pestilence.

....The Uruk Lament vividly describes the confusion among both the gods and the populace. Stating that Anu and Enlil had overruled Enki and Ninki when they "determined the consensus" to employ the nuclear weapons, the text asserts that none of the gods anticipated the awesome outcome: "The great gods paled at its immensity" as they witnessed the explosion's "gigantic rays reach up to heaven [and] the earth trembled to its core."

....Ninki, we learn from The Eridu Lament, flew away from her city to a safe haven in Africa: "Ninki, its great lady, flying like a bird, left her city." But Enki left Eridu only far enough to get out of the Evil Wind's way, yet near enough to see its fate: its lord stayed outside his city . . . Father Enki stayed outside the city . . . for the fate of his harmed city he wept with bitter tears." Many of his loyal subjects followed him, camping on its outskirts. For a day and a night they watched the storm "put its hand" on Eridu.... Enki surveyed Eridu....Those who were saved addressed to him a lament.... and they kept on asking whence should they go, what should they do. But though the Evil Wind had passed, the place was still unsafe.... "Forsaking the house of Eridu," Enki then led "those who have been displaced from Eridu" to the desert, "towards an inimical land"; there he used his scientific powers to make "the foul tree" edible.

"From the northern edge of the Evil Wind's side swath, from Babylon, a worried Marduk sent his father, Enki, an urgent message as the cloud of death neared his city. "What am I to do?" he asked. Enki's advice, which Marduk then related to his followers, was that those who could should leave the city - but go only north; and in line with the advice given by the two emissaries to Lot, the people fleeing Babylon were warned "neither to turn nor to look back...." If escape was not possible, Enki advised hiding underground: "Get thee into a chamber below the earth, into a darkness," until the Evil Wind was gone.

It was seven years before life began to stir again in this area.

Editor's note:  One must ask oneself: "How close are we to doing this again in the same place"?

It wasn't until 70 years later that the temple in Nippur was restored.

Nippur - Sacred City  The importance of the Mesopotamian holy city, Nippur, is reflected even today in the great size of the mound, Nuffar, located between Baghdad and Basra in southern Iraq. Nippur was one of the longest-lived sites, beginning in the prehistoric Ubaid period (c. 5000 B. C. ) and lasting until about A. D. 800, in the Islamic era (Gibson 1992).

From earliest recorded times, Nippur was a sacred city, not a political capital. It was this holy character which allowed Nippur to survive numerous wars and the fall of dynasties that brought destruction to other cities. Although not a capital, the city had an important role to play in politics. Kings, on ascending the throne in cities such as Kish, Ur, and Isin, sought recognition at Ekur, the temple of Enlil, the chief god of the Mesopotamian pantheon. In exchange for such legitimization the kings lavished gifts of land, precious metals and stones, and other commodities on the temples and on the city as a whole. At the end of successful wars, rulers would present booty, including captives, to Enlil and the other gods at Nippur. Most important, kings carried out for the city elaborate construction and restoration of temples, public administrative buildings, fortification walls, and canals. Even after 1800 B. C., when the Babylonians made Marduk the most important god in southern Mesopotamia, Enlil was still revered, kings continued to seek legitimization at Nippur, and the city remained the recipient of pious donations. The city underwent periodic declines in importance [Gibson 1992) but rose again because its function as a holy center was still needed. The greatest growth of the city, which occurred under the Ur III kings (c. 2100 B.C), was almost matched in the time of the Kassites (c. 1250 B.C.) and in the period when the Assyrians, from northern Iraq, dominated Babylonia (c. 750-612 B.C.).

The catastrophic abandonment of the heart of Babylonia, with a subsequent formation of dunes, was not to be reversed until about 1300 B.C., when irrigation water was brought back to the center of the country by the Kassite dynasty. As the Kassites began to revive Nippur and the other cities, they must have done a kind of archaeology to allow them to identify individual buildings. Only such a procedure can explain how, after hundreds of years of abandonment, the Kassites could have placed their versions of the Inanna Temple, the North Temple, the temple in WA, and other buildings, over their Old Babylonian predecessors. The reconstruction by the Kassites of this holiest of cities on so grand a scale and with such care for detail is consistent with that dynasty's deliberate efforts to revive other aspects of ancient Mesopotamian culture, such as a resurrection of the long-dead Sumerian language and literature.

