Well, it depends on who you ask exactly what it means. It has never been disputed by conspiracy theorists or NASA that there is a ninth planet (Pluto, if you remember, was demoted leaving us with only eight planets once again). They just disagree on what it is called, where it might be found, and what it means for Earth and the solar system. Now, NASA is openly calling for everyday average civilians to assist it with going through thousands upon thousands of space images in the search for the mysterious ninth planet.
The program, called “Backyard Worlds: Planet 9”, is pretty simple. Despite tons of cash and manpower, the amount of images that NASA has to sift through in the search for the ninth planet is so great that they still can’t do it. They need help, and they need lots of it. So they are basically outsourcing it to the common man. Of course, they aren’t offering pay for this service, only the novelty of being part of the project and that really, really small chance that you discover the ninth planet from your bedroom. It doesn’t require any real scientific knowledge or experience. Volunteers simply review the images and mark anything that they deem to be out of the ordinary so that real astronomers from NASA can narrow down what they need to look at. It goes without saying that there will be a wide margin of error here, but when you’re dealing with things in astronomical terms, anything to narrow it down at all is better than nothing.
For conspiracy theorists, this is viewed as NASA coming clean. See, the legend of Planet Nibiru has been around for quite a while. As the story goes, Nibiru is the ninth planet, but it isn’t orbiting the sun from a freakishly long distance beyond even Pluto. It’s actually barreling straight for the Earth and has been for a very long time. When it collides with the Earth (inevitably, according to the theory), it will be the sort of cataclysm that ended the dinosaurs, only this time it will be humanity. NASA has long denied that this is a thing, and they still do. They have even recognized the theory with informational videos explaining just why it wouldn’t make any sense whatsoever to believe that a huge planet is hurtling toward the Earth at breakneck speeds because, for one thing, of the gravitational consequences of that. Basically, if Nibiru was where conspiracy theorists say it is, then everything as we know it would be different. Of course, conspiracy theorists debate that with their own facts and figures and gravitational calculations. In any case, many are taking this as NASA coming clean about Nibiru, although it doesn’t really seem that way from where we are standing. Some are insinuating that Nibiru is getting dangerously close, so NASA is reaching out for help before it’s too late. Others say that NASA wants a civilian to discover Nibiru so that they can cover up the covering up all these years. A backyard hero would make many believe that they really just didn’t know about it all this time. These are only a couple of conspiracy theories about NASA’s surprising announcement.
For what it’s worth, this is not the only instance of NASA and other organizations reaching out for the public’s help. The Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence program (SETI) has used the processing power of civilian computers for many years now. When you are not using your computer, you can arrange to have SETI use it to scan for radio signals and other such data in the cosmos. To date, nothing has come from either program. What do you think? Is NASA asking for help because they really can’t find Nibiru? Is the ninth planet just another thing to teach the kids in their textbooks, or is a major space catastrophe just around the corner? We want to hear your opinions in the comments below.