Doomsday Objects
NO large objects are going to impact or even make a close pass by the Earth in 2012

One of the most frequent claims of the 2012 doomsday proponents is that a large object (either a planet, a brown dwarf star, a comet, or a large asteroid) will either hit Earth or make a close pass in 2012.

This is false. These objects do not exist.

Contradictory claims

The claims that a large object will impact or pass close to the earth object comes in lots of different forms. There are so many different and contradictory claims about it’s nature and position that it is extremely difficult to sort them out. Both Planet X and Nibiru are ripped-off from other doomsday predictions.

So far the proponents have claimed that the object will be:

  1. A planet (Planet X or Nibiru)
  2. A Red Dwarf star
  3. A Brown Dwarf star
  4. A Comet
  5. An Asteroid
  6. Wormwood
  7. Nemesis
  8. A Black Hole
  9. Some form of an alien invasion

Each separate claim has one thing in common. A complete and utter lack of evidence to support it.

Large object should be visible

Many of the claims revolve around huge planets or sub-stellar objects. The smallest of these 'large' objects is claimed to have a diameter four times that of Venus1. If there was an object of the smallest claimed size (four times the diameter of Venus) on an orbit that would intercept the Earth in 2012, it would be visible today to anyone with a pair of binoculars. Even if this object was close to the sun, it would be possible to see it. If the object was between the Earth and the Sun[4], it would stand out like a splinter. Even objects as small as a half size moon would be visible!

No object over the south pole

Another argument that has been made to explain the non-visibility of the object is that it is over the South pole, and cannot be seen from the Northern hemisphere.

Here’s the problem with that claim. Melbourne, Australia sits at about 37 degrees South. The site of the large observatory at Sliding Springs, Australia is at 31 degrees South. The location of the South Africa Large Telescope sits at about 34 degrees South. There are observatories in Argentina and Chile as far south as 35 degrees. What this means in real terms is that the Southern celestial pole (the imaginary point in space above the south geographic pole) is well above the horizon for observers in these locations.

There is no point in the southern sky that is not covered by one or more telescopes! In order to ‘hide’ from these telescopes, this object would have to travel in an impossibly crazy spiral shaped path and stay close to the sun! Even that wouldn't help at all, because NASA have telescopes that watch the sun ( SOHO and STEREO ) and which have detected objects near the sun such as comets and asteroids.

No conspiracy to hide any object

Another argument that has been made several times is that NASA, the U.S. Government (in fact all world governments), the NWO and for all I know the ENC (Evil NASA Conspiracy) are suppressing information on a patch of sky near Orion. They’ve called this <cue ominous music> “The Orion Anomaly” <dum dum dummmmmm>. If you go to any of the big name online sky sites like Google Sky, or Microsoft World-Wide Telescope, there is a sinister black square in Orion! (click for an image on Universe Today)[5] Obviously “they” are keeping it secret! Unfortunately for these conspiracy theorists, there’s a simple explanation.

All of the sites use the same source for their optical data: The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). This is an automated all sky optical survey, and the data are pretty good. However, in any automated survey sometimes garbage creeps in. In other words, its a glitch in the data. The “anomaly” is just a glitch, a missing piece of data. Also, the area of the sky that the "Orion Anomaly" resides in is prominently viewable from both the Southern and Northern hemispheres. There is no object there.

Other claimed conspiracies would involve every professional astronomer (most of which are employed by universities, not government agencies) as well as every amateur astronomer with a halfway decent telescope or pair of binoculars. Many of these amateur astronomers reside in countries with no connection to (and no love for) the United States government, and therefore no reason to conspire to hide the objects. We are talking about millions of people! What conspiracy could stay secret with that many people involved?

Different objects

Here’s another point: These are different objects! Each one was proposed by a different author during a different time frame, and was due to arrive at different times! Each one was also ripped off by the 2012 movement, and lumped together under the common banner. It is only there that they are conflated, their myths being merged into one single meta-myth.