Does NIBIRU really exist? Will it Return?  

According to Zechariah Sitchin in his book 'Genesis Revisited' on page 314, he states, "as early as 1968 the U.S. National Security Agency, in a study dealing with the UFO phenomenon, analyzed the consequences of a 'confrontation between a technologically advanced extraterrestrial society and an inferior one on Earth."

For some time astronomers have been puzzled by perturbation sin the orbits of Uranus and Neptune considered the possibility of the existence of one more planet farther out from the Sun. They designate it Planet X, meaning both "unknown" and "tenth". In 'The 12th Planet', it was explained that Planet X and Nibiru would be one and the same, because the Sumerians considered the Solar System to have twelve members; the Sun, Moon, the original nine planets, and the planet that became the twelfth member, the Invader, Nibiru/Marduk.

It was, in fact, due to perturbation sin their orbits that the discovery of Uranus led to the discovery of Neptune, and thence to that of Pluto (in 1930) Working 1972 on the anticipate trajectory of Halley's comet, Joseph L. Brady of the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in California discovered that Halley's orbit was also perturbed. His computations led him to suggest the existence of Planet X at a distance of 64 AU with an orbital period of 1,800 Earth-years. Since he, and all other astronomers looking for Planet X, assume it orbits the Sun as the other planets do, they measure the planet's distance from the Sun by half of its major axis. But according to Sumerian evidence, Nibiru orbits the sun like a comet, with the Sun at an extreme focus, so that the distance from the sun would be almost the whole major axis, not just half of it.  Could the fact that the Nibiru is on its way back toward its perigee account for the fact that Brady's 1,800 year orbit is exactly half the 3,600 Earth-years orbit the Sumerians recorded for Nibiru?

Intrigued by their findings, Robert S Harrington and Thomas C Van Flandern, of the U.S. Naval Observatory, concluded after a series of computer simulations that there had to be an Intruder, a planet two to five times the size of Earth, in an inclined orbit, with a semi-axis of "less than 100 aU". This was another step in the confirmation by modern science of ancient knowledge; the whole concept of an Intruder that had caused all the oddities was in accord with the Sumerian tale of Nibiru; and the distance of 100 AU, if doubled due to the Sun's focal position, would place Planet X about where the Sumerians had sited it.

Van Flandern's thoughts on what happened to Nibiru

In 1981, with the data from Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 and from the two Voyagers on Jupiter and Saturn in hand, Van Flandern and four colleagues at the U.S. Naval Observatory restudied these planets' orbits as well as those of the outer planets. Addressing the American Astronomical Society, Van Flandern presented new evidence, based on complex gravitational equations, that a body at least twice the size of Earth orbits the Sun at a distance of at least 1.5 billion miles beyond Pluto, with an orbital period of at least 1,000 years.

The search for Planet x was then joined by NASA, primarily under the direction of John D Anderson of JPL, then the celestial-mechanics experimenter for the Pioneers. In a statement issued from its Ames Research Center on June 17, 1982, and headlined "Pioneers May Find Tenth Planet" NASA disclosed that the two spacecraft had been enlisted in the search for Planet X. "Persistent irregularities in the orbits of Uranus and Neptune strongly suggest that some kind of mystery object is really there - far beyond the outermost planets." the NASA statement said. Because the Pioneers were traveling in opposite directions, they would be able to determine how far away that body is: if one of them sensed a stronger pull, the mystery body is near and must be a planet; if both sensed the same pull, the body must be between 50 and 100 billion miles away and might be a "dark star" or "brown dwarf", but not another member of the Solar System.

In September of that year, 1982, the U.S. Naval Observatory confirmed that it was "seriously pursuing" the search for Planet X. Dr. Harington said his team has "narrowed themselves to a fairly small portion of the sky." and added that the conclusion by then was that the planet "was moving much more slowly than any of the planets that we now know."

It is known that on various secret missions of the U.S. space shuttles, new telescopic devices for scanning the distant skies were employed, and that Soviet cosmonauts aboard the Salyut space station were equally engaged in secret searches for the planet.

