Planetary Discoveries: The Case of the Earthlike Planet

An exciting planetary discovery, just reported, spilled over from the scientific publications to the general media. Radio and television stations announced in headline news that “Another planet like Earth discovered”; The New York Times presented the news more accurately: SEARCH FINDS FAR-OFF PLANET AKIN TO EARTH.

The excitement stemmed from a report in the British scientific journal Nature (issue of 26 January 2006), in which 73 astronomers, working in three teams, disclosed the tracking — since July 11, 2005—of an “Earthlike” planet orbiting a distant star. The bottom line implication or hint is that it therefore might harbor Life.

Astronomers have held for centuries that our solar system came into being due to extraordinary circumstances, with Earth happening to emerge in a “habitable zone” by the sheerest of chances. It is barely a decade since astronomers – with initial disbelief – began to find “extra-solar” planets in orbit around other stars; but even with some 170 such planets found to date, they all seem to be giant like and too close to their suns, and thus (so the notion goes) unsuitable for Life.

As both the original scientific paper and follow up news reports explained, the latest find is different: It is of a planet just three times (or slightly more) the mass of Earth, and only about three times as far from its sun as Earth is from ours; the discovered planet — orbiting a star in our own galaxy! — is thus “Earthlike” in key aspects.

As I was saying…

The news, I can tell my readers, put me in a philosophical mood of wonderment.

It was 30 years ago (yes, thirty years!) since my first book, The Twelfth Planet, was published. In it I brought to life the 6,000-years-old cosmogony of the Sumerians. They wrote, I said, that soon after our solar system began to form, a planet thrust from another solar system passed near ours, was attracted inward, collided with a planet called Tiamat, broke her up to create Earth and the asteroid belt, and itself was captured into a great orbit around our sun to become the planet Nibiru. It was so “Earthlike” that the Seed of Life, begun there, was transferred to Earth during the collision.

At that time, the established view abhorred the idea of catastrophic celestial events (now it is accepted). The notion of planets elsewhere in the cosmos was deemed nonsense (now 171 such planets are listed). All that I said that the Sumerians had known has been proven true. And you know what? The mass of the newfound planet is akin to the estimate for Nibiru, and its distance from its sun is the about the same as Tiamat’s was…

It does make you wonder.

— Z. SITCHIN, 2006

Reproduction is permitted if accompanied by the statement:
© Z. Sitchin 2006
Reprinted by permission.



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