Andy Lloyd's

Dark Star Blog



Blog 58   (January 2018)

(Currently being written)

  News, links, videos and comment   relating to the Dark Star Theory 






New Search for sub-Brown Dwarfs Planned

Brown dwarfs are notoriously hard to find.  It's not so bad when they are first born: They come into the Universe with a blast, shedding light and heat in an infantile display of vigour.  But within just a few million years, they have burned their available nuclear fuels, and settle down to consume their leaner elemental pickings.  Their visible light dims considerably with time to perhaps just a magenta shimmer.  But they still produce heat, and the older they get, the more likely that a direct detection of a brown dwarf will have to be in the infra-red spectrum. 

This doesn't make them much easier to detect, though, because to catch these faint heat signatures in the night sky, you first need to have a cold night sky.  A very cold night sky.  Worse, water vapour in the atmosphere absorbs infra-red light along multiple stretches of the spectrum.  The warmth and humidity of the Earth's atmosphere heavily obscures infra-red searches, even in frigid climates, and so astronomers wishing to search in the infra-red either have to build IR telescopes atop desert mountains (like in Chile's Atacama desert), or else resort to the use of space-based platforms.  The downside of the latter is that the telescopes tend to lose liquid helium supplies rather quickly, shortening their lifespan considerably compared to space-based optical telescopes.

The first major sky search using a space telescope was IRAS, back in the 1980s.  Then came Spitzer at the turn of the century, followed by Herschel, and then WISE about five years ago.  Some infra-red telescopes conduct broad searches across the sky for heat traces, others zoom in on candidate objects for closer inspection.  Each telescope exceeds the last in performance, sometimes by orders of magnitude, which means that faint objects that might have been missed by early searches stand more of a chance of being picked up in the newer searches.

The next big thing in infra-red astronomy is the James Webb Space Telescope (JSWT), due for launch in Spring 2019.  The JSWT should provide the kind of observational power provided by the Hubble Space telescope - but this time in infra-red.  The reason why astronomers want to view the universe in detail using infra-red wavelengths is that very distant objects are red-shifted to such a degree that their light tends to be found in the infra-red spectrum, generally outside Hubble's operational parameters (1).  Essentially, the JWST will be able to see deeper into space (and, therefore, look for objects sending their light to us from further back in time when the first stars and galaxies emerged). 

One of the advantages of this shift into the red is that this extremely powerful telescope will also have the capability to seek out new brown dwarfs.  Precious telescope time is currently being allocated to various teams of astronomers wanting to observe parts of the sky when the JSWT is eventually operational.  Two recent announcements about these allotted slots involve brown dwarfs.  The first is a closer look at a young low-mass brown dwarf which lies relatively close to the Sun, by stellar standards, and is a member of a 200-million-year-old group of stars called Carina-Near.  This particular object is known as SIMP0136 (2).  

SIMP0136 is a free-floating sub-brown dwarf, so its light is not obscured by the presence of a parent star.  This makes it a lot easier to study, providing the opportunity to analyse the components of its cloudy atmosphere.  Brown dwarfs cover a reasonably broad swathe of masses, generally thought to be from about 13 Jupiter masses (mJ) up to about 80 mJ (at which point they light up into red dwarfs).  SIMP0136 lies at the very lowest end of this brown dwarf range of masses, at about 13 mJ (3), which also places is at the top end of the next set of objects - the sub-brown dwarfs.  Technically, at this lowly mass, it could be considered a planetary mass object rather than a stellar object.  Sub-brown dwarfs are, in effect, massive gas giant almost-stars.  We're likely to find out a lot more about the properties of these objects as a result of this study.