Constraints on Planet X

In a paper submitted to arXiv2, Lorenzo Iorio3 contends that the orbits of the inner planets precess in well-known ways, and that large-mass objects out beyond Pluto would perturb the motions of the inner planets in known ways. Since we do not see those effects, this sets minimum distances to those objects. In other words, the large mass objects would have to be at least as far away as is listed in the paper in order to not cause the predicted motion. In another paper, David Jewitt at the Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii4 outlines the detection ability of Project Pan-STARRS (short for Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System). According to the capabilities of this survey, these proposed large-mass objects would have been detected long before now. Even a small object like Pluto could be detected out to 320 AU, which is far beyond the minimum of 62 AU for a Mars sized object. Even a ‘dark Pluto’ would be detectable out to 170 AU.

These constraints make it very, very unlikely that any large (Earth-mass or bigger) object exists beyond Pluto. There may be some more Pluto-sized objects out there, and I expect that eventually we will find several more in this size range. But at this point, there is no evidence for any Trans-Neptunian object as big or bigger than Mars, and some excellent evidence against it.

What about Smaller Objects?

As we have shown above, there are no large objects (comets, asteroids, planets, etc) that are going to be in our vicinity in 2012, and probably not for the next 100 years or so. But what about smaller objects?

In 1994 comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 battered Jupiter, leaving a series of dark scars that were visible for months. The dramatic images were enough to loosen government purse strings, and the funding has supported telescope surveys to hunt down objects that could wallop us. Now those surveys have cataloged more than 80%5 of the near-Earth asteroids larger than 1 kilometer across.

Risk Assessment

Just because we are looking for them doesn't mean we have a way of diverting them… yet. We appear to be safe for the immediate future (the next century or so, at least). What we can do about these objects, if and when they are found, depends on how much money we are willing to spend.

Whatever we do needs to be proportionate to the risk. The likelihood of being mashed by a meteor is tiny compared to the risks of more mundane things like hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters. Over the past year these events killed 236,000 people and caused damage worth $181 billion.

What are we afraid of?

Fear is an interesting phenomenon. What we are afraid of is usually not something that is likely to happen. It is very seldom that our fears are proportional to the actual risks.

For example, the World Health Organization6 tracks the causes of death on a global basis. For 2001 the top 20 causes of death were7:

Rank Cause Number of Deaths/1000
1 Ischaemic heart disease 6,880
2 Cerebrovascular disease 5,096
3 Lower respiratory infections 3,863
4 HIV/AIDS 2,943
5 Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 2,520
6 Perinatal conditions 2,438
7 Diarrhoeal diseases 2,124
8 Tuberculosis 1,660
9 Road traffic accidents 1,259
10 Trachea, bronchus, lung cancers 1,210
11 Malaria 1,080
12 Hypertensive heart disease 939
13 Self-inflicted injuries 814
14 Diabetes mellitus 808
15 Cirrhosis of the liver 796
16 Measles 777
17 Stomach cancer 744
18 Congenital anomalies 656
19 Liver cancer 626
20 Nephritis and nephrosis 619

As you can see, there are only two non-disease causes in the top 20. Heart attacks and strokes top the list, totaling more than the combined count of the next four causes. That's 1.2 million people killed, every year. Worry about what you eat, don't smoke, practice safe sex, and drive carefully. Don't worry whether a meteor is going to kill you!


In conclusion: We have shown that the so-called 'Doomsday Objects' are contradictory in nature and description. We have shown that there is no place for these objects to lurk undetected in the solar system. We have shown that these objects could not be hidden from the general public in the manner described. We have also shown that there are practical constraints on the sizes and distances to these objects, which preclude many of the claimed objects from existing at all.

2. Iorio, Lorenzo. 2009. Constraints on planet X/Nemesis from Solar System's inner dynamics. INFN-Sezione di Pisa.
3. Jewett, David. 2004. PROJECT PAN-STARRS AND THE OUTER SOLAR SYSTEM. Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii.
4. Lieder, Nancy. 1995. Zeta Vision. ZetaTalk website (accessed 2009-06-04)
5. O'Neill, Ian. 2008. 2012: No comet. Universe Today.


Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License