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Thread: neptune/ pluto collision

  1. #1 neptune/ pluto collision 
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    could neptune and pluto ever collide because of the way they cross orbits? if not because of the angle of neptune orbit then maybe could it collide with another planet?


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  3. #2  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    The present configuration of the orbits would not allow a collision. I believe simulation have been run a billion or so years into the future that confirm sufficient stability that no collision would be possible. That could be changed by the close approach to, or by, another star that came sufficiently close to disrupt the planetary orbits. Given that this does not seem to have occured at any time in the solar systems past it appears to be a low probablity. Note that even if the orbits of Pluto was disrupted in this way it would still not necessarily find itself on a collision course with anything else.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Bachelors Degree x(x-y)'s Avatar
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    Yeah, basically what Ophiolite said. This could only happen if another large enough gravitational influence came into place which would cause a gravitational instablity causing one ore more astronomical bodies to 'recoil' in order to conserve momentum and stability.
    "Nature doesn't care what we call it, she just does it anyway" - R. Feynman
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  5. #4  
    Moderator Moderator Dishmaster's Avatar
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    If I remember correctly, the orbital resonances prevent such a catastrophic scenario. The planets are located at orbits, where the orbital periods are in integer ratios.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orbital_resonance
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