The second JSWT project announcement aims to study the NGC 1333 stellar nursery, located in the constellation of Perseus (2).  This nebula contains a great many birthing stars and young brown dwarfs and is thought to also contain an abundance of sub-brown dwarfs.  It's difficult to spot sub-brown dwarfs at the best of times, but the search for them is all the more difficult here because of the obscuring clouds of gas and dust within the nebula.  A powerful infra-red search should allow them to pop out from their cosmic hiding place:

"Stars and planets that are just forming lie hidden behind cocoons of dust that absorb visible light. (The same is true for the very center of our galaxy.) However, infrared light emitted by these regions can penetrate this dusty shroud and reveal what is inside." (1)

Not only is this a critical factor when trying to search for free-floating planetary mass objects within nebulae, but this issue also underpins my hypothesis seeking to explain the current lack of detection of distant planets in our own solar system. 

There is a persistent and - arguably - growing body of indirect evidence for the existence of one or more Planet X objects lying in very distant locations in our own solar system.  Yet, such objects seem to evade direct detection.  This is, of course, very frustrating for the astronomers seeking out Planet X (or Planet Nine as some have renamed it (4)), and provides grist for the mill for sceptics wishing to discredit the entire concept.  For a few years, I have argued that localised nebulae may form around planetary mass objects located outside of a star's heliopause.  Without the wafting action of the solar wind, and other dynamical processes driven by a star's proximity, interstellar dust may accumulate slowly around an externally located massive planet.  The planet then becomes embedded within a dusty shroud, obscuring it from view in the visible spectrum (5). 

This means that searches using normal optical telescopes, like the Subaru telescope in Hawaii, are bound to fail to find Planet Nine.  Furthermore, infra-red sky searches like WISE might pick up an infra-red signal, but efforts to then confirm the presence of a ninth planet using standard telescopes would also fall short (or, at least, detect a faint, fuzzy mass, rather than a distinct object).  So, the infra-red signal (and commensurate visible fuzz) would be attributed to a different phenomenon. 

Could the powerful JSWT change matters?  I don't believe so.  The telescope would need to be specifically trained in on candidate objects.  Without candidate objects to examine (thus far there is exactly none) then precious observation time using the telescope will not be allocated to a Planet X project.  Without a wider appreciation of the potentially variant properties of externally located planets, the status quo will remain in place:  Strong indirect evidence of a massive perturbing influence, but zero prospect of actually spotting it.


Written by Andy Lloyd,  7th January 2018


1)  JWST "Webb vs Hubble Telescope" NASA,

2)  Leah Ramsay "NASA’s Webb Telescope to Investigate Mysterious Brown Dwarfs" 4th January 2018 with thanks to Monika

3)  Carnegie Institution for Science Press Release "Surprise! When a brown dwarf is actually a planetary mass object" 9th May 2017

4)   K. Batygin & M. Brown "Evidence for a Distant Giant Planet in the Solar System" 20th January 2016, The Astronomical Journal, Volume 151, Number 2,

5)  Andy Lloyd "The Cumulative Effect of Intermittent Interstellar Medium Inundation Upon Objects In The Outer Solar System" 02/2016, DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.5112.5526,, and an updated version (22/2/16) is available here:





Stellar cluster NGC 1333.  Image credit: NASA/CXC/JPL









'Nibiru In-Coming' and All That Jazz

There was a time when I used to do quite a few interviews on radio, and for online video content.  The peak period of the interest in the return of Sitchin's planet Nibiru (1) was during the five years running up to 2012.  I would provide as much information as I could about Planet X, brown dwarfs, and the evidence underpinning the potential for further planets in the solar system.  Always, we would end up discussing the same questions:  When is Nibiru returning, and is this particular period in history the 'End of Days' spoken of various prophecies?

Over the years, other researchers have routinely promulgated the concept of the imminent return of Nibiru, predicting calamity and destruction for our wayward world.  I'm losing count of them - each holds onto a specific date as the point of return, only to be replaced a couple of years later by another gloom-filled researcher when the previous portentous date sails past uneventfully.  Happily, my honest opinion of all this has remained exactly the same for the last 20 years that I have been writing about Nibiru and Planet X:  It's not around the celestial corner, hiding behind the Sun, or cloaked by some artificial force shield, or the like.  Instead, Planet X is a distant, dark object pitched out among the comets.  It may be a terrestrial-sized planet, or a super-Earth, or an ice giant, or a gas giant, or even a sub-brown dwarf (2).  The bigger the mass, the more distant the object must lie to have evaded detection. 

