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The Great Planet X Debate

Date: 05-13-03
Host: George Noory
Guests: Phil Plait, Nancy Lieder

A debate was held on Tuesday night with astronomer Phil Plait and alien contactee Nancy Lieder. Lieder believes that in the next couple of weeks a 'Planet X' will pass close enough to the Earth to cause a pole shift and spur many disasters, while Plait sees no evidence for it.

The two debated the accuracy of Lieder's previous predictions, as well as the photographs(3) she has posted on her site that purport to show Planet X, which Plait said were misidentifications and "sun dogs" (reflections). "There's really no way to hide an object the size of a planet," he said, adding that if something that large had entered our solar system, astronomers would be abuzz about it rather than remaining silent as Lieder claimed. Additional links provided by the debaters include Lieder's refutation of Plait's analysis, and Plait's page about Lieder and her work.

In the last half of the show Plait chatted with George and callers about various astronomical topics. He spoke about the upcoming total lunar eclipse which because of "dust and junk in the atmosphere," will likely turn the moon a strange red color. Because this is occurring on May 15th (the original date Lieder had given for Planet X) Plait was concerned people might mistake the moon for the arrival of a rogue planet. He also talked about the use of "adaptive optics," at an observatory in Chile, which removes the twinkling effect of stars in order to get higher resolution images.

Bumper Music

Bumper music from Tuesday May 13, 2003

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