Among the myriad dots of light in the heavens, planets (as well as comets and asteroids) are distinguished from fixed stars and galaxies because they move. The technique it to take photographs of the same portion of the sky several times and then "blink the photos on a comparing viewer; to the trains eye, this reveals whether some point of light has moved.

In 1983, IRAS, a heat sensing satelite was launched. It took more than 600,000 images in its 10 months of operation. It discovered several moving objects. These included five previously known comets, several comets that astronomers had 'lost', four new asteroids - and "an enigmatic comet-like object.".

In spite of official denials, a disclosure did leak out at the end of the year.  The story was majorly ignored by the media, but Thomas O'Toole of the Washington Post Science Editor carried the story, "Giant Object Mystifies Astronomers.". It was also called, "Mystery Body Found in Space", and "At Solar System's Edge Giant Object is a Mystery."  He stated in his article that the mystery object was found in the direction of the constellation Orion and is about the size of Neptune.

With an orbit that emulates that of Halley's comet, planet X spends part of its time above the ecliptic (in the northern skies) and most below it (in the southern skies)  Increasingly, the U.S. Naval Observatory team decided that the search for Planet X at present should focus on the southern hemisphere. at a distance about 2.5 times farther away than Neptune and Pluto are now.

Sumerian astronomy envisaged the heavens surrounding Earth as divided into three bands or "Ways". The central band was the "Way of Anu" ruler of Nibiru, and it extended from 30 degrees north to 30 degrees south. Above it was "The way of Enlil", and below it, "The Way of EA/Enki".  That made no sense to modern astronomers studying the Sumerian texts.

But this text explains where Nibiru is:

Planet Marduk
Upon its appearance: Mercury.
Rising 30 degrees of the celestial arc: Jupiter.
When standing in the place of the celestial battle:

These instructions for observing the incoming planet clearly refer to its progression from an alignment with Mercury to an alignment with Jupiter by rising 30 degrees. This could happen only if the orbit of Nibiru/Marduk is inclined 30 degrees to the ecliptic. Appearing 30 degrees above the ecliptic and disappearing (to a viewer in Mesopotamia) 30 degrees below it, creates the "Way of Anu", which forms a band extending 30 degrees above and below the equator.

The thirtieth parallel north, was a "sacred" line along which the spaceport in the Sinai peninsula, the great pyramids of Giza, ad the gaze of the Sphinx were located. It seems plausible that the alignment had to do with Nibiru's position, 30 degrees in the northern skies, as it reached the perihelion in its orbit. By concluding that the inclination of Planet X might be as high as 30 degrees, modern astronomers corroborate Sumerian astronomical data.

In that same declination, the planet is orbiting toward us from the southeast, the direction of the constellation Centaurus. Nowadays we see there the zodiac constellation Libra; but in Babylonian/biblical times that was the place of Sagittarius.

The incoming planet as it curves around Jupiter will arrive at the place of the Celestial Battle in the asteroid belt, the "Place of Crossing" (and hence the name Nibiru).

When from the station of Jupiter
the planet passes toward the west,
there will be a time of dwelling in security...
When from the station of Jupiter
the Planet increases in brilliance
and in the Zodiac of Cancer will become Nibiru,
Akkad will overflow with plenty.

It can be simply illustrated that when the planet's perihelion was in Cancer, its first appearance had to be from the direction of Sagittarius. In this regard it is pertinent to quote the biblical verses from the Book of Job that describe the appearance of the Celestial Lord and its return to its distant abode:

Alone He stretches out the heavens
and treads upon the farthest Deep.
He arrives at the Great Bear, Orion and Sirius
and the constellations of the south ...

He smiles his face upon Taurus and Aries;

From Taurus to Sagittarius He shall go.

It is not just an arrival from the southeast (and the return thereto) but also a description of a retrograde orbit.

Purchase Zechariah Sitchin's Books

Editors note: I hate to pass on rumours, the the latest abductee story I heard was that the original nice guys were kicked off of Nibiru, and now all that remains are nasty Reptilians.  How one knows that for sure, I don't know.  What you read on the internet leaves a lot to be desired as well.  Some people say that Planet X is a brown dwarf star.  If that's the case, then its NOT Nibiru. Nibiru is a RED PLANET.  I guess we'll find out when it gets closer.  

