If you think that the idea of a mysterious planet entering our solar system thus causing the orbit of the Earth to be disrupted while its surface is pelted with thousands of pounds of intergalactic balls of dust and ice might make for a good disaster film, prepare for art to imitate life.
A brown dwarf star believed to be five times the size of Jupiter is theorized by scientists to have been behind the mass extinction of prehistoric life on earth 26 million years ago... and they believe that it might happen again.
This star, nicknamed Nemesis by NASA scientists, emits only infrared light and is practically invisible to many of our conventional star gazing tools, is believed to be traveling on a 26 million year orbit of our Sun (or roughly 25,000 times that of the Earth's orbit). it is theorized that this icy orb of death travels along it's abnormal orbit, it's massive gravitational pull dragging with it asteroids and comets out of the Oort Cloud, a vast celestial sphere made up of rocks, ice balls, and space dust twice as far away from the earth as it is believed Nemesis is. [It's believed that many of our solar system's asteroids and comets come from the Oort Cloud.]
It is this posse of intergalactic snowballs which scientist believe were hurled upon the Earth's surface millions of years ago, killing off the dinosaurs and paving the way for mammals to run the show. But all this theorizing may be finally coming to an end as scientists at NASA believe they may finally be able to see Nemesis using a new heat seeking telescope. The Wide- Field Infrared Survey Explorer, which began scanning the skies in January of this year, is expected to find thousands of brown dwarfs- including maybe Nemesis- within twenty five light years of our Sun (in the interest of offering a sense of scale the earth is eight light minute from the Sun. There are 525 948.766 light minutes in a light year). The Telescope has already uncovered a previously unknown comet believed to have come from the afore mentioned Oort Cloud.
See what I mean about it making good science fiction???
But this isn't just a horseshit theory some slimy big bran is spinning in order to sell books on Coast to Coast. This is as close to a fact as the tin foil hat crowd has ever come to a written in stone fact. Doomsayers for decades have long been talking about this world killing orb, referring to it by Nabiru (a name given to it by 70's New Age writer Zecharia Sitchin), the Sumerian and Babylonian legendary "Planet of the Gods". According to their legends, when Nabiru left the Earth, massive turbulence was felt on the Earth and the Gods threw stone and ice on the surface. It has also been written about under names like Vulcan and Planet X.
In 2003, scientists in NASA discovered another dwarf star with an equally unusual orbit around our Sun... A 12,000 year long orbit. This star, referred to as Sedna, is believed to have ended up on such an odd orbit after having come into contact with Nemesis (and her world altering gravity). According to Mike Brown, the big brain who is said to have discovered Sedna in 2003, "Sedna is a very odd object - it shouldn't be there. The only way to get on an eccentric orbit is to have some giant body kick you - so what is out there?"
Nemesis... that's what...
What it means to us...
Having been an avid listener to Coast to Coast (a radio based show which deals with a vast array of odd topics including astronomy and Doomsday theories) for many years, it comes to me as no surprise that scientists are actively looking for this legendary planet. There are some who believe that it is this Nemesis is the celestial event thought to be predicted in the Mayan 2012 predictions. Others feel that Nemesis is just another name for the planet Wormwood, a celestial body believed to cause upheaval on the Earth during the 'Days of Tribulations" predicted in the Book of Revelations.
One of the main reasons we have astronomers- be it the professional ones hired by NASA or jackasses like me looking through some cheap telescope they bought at Sam's Club using the Google Star map on their Smartphone as their guide, is to find potential threats to the Earth from space. This has been what they have done since Galileo. Even the ancients that came ever so long ago noted the happeings in the sky. Hundreds of hieroglyphics and ancient writings (including the afore mentioned Mayan calendar) have been devoted to celestial bodies, as well as to their theories as to the movements of these bodies.
[It's also important to note that these ancient cultures- just as our Judeo-Christian and science fiction based (ahem, Scientology) belief systems do- believed that the end of Man's time on Earth would be brought about by some celestial event... just saying...]
If you ask me (and because you have stuck it out this far, I would assume that you are asking me), the best chance we have for seeing global destruction comes from the skies... not anything we are going to do to ourselves. I joke a lot out it coming at the hands of our Alien Overlords coming back to reclaim the kingdom that once was theirs (and who knows...if the Babylonians and the Sumerians are right, they still might), but in truth I feel that the world will be driven to extinction through an asteroid strike, and this Nemesis threat is as good a way of bringing it about as any.
Keep your eyes on the skies folks...And "Be safe everyone..."