Nibiru (New Age)
In recent years, the work of Zecharia Sitchin has garnered much attention among ufologists, ancient astronaut theorists and conspiracy theorists. He claims to have uncovered, through his own retranslations of Sumerian texts, evidence that the human race was visited by a group of extraterrestrials from a distant planet in our own Solar System. Part of his theory lies in an astronomical interpretation of the Babylonian creation myth, the Enuma Elish, in which he replaces the names of gods with hypothetical planets. However, since the principal evidence for Sitchin's claims lies in his own personally derived etymologies and not on any scholarly agreed interpretations (including scholars among the Sumerians themselves), his theories remain at most pseudoscience to the vast majority, if not the totality, of academics.
Sitchin's theory proposes the planets Tiamat and Nibiru. Tiamat supposedly existed between Mars and Jupiter. He postulated that it was a thriving world in a much differently shaped solar system, with jungles and oceans, whose orbit was disrupted by the arrival of a large planet or very small star (less than twenty times the size of Jupiter) which passed through the solar system between 65 million and four billion years ago.
The new orbits caused Tiamat to collide with one of the moons of this object, which is known as Nibiru. The debris from this collision are thought by the theory's proponents to have variously formed the asteroid belt, the moon, and the current incarnation of the planet Earth.
Beginning in 1995, websites such as ZetaTalk have identified Nibiru or "Planet X" as a large brown dwarf currently within our planetary system, soon to pass relatively close to Earth. Sitchin disagrees with the timing of passage.
To the Babylonians, Nibiru was the celestial body or region sometimes associated with the god Marduk. The word is Akkadian and the meaning is uncertain. Because of this, the hypothetical planet Nibiru is sometimes also referred to as Marduk. Sitchin hypothesizes it as a planet in a highly elliptic orbit around the Sun, with a perihelion passage some 3,600 years ago and assumed orbital period of about 3,750 years; he also claims it was the home of a technologically advanced human-like alien race, the Anunnaki, who visited Earth in search of gold.