Here are the latest pics.


In the early 1990's, calculations by the United States Naval Observatory have confirmed the orbital perturbation exhibited by Uranus and Neptune, which Dr. Thomas C Van Flandern, an astronomer at the observatory, says could be explained by "a single undiscovered planet". He and a colleague, Dr. Robert Harrington, calculate that the 10th planet should be two to five times more massive than Earth and have a highly elliptical orbit that takes it some 5 billion miles beyond that of Pluto.

We know today that beyond the giant planets Jupiter and Saturn lie more major planets, Uranus and Neptune, and a small planet, Pluto. But such knowledge is quiet recent. Uranus was discovered, through the use of improved telescopes, in 1781. Neptune was pinpointed by astronomers (guided by mathematical calculations) in 1846. It became evident that Neptune was being subjected to unknown gravitational pull, and in 1930 Pluto (was located). The latest advances in space imaging do not rely solely on orbital perturbations as the way for locating and identifying possible candidates for Planet X.

The Exploded Planet Hypothesis

Harrington: Location of Planet X

A major and outspoken study on the subject was made public in 1978 by Thomas C. Van Flandern of the U.S. naval Observatory, Washington, D.C. (Icarus, 36)....

"Summarizing his findings, Van Flandern said thus in 1978:

"The principal conclusion of this paper is that the comets originated in a breakup event in the inner solar system.

In all probability it was the same event which gave rise to the asteroid belt and which produced most of the meteors visble today."

"He said that it was less certain that the same "breakup event" may have also given birth to the satellites of Mars and the outer satellites of Jupiter, and he estimated that the "breakup event" occurred five million years ago. He has no doubt, however, that the "breakup event" took place "in the asteroid belt." Physical, chemical, and dynamic properties of the resulting celestial bodies, he stated emphatically, indicate "that a large planet did disintegrate" where the asteroid belt is today.

""The most frequently asked question about this scenario" Van Flandern wrote, "is 'how can a planet blow up?' . . . There is presently," he conceded, "no satisfactory answer to this question."

"No satisfactory answer, that is, except the Sumerian one: the tale of Tiamat and Nibiru/Marduk, the Celestial Battle, the breakup of half of Tiamat, the annihilation of its moons (except for "Kingu"), and the forcing of their remains into a retrograde orbit . . .

Many more theories by various scholars follow at this point, regarding the mass of the supposed destroyed planet, after which Mr. Sitchin adds:

"....By the acknowledgment of the existence of Nibiru and his periodic return to the Place of the Battle, the puzzle of the "missing matter" finds a solution. It also addresses the theories that place the accretions of mass by Jupiter at a relative recent time (millions, not billions, of years ago). Depending on where Jupiter was at the times of Nibiru's perihelion, the accretion might have occurred during various passages of Nibiru and not necessarily as a one-and-only event at the time of the catastrophic breakup of Tiamat. Indeed, spectographic studies of asteroids reveal that some of them "were heated within the first few hundred million years after the origin of the solar system" by heat so intense as to melt them; "iron sank to their centers, forming strong stony-iron cores, while basaltic lavas floated to their surface, producing minor planets like Vesta" (Mc Graw-Hill Encyclopedia of Astronomy). The suggested time of the catastrophe is the very time indicated in The 12th Planet - some 500 million years after the formation of the Solar System.

"Recent scientific advances in astronomy and astrophysics go beyond corroborating the Sumerian cosmogony in regard to the celestial collision as the common origin of the comets and the asteroids, the site of that collision (where the remains of the asteroid belt still orbit) or even the time of the catastrophic event (about 4 billion years ago). They also corroborate the ancient texts in the vital matter of water.

"....Tiamat was described as a "watery monster," and the Mesopotamian texts speak of the handling of her waters by Nibiru/Marduk:

Half of her he stretched as a ceiling to the Sky,
As a bar at the Place of Crossing he posted it to guard;
Not to allow her waters to escape was its command.

"The concept of an asteroid belt not only as a divider between the waters of the planet above and below it but also as a "guardian" of Tiamat's own waters is echoed in the biblical verses of Genesis, where the explanation is given that the "Hammered-out bracelet" was also called Shama'im, the place "where the waters were."