None of these possibilities allows for a current location among the known planets.  No chance.

Twenty years on, my consistent argument remains the same: A cometary planet emerging from the outer solar system into the inner solar system would be a backyard telescope object while it is still beyond Saturn, and would gradually become a visible object between Saturn and Jupiter. The bigger it is, the sooner we'd see it.  The sooner we'd ALL see it. 

Planets move in Keplerian elliptical orbits around the Sun that obey laws of physics, dancing around one another as they all proceed in their orderly and predictable fashions.  So, too, with Planet X.  As the Earth moves around the Sun, our night-time view of various parts of the solar system shifts, so that over time we can view pretty much all of it.  There's only one place to hide for any length of time, and that's if another Earth were to exist in Earth's 180 degree Lagrangian point on the opposite side of the Sun.  Its orbit would have to be one Earth year, just like ours.  Any other orbit would bring an object obscured by the Sun into view at some point, and then it would move progressively further away from the Sun with time.  Objects said to be 'hiding behind the Sun' cannot play peek-a-boo with us.

But, you know, none of this straightforward reasoning seems to make the slightest bit of difference to people who get the Nibiru cataclysm bug.  Back in the old days, radio interviewers would quickly realise that I was not about to provide scientific credibility for a concept that sells books and creates hits on websites and that scares people.  I'd just stick with the facts, and stay as close as I could to rational reasoning.  Maybe I started sounding bored and frustrated with arguing this same point (can you blame me? 1999, 2003, 2012, 2013, 2017; it goes on and on...).  Maybe the world changed its view of complex analysis, and simply stopped listening.  After all, we have a conspiracy theorist in the top job these days, giving conspiracy theory both a tacit official acknowledgement, and the kiss of death.  Either way, I don't get asked by the media to present 'the middle way' these days.  I don't think there's much call for the middle way, generally.  Not true in every case, but there's definitely a trend.

The argument about Nibiru/Planet X is so polarised now that there is little room in the middle.  The thinking within the media is that you're either a 'believer' who thinks the world is about to end at the hands of a head-on collision with a fabled planet, or an 'expert' who has absolutely no time for anything Planet X-related (TV scientists don't specialise in this subject, and have little time or interest to investigate it in any depth, yet will happily provide rent-a-quote sceptical responses).

To start 2018 off in much the same vein I have become aware of the video blogs on YouTube by one Matt Rogers (3).  A fellow Brit.  Let me tell you something about the Planet X scene in the U.K., just for a bit of context.  Besides the odd mumble down in London, there isn't one.  I've been banging a solitary drum on this topic for decades.  So, in a way, I welcome a fellow Brit who stands up and discusses Sitchin's Nibiru, and who appeals for an open-minded debate about this topic.  And Matt's certainly managed to attract the attention of the British tabloids, which I never have (that's probably a good thing, let's be honest).  Matt's videos have been providing plenty of easy copy for Jon Austin at the Express (4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10).  Jon's evident passion for the subject has proven somewhat contagious, having been picked up by the Daily Mail (11) and the Daily Star (12), and even - coolio - the Lad Bible (13).  Kudos.

The problem is that the sensational material being offered is erroneous and pretty easily dismissed (as described above, and see also (14)).  Matt's evidently well-meaning intention to raise the profile of Nibiru among the general population is at once effective, but also calamitous. 

A proper discussion of Planet X does not readily lend itself to tabloid sound-bites and sensationalism.  It doesn't rely upon dodgy photo footage of lens flares and colourations in the sky.  Instead, the real evidence lies in scientific data, much of it provided by world-class instruments and space-probes.  The real evidence involves patterns of gravitational anomalies affecting swathes of outer solar system objects, missing masses, missing angular momentum, anomalous orbits, tilted obliquities, ridiculously complex mainstream theories of solar system formation, and so on. 

