It's the first time I read an article on inquistr, so I'm not sure how reliable it is, but I just saw this article today titled: Has science just admitted Planet X / Nibiru exists?

Astronomers may have inadvertently revived the Planet X/Nibiru cataclysm conspiracy theory that dominated the internet a few years ago. Following the latest announcement by scientists of evidence that there are at least two planets larger than Earth lurking in our solar system beyond Pluto, Planet X/Nibiru cataclysm believers have been saying that governments are finally preparing to disclose the truth about Nibiru to the masses as doomsday nears.

It states that scientists are OK with the possibility of planets past Pluto that could be part of our Solar System. They quote Professor Carlos de la Fuente Marcos from Complutense University of Madrid.

Is there any substantial evidence for this in the astronomy community?

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    This might be better on Astronomy. – Reinstate Monica -- notmaynard Jul 8 '15 at 21:52
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    Are you asking "Is there evidence of more planets in the Solar System?" or "Is there any evidence of Planet X that will crash into the Earth and cause the Nibiru Cataclysm?" – Oddthinking Jul 9 '15 at 1:31
  • Required listening: Planetary Radio Podcast All These Worlds with the people who announced the possible evidence of planet 9 (Batygin and Brown). – user22865 Aug 16 '16 at 11:40

Let me quote an article quoting the scientists (emphasis mine):

Spanish lead scientist Professor Carlos de la Fuente Marcos, from the Complutense University of Madrid, quoted by the Spanish scientific news service, Sinc, said: “This excess of objects with unexpected orbital parameters makes us believe that some invisible forces are altering the distribution of the orbital elements of the Etno, and we consider that the most probable explanation is that other unknown planets exist beyond Neptune and Pluto.

“The exact number is uncertain, given that the data that we have is limited, but our calculations suggest that there are at least two planets, and probably more, within the confines of our solar system.”

. . .

One problem is that the theory goes against predictions of computer simulations of the formation of the solar system, which state there are no other planets moving in circular orbits beyond Neptune. But the recent discovery of a planet-forming disk of dust and gas more than 100 astronomical units (AU) from the star HL Tauri suggests planets can form long distances away from the centre of a solar system.

The answer is straightforward: There is little evidence for it, as "the data is limited".


Six months after this question was asked, Batygin & Brown (2016) (arXiv) showed indirect evidence for the existence of a ninth planet with a semi-major axis of ~700 AU and an eccentricity of ~0.6, swinging it as close as 200 AU to the Sun and as far as 1200 AU away from it.

As of several months after the paper's publication, no direct evidence of Planet 9 has been found (as expected), but the Subaru Telescope is expected to play a major role in the search for it. Hopefully, observational data can support the models in the years to come - within five years, perhaps, according to Brown.

The new results aren't quite the same as the results of de la Fuente Marcos & de la Fuente Marcos (2014), which are cited in the question (and in the paper by Batygin & Brown). For example, the original claim posits a planet with a semi-major axis at ~200 AU, in addition to another planet with a semi-major axis at ~250 AU, in a 3:2 resonance.

Furthermore, Batygin & Brown explicitly address and criticize the results of de la Fuente Marcos & de la Fuente Marcos and the similar studies by Trujillo & Sheppard (2014) (pdf here), who proposed the use of the Kozai mechanism as an orbiting body is perturbed by another body with a greater semi-major axis. In particular, they note that the orbits of the two planets would have to have orbital parameters within a small range of values. Also, another large body (e.g. a passing star) would likely have been required, which would have produced effects that conflict with observations.

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    it's also very poorly written... "other unknown planets beyond Neptune and Pluto" is not something a scientist would state, as it means that a) Pluto is a planet (it isn't, it was redesignated a dwarf planet years ago) and b) that both Pluto and Neptune are unknown. This may be an error in translation, but I'd expect better from someone providing translations for a scientific resource. – jwenting Jul 9 '15 at 5:58
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    @jwenting. The Spanish version makes perfect sense, it does not have the implications that you mentioned. Note that the phrasing is almost a transliteration, it is the interpretation of it in Spanish that makes the difference. agenciasinc.es/Noticias/… – Diego Sánchez Jul 10 '15 at 20:19
  • @DiegoSánchez I'll have to take your word for that, my knowledge of Spanish goes about as far as being able to order a paella and orange juice ;) – jwenting Jul 10 '15 at 20:23
  • @jwenting: The primary problem here is that the English version adds an "other" in front of the "unknown planets", which simply isn't there in the Spanish text "la explicación más probable es que existen planetas desconocidos más allá de Neptuno y Plutón". Without that word, neither the implication that Neptune and Pluto are unknown, nor that both of them are planets, remains. – O. R. Mapper Aug 15 '16 at 21:25
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    @O.R.Mapper yes, as I thought, an error in translation. Translating "mas alla" as "others beyond" rather than "further beyond" or "at greater distance than". – jwenting Aug 16 '16 at 14:50

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