....An example is found in Psalm 104, which depicts the Creator as the Lord

Who has stretched out the Shama'im as a curtain,
Who in the waters for his ascents put a ceiling.

"These verses are almost a word-for-word copy of the verses in Enuma elish; in both instances, the placing of the asteroid belt "where the waters were."

"....If the asteroids and comets are those remains, should not they also contain water?

"What would have been a preposterous suggestion when these objects were deemed "chunks of debris" and "flying sand-banks" has turned out, as the result of recent discoveries, to be not so preposterous: the asteroids are celestial objects in which water - yes, water - is a major component.

Mr. Sitchin mentions the asteroid Ceres, first to be discovered, and the celestial body designated 2060 Chiron in which both of them traces of water were found. Mr. Sitchin then continues:

"Comet Kohoutek (1974) was studied not only from Earth but also with rockets, from orbiting manned spacecraft (Skylab) and from the Mariner 10 spacecraft that was on its way to Venus and Mercury... "The water finding, as well as that of two complex molecules in the comet's tail, are the most significant to date," stated Stephen P. Moran, who directed the scientific project for NASA.

"....Subsequent cometary observations confirmed these findings.


Washington Post

Mystery Heavenly Body Discovered, a front page story

Thomas O'Toole


A heavenly body possibly as large as the giant planet Jupiter and possibly so close to Earth that it would be part of this solar system has been found in the direction of the constellation Orion by an orbiting telescope aboard the U.S. infrared astronomical satellite. So mysterious is the object that astronomers do not know if it is a planet, a giant comet, a nearby "protostar" that never got hot enough to become a star, a distant galaxy so young that it is still in the process of forming its first stars or a galaxy so shrouded in dust that none of the light cast by its stars ever gets through. "All I can tell you is that we don't know what it is," Dr. Gerry Neugebauer, IRAS chief scientist for California's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and director of the Palomar Observatory for the California Institute of Technology said in an interview.

The most fascinating explanation of this mystery body, which is so cold it casts no light and has never been seen by optical telescopes on Earth or in space, is that it is a giant gaseous planet, as large as Jupiter and as close to Earth as 50 billion miles. While that may seem like a great distance in earthbound terms, it is a stone's throw in cosmological terms, so close in fact that it would be the nearest heavenly body to Earth beyond the outermost planet Pluto. "If it is really that close, it would be a part of our solar system," said Dr. James Houck of Cornell University's Center for Radio Physics and Space Research and a member of the IRAS science team. "If it is that close, I don't know how the world's planetary scientists would even begin to classify it."

The mystery body was seen twice by the infrared satellite as it scanned the northern sky from last January to November, when the satellite ran out of the supercold helium that allowed its telescope to see the coldest bodies in the heavens. The second observation took place six months after the first and suggested the mystery body had not moved from its spot in the sky near the western edge of the constellation Orion in that time. "This suggests it's not a comet because a comet would not be as large as the one we've observed and a comet would probably have moved," Houck said. "A planet may have moved if it were as close as 50 billion miles but it could still be a more distant planet and not have moved in six months time.

Whatever it is, Houck said, the mystery body is so cold its temperature is no more than 40 degrees above "absolute" zero, which is 459 degrees Fahrenheit below zero. The telescope aboard IRAS is cooled so low and is so sensitive it can "see" objects in the heavens that are only 20 degrees above absolute zero. When IRAS scientists first saw the mystery body and calculated that it could be as close as 50 billion miles, there was some speculation that it might be moving toward Earth. "It's not incoming mail," Cal Tech's Neugebauer said. "I want to douse that idea with as much cold water as I can."


Search for the Tenth Planet

Dec 1981

Astronomers are readying telescopes to probe the outer reaches of our solar system for an elusive planet much larger than Earth. Its existence would explain a 160-year-old mystery. ... The pull exerted by its gravity would account for a wobble in Uranus' orbit that was first detected in 1821 by a French astronomer, Alexis Bouvard. Beyond Pluto, in the cold, dark regions of space, may lie an undiscovered tenth planet two to five times the size of Earth. Astronomers at the U.S. Naval Observatory (USNO) are using a powerful computer to identify the best target zones, and a telescopic search will follow soon after. ... Van Flandern thinks the tenth planet may have between two and five Earth masses and lie 50 to 100 astronomical units from the Sun. (An astronomical unit is the mean distance between Earth and the Sun.) His team also presumes that, like Pluto's, the plane of the undiscovered body's orbit is tilted with respect to that of most other planets, and that its path around the Sun is highly elliptical.