But, here's the thing.  This does not make good copy for hacks.  Contrary to popular opinion, it also does not sell books. 

We live in an age when Truth has become a personal thing.  I don't want to detract from Matt Rogers' right to speak his truth to the world.  I rather admire his nerve in the face of the torrent of ridicule he has faced (as well as death threats, apparently).  But I also find this frustrating, because this subject is very, very vulnerable to distortion by the media. The kinds of creative claims put forward by Matt, and his predecessors, simply fuel that tendency.  In the mind of the public, then, Planet X becomes a bonkers conspiracy theory denounced by every scientist they've ever heard of (about three).  The real mystery is quickly lost in the noise. 

But, let me assure you, there really is an excellent case for the existence of Planet X.  And if it really is out there, then its eventual discovery would be very sensational indeed.


Written by Andy Lloyd,  11th January 2018


1) Zecharia Sitchin "The Twelfth Planet" Avon Books 1976

2)  Andy Lloyd "Dark Star: The Planet X Evidence" Timeless Voyager Press 2005

3)  Matt Rogers "Sky Watcher' YouTube with thanks to Scott

4)  Jon Austin "NIBIRU DOOM: Is this first image of Planet X before 'end of the world' on September 23?" 19th September 2017

5)  Jon Austin "NIBIRU ALMOST ON US? 'Sky and sun change colour in sign of Planet X and end of the world'" 16th October 2017

6)  Jon Austin "They know NIBIRU'S COMING! Governments 'cloaking out Planet X' as it's 'about to hit'" 17th October 2017

7)  Jon Austin " 'UNDENIABLE NIBIRU' The signs in sky that 'prove Planet X is in our solar system'" 2nd November 2017

8)  Jon Austin "NIBIRU MEDIA BLACKOUT? Shock claims over mainstream media 'Planet X cover up'" 10th November 2017

9)  Jon Austin "'NIBIRU?' Nasa urged to declare 'Planet X TRUTH' amid claims 'ISS has been evacuated'" 15th November 2017

10)  Jon Austin "NIBIRU SHOCK CLAIM: 'Moon isn’t real – it’s a simulation to COVER UP Planet X'" 4th December 2017

11)  Shivali West "Is the government hiding evidence of Planet X? Conspiracy theorist claim world leaders are spraying our skies with chemicals to stop us seeing mythical world 'Nibiru'" 6th December 2017

12)  Tom Towers "Doom planet Nibiru 'ALREADY affecting weather on Earth as apocalypse nears" 8th November 2017

13)  Jess Hardman "There's a new Conspiracy Theory about Planet X, which ropes the Moon in too." 5th December 2017

14)  Robert Walker "Debunking ‘Prophet for Profit’ Matt Rogers - why pink sunsets are normal - and how the Earth’s pole shifts only slowly over 26,000 years."



















  New Brown Dwarfs et al Found in the Orion Nebula


Written by Andy Lloyd,  11th January 2018


1)  Ann Jenkins & Ray Villard "Hubble Telescope Discovers Substellar Objects in the Orion Nebula" 12th January 2018, Space Telescope Science Institute

2)   Sci-News Staff "Hubble Finds Three Giant Exoplanets and Several Brown Dwarfs in Orion Nebula" 12th January 2018

3)  Giovanni Maria Strampelli et al. 2018. A HST/WFC3 Search for Substellar Companions in the Orion Nebula Cluster. 231st AAS Meeting, abstract # 414.07


A Hubble image of the Orion Nebula. Image credit: NASA / ESA / M. Robberto, Space Telescope Science Institute & ESA / Hubble Space Telescope Orion Treasury Project Team.
























Dark Star Blogs

 2013:  01   02   03   04   05   06   07   08   09  

2014:  10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21

2015:  22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33

2016:  34   35   36   37   38   39   40   41   42   43   44   45

2017:  46   47   48   49   50   51   52   53   54   55   56   57

2018:  58   59   60

You can keep informed of updates by following me on Twitter:


Or like my Facebook Page: