2003 UB313: Planet, Minor Planet, or Kuiper Belt Object and what does it mean for the Planet X "hoax"?
The discovery of 2003 UB313, dubbed the 10th Planet Xena, was announced July 30th, 2005 by Dr Mike Brown and colleagues at Palomar Observatory near San Diego. It's 1 to 1.5 times larger than Pluto and its orbit ranges from inside Pluto's orbit to as far out as three times the distance of Pluto to the Sun.
The discovery is reawakening the debate over the scientific definition of the term planet. Unbeknownst to most of us, Pluto is no longer considered a planet by most astronomers, ever since the 1992 discovery of the Kuiper Belt, a ring of icy bodies that circles beyond Neptune. Reason being is that if Pluto fits the definition of a planet then several of its neighboring Kuiper Belt Objects ought to be planets as well, giving us potentially dozens of planets to go back to school and memorize. However, Pluto has till now kept its planetary status through grandfathering in.
While scientists focus on the nomenclature issue this raises, I'd like to direct my reader's focus elsewhere to something more important. What could be the true significance of this discovery to Bible-based truth seekers?
Planet Xena 2003 UB313's Significance
It is important to state that this planet is not Wormwood or Nibiru or the infamous Planet X (although it is a planet X, or previously unknown body past Neptune). It is simply a rather large Kuiper Belt Object whose orbit does not intersect that of Earth and therefore poses no threat to us, unlike the Biblical Wormwood / Sumerian Nibiru / Zeta-talk Planet X.
Nevertheless, this discovery does add some much needed credibility to the existence of a Wormwood/Nibiru body out there. Up until now, one of the biggest arguments against Planet X was that if there were any more objects out there, they would have already been discovered. Yet we can see now this is clearly not the case. So the next question is, why is this not the case?
Planet Xena 2003 UB313: Why not sooner?
Dr. Brown answered this question:
What is most surprising is that the orbit of the planet is sharply skewed to most of the rest of the solar system. The orbits of most planets lie close to the same plane as Earth's, known as the ecliptic plane. The orbit of 2003 UB313 is tilted by 44 degrees.
"That blows my mind," said Harold Levison of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo., who was not involved in the discovery. "Getting something up that high is very hard."
The object is also the third brightest in the Kuiper Belt, a ring of icy bodies that circles beyond Neptune. The new planet could have been easily discovered much sooner if anyone had looked at that part of the sky.
"It's because no one looks that far off the ecliptic," Dr. Brown said. "No one expects to have an inclination that high."
Planet Xena moves in areas of the sky that are viewed less. Given the enormity of just our own solar system, searching every area thoroughly is an impossible task. The ecliptic plane of the known planets and other objects is where people are naturally going to focus their attention to look for other objects. Objects out of this range are therefore going to be discovered last, if at all.
Planet Xena 2003 UB313: Why Now? God's Purpose?
But Xena was finally discovered and is getting a lot more attention than Sedna did, probably due to its Plutonian size. But, why now?
After 20 years of seeking to walk with God, reading his revelations contained in the Bible and most importantly thinking on it all, I certainly have what I consider an informed opinion on this question. I believe that God brings things about at certain times to help those who are seeking him to learn what they need to. He works in subtle ways because he is careful to not interfere with our free will. He wants those who seek him now to do so diligently out of faith, not out of compulsion or unavoidable conviction (this is why the Bible is written in the difficult and seemingly contradictory way that it is, to be less convicting than it could be and leave room for other competing explanations like evolution).
God has already warned us that a deathstar named Wormwood is coming to devastate the Earth ahead of the Great Tribulation. However even most Bible readers are unaware of this or discount its relevance due to belief in a pretrib rapture, even after the Planet X May 15th 2003 passage rumor raised its awareness greatly (a rumor I did not believe because it looked obviously contrived and too early). Of course, now with that failed date in the past the date publicity has a negative effect, relegating Planet X to a hoax without a second thought for most people. (By the way, if someone wanted to make people ignore the Planet X threat, can you think of a better way than by creating a negative bias through publicizing misinformation like a false arrival date?).
Yet, let us not forget that when Jesus/Yeshua the Messiah was coming soon, God raised awareness by presenting several signs in the heavens as literally portrayed in Revelation 12 in addition to others that are called the Star of Bethlehem. God acts consistently through out the ages. If Wormwood was coming soon and even righteous people could not believe this was literally what was meant by Revelation 6-8, then a merciful God would do things to help jolt that incorrect paradigm. 2003 UB313's discovery to some extent has to done that. If Planet Xena was hard to discover until now with its 44 degree inclination, how much longer would it take for general astronomy to discover a body further out and with an inclination around or just past 90 degrees as Planet X is purported to have (perpendicular orbit and slightly retrograde)?
The Bible indicates that the general population will not know until the last minute, judging by the global panic and frantic duck and cover depicted by the 6th seal in Revelation 6 through all segments of society. Just carefully read Revelation Six for yourself. God showed us this so his servants with wisdom would know now and prepare ahead of time in response to avoid that same fate. Will you take action now so you can be among them?
See also Is Planet X a Hoax?