New York Times

June 19, 1982

A pair of American spacecraft may help scientists detect what could be a 10th planet or a giant object billions of miles away, the national Aeronautics and Space Administration said Thursday. Scientists at the space agency's Ames Research Center said the two spacecraft, Pioneer 10 and 11, which are already farther into space than any other man-made object, might add to knowledge of a mysterious object believed to be beyond the solar system's outermost known planets. The space agency said that persistent irregularities in the orbits of Uranus and Neptune "suggest some kind of mystery object is really there" with its distance depending on what it is. If the mystery object is a new planet, it may lie five billion miles beyond the outer orbital ring of known planets, the space agency said. If it is a dark star type of objet, it may be 50 billion miles beyond the known planets; if it is a black hole, 100 billion miles. A black hole is a hypothetical body in space, believed to be a collapsed star so condensed that neither light nor matter can escape from its gravitational field.


Does the Sun Have a Dark Companion?

June 28 1982

When scientists noticed that Uranus wasn't following its predicted orbit for example, they didn't question their theories. Instead they blamed the anomalies on an as yet unseen planet and, sure enough, Neptune was discovered in 1846. Now astronomers are using the same strategy to explain quirks in the orbits of Uranus and Neptune. According to John Anderson of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., this odd behavior suggests that the sun has an unseen companion, a dark star gravitationally bound to it but billions of miles away. ... Other scientists suggest that the most likely cause of the orbital snags is a tenth planet 4 to 7 billion miles beyond Neptune. A companion star would tug the outer planets, not just Uranus and Neptune, says Thomas Van Flandern of the U.S Naval Observatory. And where he admits a tenth planet is possible, but argues that it would have to be so big - a least the size of Uranus - that it should have been discovered by now. To resolve the question, NASA is staying tuned to Pioneer 10 and 11, the planetary probes that are flying through the dim reaches of the solar system on opposite sides of the sun.


Searching for a 10th Planet

Oct 1982

The hunt for new worlds hasn't ended. Both Uranus and Neptune follow irregular paths that observers can explain only by assuming the presence of an unknown body whose gravity tugs at the two planets. Astronomers originally though Pluto might be the body perturbing its neighbors, but the combined mass of Pluto and its moon, Charon, is too small for such a role. ... While astronomers believe that something is out there, they aren't sure what it is. Three possibilities stand out: First, the object could be a planet - but any world large and close enough to affect the orbits of Uranus and Neptune should already have been spotted. Searchers might have missed the planet, though, if it's unusually dark or has an odd orbit.

NASA has been recording velocities for a year now and will continue for as long as necessary. This past spring, it appeared that budget cuts might force the end of the Pioneer project. The space agency now believes that it will have the money to continue mission operations. Next year, the JPL group will begin analyzing the data. By the time the Pioneer experiment shows results, an Earth-orbiting infrared telescope may have discovered the body. ... Together, IRAS and the Pioneers will allow astronomers to mount a comprehensive search for new solar system members. The two deep space probes should detect bodies near enough to disturb their trajectories and the orbits or Uranus and Neptune. IRAS should detect any large body in or near the solar system. Within the next year or two, astronomers may discover not one new world, but several.

New York Times

January 30, 1983

Something out there beyond the farthest reaches of the known solar system seems to be tugging at Uranus and Neptune. Some gravitational force keeps perturbing the two giant planets, causing irregularities in their orbits. The force suggests a presence far away and unseen, a large object that may be the long- sought Planet X. ... The last time a serious search of the skies was made it led to the discovery in 1930 of Pluto, the ninth planet. But the story begins more than a century before that, after the discovery of Uranus in 1781 by the English astronomer and musician William Herschel. Until then, the planetary system seemed to end with Saturn.

