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This is the fictional planet Nibiru which has been predicted to slam into Earth, resulting in the end of the world.
The scenario is known to doomsayers as the Nibiru cataclysm.
It was allegedly supposed to have occurred several times over the last decade but most recently in April of 2018.
Needless to say... it didn't happen.
Even though planetary collisions aren't widely observed today, it's believed they were once
pretty common and they left lasting impacts on the planets in our solar system and beyond.
Uranus is thought to have been a victim of a major collision.
Billions of years ago an object, at least twice the mass of Earth, crept up a little
too close to young Uranus, and the two bodies slammed into each other with great force.
Researchers say the cataclysmic collision was so strong it caused Uranus to shift onto its side.
This theory would explain why the planet has an axial tilt of nearly 98 degrees which is
far more dramatic than the rest of the solar system.
Fortunately, Uranus managed to maintain the majority of its atmosphere so it's still around today.
However, not all planetary masses survive impacts on this scale.
Earth is thought to have been at the center of a catastrophic collision that destroyed another planet.
The Giant Impact Hypothesis - aka The Big Splash or the Theia Impact - suggests that
an object about the size of Mars moved towards Earth more than four billion years ago.
It then slammed into our protoplanet and vaporized on impact.
The theory claims that debris from the decimated planet was pulled into Earth's orbit and
over time, the pieces are thought to have clumped together, eventually forming the Moon.
While this is estimated to have happened a really long time ago, there are some planetary
collisions that are thought to have occurred a lot more recently.
Within the last few thousand years, it's believed two planets orbiting a young star were involved in a violent, catastrophic collision.
The impact annihilated the smaller planet, sending its remains far into space in the form of vaporized rock and metal.
Since this was a relatively recent collision, some of the remains are still present and
in 2009 NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope found evidence of the impact.
It detected traces of silicon monoxide gas - a product of a vaporized planetary crust.
Scientists believe the findings help back up the Giant Impact Hypothesis.
So could history repeat itself?
Could a planet ever collide with Earth?
Scientists say it's highly unlikely.
While large-scale collisions were prevalent when our solar system was young, it would
be extremely rare for one to occur in a stable and established system like our own.
On top of that, if a planet were to come remotely close enough to threaten Earth, astronomers
would be able to spot it years, if not decades, before impact.
So, it's safe to say, we don't have to worry about a rogue planet obliterating our existence
- well at least not in our lifetime.
If you're looking to learn more about space exploration and astronomical phenomena
be sure to watch this episode of Space Crafts.
And don't forget to subscribe to Seeker for all things science.
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Could a Planet Ever Collide With Earth?

221 Folder Collection
Jerry Liu published on May 9, 2019    translated    Evangeline reviewed
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