A group of scientists from the University of Arkansas claimed in its recently published research that Earth is bound to experience mass extinction every 27 million years.
This, according to the scientists, is due to the existence of the so-called ‘Planet 9’ or what is most popularly known as Planet X at the edge of the solar system. They claimed that this planet, which existence is still a subject of a heated debate, triggers a comet shower that results to mass extinction.
Based on their calculations and years of study, the scientists have found that the mass extinction happens every 27 million years. Since the first theory that claimed the existence of Planet X was first introduced by an astrophysicist from the University of Louisiana in Lafayette in 1985, some scientists have debunked, while others have pursued such theory. The theory about the existence of Planet X was introduced by Daniel Whitmire.
One of those scientists who examined the theory that supports Planet 9’s existence is astronomer Mike Brown of Caltech. Brown pursued Whitmire’s earlier theory and provided new evidences to further support the claim that Planet X or Planet 9 really exists.
But in an interview with the Mail Online, Brown said there’s a high likelihood that the Planet X that he’s been studying is not the same Planet X that Whitmire and his team was referring to in their 1985 study.
“Whitmire has been speculating for decades about a very distant very massive planet pushing comets around. It has to have an orbital period of something like 27 million years. While that idea may or may not make sense, it definitely has nothing to do with Planet Nine, which is much closer to the sun and thus ‘only’ takes 15,000 years to go around,” Brown was quoted as saying by the Mail Online.
Brown added that the body of evidence they have gathered is not conclusive of the existence or absence of a Planet 9.
Meanwhile, immediately after the publication of Brown’s works, NASA clarified through its Planetary Science Division chief Jim Green, that the existence of another planet remains a theory. Green added that it’s too early to say whether Planet X or Planet 9 really does exist, but said Brown’s findings brings an insightful data that could lead to a better understanding of the planetary world, the Pulse Headlines reported.