As astronomers observed Uranus, noting irregularities in its orbital path, many speculated that they were witnessing the gravitational pull of an unknown planet. So began the first planetary search based on astronomers predictions, which ended in the 1840's with the discovery of Neptune almost simultaneously by English, French, and German astronomers. But Neptune was not massive enough to account entirely for the orbital behavior of Uranus. Indeed, Neptune itself seemed to be affected by a still more remote planet. In the last 19th century, two American astronomers, Willian H. Pickering and Percival Lowell, predicted the size and approximate location of the trans-Neptunian body, which Lowell called Planet X. Years later, Pluto was detected by Clyde W. Tombaugh working at Lowell Observatory in Arizona. Several astronomers, however, suspected it might not be the Planet X of prediction. Subsequent observation proved them right. Pluto was too small to change the orbits of Uranus and Neptune, the combined mass of Pluto and its recently discovered satellite, Charon, is only 1/5 that of Earth's moon.

Recent calculations by the United States Naval Observatory have confirmed the orbital perturbation exhibited by Uranus and Neptune, which Dr. Thomas C Van Flandern, an astronomer at the observatory, says could be explained by "a single undiscovered planet". He and a colleague, Dr. Richard Harrington, calculate that the 10th planet should be two to five times more massive than Earth and have a highly elliptical orbit that takes it some 5 billion miles beyond that of Pluto - hardly next-door but still within the gravitational influence of the Sun.

US News World Report

Planet X - Is It Really Out There?

Sept 10, 1984

Shrouded from the sun's light, mysteriously tugging at the orbits of Uranus and Neptune, is an unseen force that astronomers suspect may be Planet X - a 10th resident of the Earth's celestial neighborhood. Last year, the infrared astronomical satellite (IRAS), circling in a polar orbit 560 miles from the Earth, detected heat from an object about 50 billion miles away that is now the subject of intense speculation. "All I can say is that we don't know what it is yet," says Gerry Neugesbeuer, director of the Palomar Observatory for the California Institute of Technology. Scientists are hopeful that the one-way journeys of the Pioneer 10 and 11 space probes may help to locate the nameless body.



BROWN DWARF DENIS-P J104814.7-395606

Massive planet may lie beyond Pluto


Posted: October 7, 1999

The mystery object could be bigger than Jupiter, our Solar System's largest known planet. Image: NASA/JPL.

Intrigued by the fact that long-period comets observed from Earth seem to follow orbits that are not randomly oriented in space, a scientist at the Open University in the UK is arguing that these comets could be influenced by the gravity of a large undiscovered object in orbit around the Sun. Writing in the issue of the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society published on 11th October, Dr John Murray sets out a case for an object orbiting the Sun 32,000 times farther away than Earth. It would, however, be extremely faint and slow moving, and so would have escaped detection by present and previous searches for distant planets..

Long-period comets are believed to originate in a vast 'reservoir' of potential comets, known as the Oort cloud, surrounding the solar system at distances between about 10,000 and 50,000 astronomical units from the Sun. (One astronomical unit is approximately the average distance between the Earth and the Sun.) They reach Earth's vicinity in the inner solar system when their usual, remote orbits are disturbed. Only when near to the Sun do these icy objects grow the coma and tails that give them the familiar form of a comet. Dr Murray notes that the comets reaching the inner solar system include a group coming from directions in space that are strung out along an arc across the sky. He argues that this could mark the wake of some large body moving through space in the outer part of the Oort cloud, giving gravitational kicks to comets as it goes.

The object would have to be at least as massive as Jupiter to create a gravitational disturbance large enough to give rise to the observed effect, but currently favoured theories of how the solar system formed cannot easily explain the presence of a large planet so far from the Sun. If it were ten times more massive than Jupiter, it would be more akin to a brown dwarf (the coolest kind of stellar object) than a planet, brighter, and more likely to have been detected already.

So Dr Murray speculates that such an object, if it exists, will be planetary in nature and will have been captured into its present orbit since the solar system formed, even though the probability of such an event seems low on the basis of current knowledge.

Though a large, distant planet is a fascinating possibility and the evidence is suggestive, Dr Murray nevertheless stresses that he is not ruling out other possible explanations for the observed clustering of the comet orbits.

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