Planet Nine
Professor of Planetary Astronomy Mike Brown speaks in front of a computer simulation of the probable orbit of Planet Nine (yellow) at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California January 20, 2016. The solar system may host a ninth planet that is about 10 times bigger than Earth and orbiting far beyond Neptune, according to research published on Wednesday. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Doomsday prophets have another reason to scare people that the end of the world is near. Their new weapon is the newly discovered ninth planet which the Apocalypse forecasters say could possibly be Planet X or Nibiru.

Nibiru is the giant, rogue planet in the solar system that the Doomsday prophets believe is capable of crashing or passing near Earth and cause catastrophe, including the possibility of disintegrating the planet of humans. However, scientists have long debunked the theories about Planet X, although the New York Daily News writes that “NASA has known about the mystery planet for year, but declined to warn us.”

Planet 9 has a mass about 10-fold that of Earth and needs about 15,000 years to complete a full orbit around the Sun. According to Caltech researchers, Planet 9 is about the same size as Neptune but was knocked out of the region near the sun that forms planets 4.5 billion years ago when the solar system was still young. It was slowed down by gas and settled into a distant elliptical orbit which remains until today, Sciencemag reports.

Its discovery has led the curious to ask if it is the same planet beyond Neptune that astronomer Percival Lowell predicted in the early 1900s based on years of looking for the mysterious planet in his Arizona observatory. Although he did not find Nibiru, Pluto was discovered in 1930 by other astronomers with the help of Lowell’s calculations that even if his beliefs about Mars and Planet X were mainly disproven, it nevertheless helped form public perception about space.

In the 1970s, Soviet scholar and psychic Zecharia Sitchin wrote about Nibiru which got its name from Babylonian astrology. He based in on interpretation of ancient text and Biblical verses, which is what other doomsayers are also using. Sitchin wrote that Planet X orbits near Earth every 3,600 years following an elliptical and elongated pattern.

Although Sitchin died in 2010, the people who maintain his Web site wrote on Wednesday of the new planet’s discovery. However, the portal notes that because Planet 9 has a different orbit, it definitely is not Nibiru, dashing the possibility that it is that planet which could end Earth’s existence.

Planet X, according to Nancy Lieder, a Wisconsin resident who claims the ability to receive messages from aliens, has an intense gravitational pull that would “create mass destruction” on Earth. Her initial forecast is that the collision between the planets would happen in 2003, which she eventually moved to 2012, timed with the Mayan calendar brouhaha that turned out to be another end-of-the-world dud.