View Full Version : "Hercolubus" -- yet another Planet X?

2002-Dec-17, 08:40 PM
Being the guy who mantains the seldom-used Internet Stellar Database website (www.stellar-database.com), I usually get e-mail asking for new features, correcting data, asking for help with astronomy homework, etc..

Yesterday, though, I got an e-mail about a wonderfully crackpotish group of doomsayers. According to http://home.earthlink.net/~gnosisla/March5.html, paragraphs 9 and 10, one of Barnard's Star's alleged planets is supposed to pass so close to the Earth within the next few decades that our species will not survive.

Of course, this hypothesis is so full of holes it's hard to know where to start. Not only is the existence of planets around Barnard's Star in doubt these days (Barnard's Star doesn't show any of the regular doppler-shift oscillations that the Marcy/Butler crowd would expect), but even if such planest do exist, these planets would be 75,000 times closer to Barnard's Star than they would be to the Earth, and have a combined mass less than 1/60th of Barnard's Star's mass! If Barnard's Star itself has no appreciable effect on the Earth, its planets certainly won't either.