When I was younger I remember hearing about the discovery of a new planet dubbed Planet X. At the time I heard about this “Planet X” it was supposed to be the tenth planet in our solar system. But then, as time went on, I never heard about it again. The years went by and I forgot about Planet X. It’s like it exited the galaxy without a goodbye. And then it seemed there was this resurgence in the name or in the very concept of Planet X. A band came out with name Planet X that got my attention and then two films came out that dealt with a rogue planet: Lars von Trier’s “Melancholia” and Mike Cahill’s “Another Earth.” So whatever happened to this new planet that seemingly came and went? Whatever happened to Planet X?
Don’t worry, you should feel fine. This isn’t going to be a doomsday treatise that keeps in line with such films as Deep Impact, Sunshine, or Armageddon. There are no reports of gamma ray bursts heading our way for me to report on; no Planet X slowly cruising towards us on a collision course like in Melancholia. No, the end of Earth as we know it will be far less immediate than any Hollywood story currently out there or in development. The raw deal according to a recent article published in Astrobiology by Andrew Rushby is that the Earth has spent about 70% of its lifetime in the Sun’s habitable zone and in time will be consumed by the expanding growth of the sun.
But let’s not give away all of our possessions just yet. The end of the world won’t exactly happen any time soon.