Space: scientists calculate the impact that a “deflection” of a wandering star would have on our solar system


If the images published by the James Webb Telescope have shown anything, it is that the Earth is just a tiny point of light that orbits in one of the many galaxies that exist and are in constant motion.

Fortunately for our existence, these movements have not caused any instability in the Solar System that could cause a dramatic jolt to what we know.

However, the scientific community is studying precisely that stability and the risks that something could cause a kind of “extermination” of what we know as planet Earth.

In the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Journal, Garett Brown, a computational physics graduate student, and his mentor at the University of Toronto at Scarborough, Professor Hanno Rein, published a paper calculating exactly what the impact of a wandering star passing near our solar system.

[NASA: Filtran un cronograma de sus planes para la Luna y luce muy difícil de cumplir]

investigation details

The scientists used the Niagara supercomputer at the University of Toronto’s SciNet center, which is part of Canada’s Digital Research Alliance network, to calculate how far one of these wandering stars would have to pass from Neptune, the planet away from the Sun, so that there would be some kind of consequence. Fortunately, their calculations predict a future impact to 100 million years of planetary evolution.

“We found that critical changes in Neptune’s orbit needed to be on the order of 0.03 AU or 4.5 billion meters to have any impact on the long-term stability of the Solar System. These critical changes could increase the probability of instability during the lifetime of the Solar System by 10 times. Furthermore, we estimate that a critical stellar flyby like this could occur once every 100 billion years in the region in which the Solar System is currently located”, the authors of the article pointed out to UniverseToday.

Astronomers theorize that “planetary jolts” may be a common feature of a system’s evolution and that large objects are regularly ejected from the outer reaches of a system due to flybys. “For planets that have already formed in wide orbits, stellar flybys are thought to be responsible for removing or destabilizing the outermost planets,” Brown added.

Although this study opened the possibility of risk to our planet Earth, at the same time it specified that this risk is very far from our times.

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